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How to care for your dog's paws

Two dog paws with a heart shape advice

Owners should get into the habit of checking your dog’s paws.

© Shutterstock

Your dog's paws are durable pads designed for running and walking across all types of terrain. They provide insulation and protection and work as shock absorbers to protect wear and tear on the bones and joints.

By Ashley Murphy

But because they're exposed to the elements, paws are susceptible to injury and infection. So here's a full guide to dog paw care!

Dog Paw Problems

Although they can withstand plenty of pressure, you should get into the habit of checking your dog's paws, especially after walkie time! The first thing you should look for is any foreign objects, broken glass, cuts, or abrasions.

This is also a chance to check for pesky ticks, as well as cysts or growths that may need medical attention. Lastly, keep your eyes peeled for any signs of bacterial infection, including cracked paws, redness, swelling, or discharge.

Is it common for dogs to hurt their foot pad?

It's fairly common for dogs to pick up small injuries on the paw pads, but most will heal up after a few days. However, if you notice persistent limping, licking, bleeding, or scratching, then your pooch will need to see a vet.

How do dogs keep their paws warm in minus degree weather?

Extreme weather conditions pose a real threat to your dog's paw pads. During scoring summers, walking your dog on a hot pavement or tarmac can quickly lead to burning and blistering, while cold weather can dry out your dog's paws, causing painful cracks. What's more, your pooch may get rock salt trapped on their paws. Rock salt is toxic for dogs. Once ingested, it can cause serious health issues, including organ failure and even death.

Dog paw close up
A close up of a dog's paw, it's important you take care of them ©Shutterstock

One solution is dog booties! You can find these at any leading pet store provider. They're specially designed to care for your dog's paw pads, and they also look super-cute!

How to get a piece of glass out of your dog's foot

If you notice a piece of glass trapped in your dog's feet, you may be able to remove it yourself. It all depends on how deep the glass is. If you think you can get it, use a pair of tweezers, making sure you give the paw pad a good clean with an antibacterial wash and warm water once you've successfully removed the glass.

If the glass is too deep to reach or your dog is in a lot of pain, they will need veterinary care.

What is the best and safest antiseptic to use on my dog's paws?

When it comes to paw care, you should always use vet-approved products suitable for dogs. Don't risk using human antiseptic creams or lotions. Some of them will contain chemicals that are harmful to your beloved pet. Leucillin Antiseptic Multi-Pet Skin Care is one of the best options on the market, along with Vetericyn Wound and Skincare Liquid Spray and Tea Tree Skin Cream for Pets by Johnson's.

 How do you treat a cut paw on a dog?

Small cuts can be treated with antibacterial lotion and warm water. Just make sure you clean out any dirt or debris lodged in the wound and keep a close eye on the cut for a few days. If you don't see any signs of improvement, call the vet.

How to bandage a dog's paw?

If the wound requires a bandage, then our dog will probably need medical attention. But you can protect the paw in the meantime by applying a clean dressing. Always start by cleaning the wound, then use a nonstick absorbent pad. Wrap a gauze bandage over the pad and secure with some adhesive tape. Apply a layer of cotton wool, which you should then cover with a stretch gauze. Apply a fresh dressing every few days.

What are the benefits of moisturising your dog's paws?

Moisturising your pup's pads regularly can prevent lots of potential issues, including cracked and dry paws. This will then reduce the chances of bacterial infections and any other health complications.

Human hands with a dog paw
Care for your dog's paws! ©Shutterstock

What are the best lotions to moisturise my dog's paws?

Again, leave the human moisturisers in the bathroom cabinet. There are loads of great dog moisturising products to choose from, including Paw Nectar Organic Wax, ResQ Organics Pet Skin Treatment, and Burts Bees Paw Lotion.

Prevention is always better than cure. So get into the habit of checking your dog paws. Once every few days is fine, although a quick inspection post-walkies is ideal. You can then spot any issues before they develop into something more serious. This is much better for your dog's health and overall wellbeing, but it will also save you lots of money on those expensive vet bills!

Check out this amazing discovery a dog owner just made with his dog!