Paw care is important, here’s how to ensure happy feet.
Common paw problems
It is advisable to check your dog’s paws at regular intervals. The most common paw problems are dry or cracked pads, cuts, itching, swelling, redness, pain, sores or blisters. Moreover, overgrown nails also cause problem.
Season-specific: Different seasons affect the paws in different ways; while winters can be harsh on dog paws making them dry and cracked, during summers walking on hot pavement can cause burnt paws and in rainy season wet and muddy paws lead to various allergies and fungal or bacterial infections. Dogs need special care and attention throughout the year to protect their feet from extreme temperature conditions.
Healing cracked paws
A cracked or dry paw is the most common problem during winters. Keeping the paw pads well moisturised is the key solution to this problem. There are special paw creams and balms available at leading pet stores. Application of Vaseline or coconut oil can also help soothe and soften the dry skin.
While many pet spas have the facility of pawdicure which takes care of cleaning and taking extra care of the paws, it can also be done at home on regular basis. Check between the paws for dirt, ticks or any other debris and wipe it gently with damp cloth or cotton. Hair under the paws should also be trimmed regularly; not only it makes the feet look tidy but also provides the dog good grip while walking.
Even after regular cleaning and moisturising in case the cracks reopen, then extra moisturising is required. After gently cleaning the paws and drying it completely, apply the moisturiser or the ointment suggested by the vet. Ensure the dog doesn’t lick it.
Other paw problems…
Dogs chew or bite their paws due to various reasons like boredom, anxiety or any sort of injury. Constant licking, biting or chewing can also lead to redness at a particular area which can further become sore. Any sort of bacterial infection could also be one of the reasons. During winters when the paws become dry, dogs continuously lick them to keep them wet.
Common paw injuries are burns, cuts or wounds and the symptoms are bleeding, swelling, limping or licking in that particular area. Find out the first aid from your vet and rush him for medical care. Pad injuries are very common during summer season. The pads may get burnt due to walking on hot pavement. Take him for a walk only in the cooler part of the day.
In a nutshell, pawdicure should form a very important part of our beloved pet’s regular grooming and should not be neglected at all.
(Poorvi Anthony runs JUST DOGS pet shop cum spa in Ahmedabad).