Dog’s don’t wear shoes every time they step outside – surely, there are consequences for taking on the world barefooted?
Dog’s paws are surprisingly resilient against nature and the elements, as they were designed to be.
So if you realize your dog’s paws are peeling, you may wonder where you went wrong in protecting those precious paws.
Sometimes, you do everything you’re supposed to, and your dog’s paws still look less than normal.
The causes of peeling, cracked, or damaged paw pads range from weather and nervous licking habits to common dog health issues like allergies.
There’s always a fix for beat-up paw pads, and it doesn’t have to involve boots – which is good news for the pups who can’t stand to wear them.
Questions? To chat with a veterinarian about your dog’s paw pads, Click here
Wrapping your dog’s paw at home
In the case of an injury, you may need to re-clean and re-dress your dog’s feet in the days following the vet visit. Our vets provided at-home advice to give your dog’s peeling paw pad the best chance of healing:
Clean your dog’s paws — This may seem obvious, but keeping an injured paw pad clean is essential, even indoors. Debris can easily get stuck in open wounds, and may be hard to detect. Use paw wipes or a warm washcloth to clean off paw pads before re-applying any bandages.
Bandage the paw pad — Learning how to wrap a dog’s paw is a useful skill for any pet parents. This simple yet effective method can be done using items, like gauze and pet-safe antiseptics, that many of us always have in our own medicine cabinets. Since dogs spend so much time on their paw pads, frequent re-bandaging is important to keep the area clean and free from infection.
Apply a topical treatment to help your dog’s paws heal — In some instances of paw injuries an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin can help speed along treatment. However, you should always consult a vet before applying any medical ointments to your dog’s paws. If you want to go a more natural route, there are many natural paw balms and paw waxes to try! We recommend Natural Dog Company’s Organic Paw Soother, containing skin-soothing ingredients like jojoba oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter.
Tips to prevent dogs’ paw pads from peeling
Paw pad protection is something many pet parents take for granted, but it can go a long way. Here are some methods to prevent your furry friend’s peeling paw pads:
Watch out for broken glass and sharp rocks on walks — It’s important to keep your eye out on walks, especially in areas like city streets where gravel, rocks, and glass are near. If you find yourself constantly encountering sharp objects on the street, try changing up your daily walking route. Your dog’s paw pads will thank you.
Adapt to extreme weather — Hot pavement can be hard to avoid in some climates, but there are ways to adapt. For instance, avoid walking your dog in the middle of the day if you know the ground is too hot. Adjust your schedule to go out early in the morning or late at night when temperatures are cooler. In snowy or icy winter weather, take cautions to avoid rock salt or other ice-melting chemicals which cause paw pad irritation.
Wipe down and check your dog’s paws after walks — Many of us wipe our feet on doormats before coming inside, and you should do the same for your dog. It’s easy for objects to become embedded in dogs’ paw pads, and it can be hard for owners to detect. Wiping down and examining dogs’ paw pads after every walk is a good way to keep outdoor irritants outside of your home.
Keep a first aid kit on hand for injuries — A dog first aid kit is something every owner should have ready in case of emergencies. Kits contain items like antibiotic ointment and gauze to treat paw pad injuries in a pinch.
Keep your dog’s paws protected with booties or a balm — Dog booties are an effective and cute form of paw protection, but some dogs refuse to walk in them or even allow them to be put on. For a simpler method, consider applying a paw-protecting balm before walks.
Is My Dog’s Peeled Paw Pad Infected?
The only way you can tell whether your dog’s paws are infected or not is by developing a habit of checking him regularly.
Bacteria and fungi living on the paw may outgrow and cause some sort of infection.
Ringworm and yeast are especially notorious for getting out of control around the paw area.
Paw infection symptoms come in many different shapes and forms.
When you see general swelling on his toe or paw, this might signify an infection.
Other symptoms include discharge or puss coming out of the paw. This is among the most obvious signs of paw infections.
Other times, the paw may emit a foul smell, become unusually red, and perhaps have a brown discoloration to it.
Unfortunately, it is quite impossible to really tell an infection from non-infection. That is the work of a vet.
The minute you notice some of these symptoms, your best bet is to call your vet to take a look at your canine buddy.
They have the tools to carry out a physical exam and get to the root of the problem.
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