Dog paw pad are thick and tough, but they are not impervious to injury or discomfort! Just as wearing Louboutin shoes with 5″ inch heels would take their toll on your feet, so will trotting on hot pavement for hours or dashing about in snow, salt and ice. City sidewalks are notorious enemies of healthy, happy paw pads and so many of our urban dogs walk on them a lot!
So, what is an adoring dog mom or dad to do? First, keep an eye on their feet. Every couple of days look each pad over and make sure there are no cracks, bleeding areas, or anything stuck in the pad. Push gently on the pad and see if there is a sensitive reaction. It may take a few times of doing this before you establish a “baseline” for what your dog will allow or for you to learn how they react. I, personally, have zero pain tolerance and would be screeching over a stubbed toe. My husband considers visible bones protruding the only reason for ER room visit. Our dogs are the same way. Gio, my English Toy Spaniel has “sensitive armpits” and if we pick him up “wrong” he squeals as if he were being disemboweled.
If your breed has hair on their feet, you may wish to carefully trim the hair around the pads or have your groomer or vet tech do it for you. If you do it yourself, be safe and careful and read up on exact techniques for your breed and dog (not the purpose of this FAQ).
Wash their feet and get any mud or salt or whatever off their feet. Just a nice once over with a baby-wipe or wet bath cloth is enough. Their pedi (they get no mani) does not have to be as intense as ours!
Then apply Paw Butter™ using the twist-tube applicator or if you prefer the tins, using a dab on your fingers. Rub it in or not, that is up to you. We recommend you give them a treat or toy to distract them from licking. Even if they DO lick it off, some will be absorbed and it will not hurt them. If you have a “licker” then we suggest you rub it in more.
Sometimes you see paw pads that have an overgrowth, like extra paw pad growing up on the sides and maybe an unusual amount of hair in between the pads. This is a whole other thing! It is similar to what you see on dog;s noses that started the whole Nose Butter™ mission. The paw pad variety of this is called Footpad Hyperkeratosis. Hyperkeratosis often runs in bloodlines and results in severe digital hyperkeratosis (overgrowth of crusts and crud) by 5-6 months of age. Once again, not life threatening, but needs to be addressed for their comfort and your peace of mind. Just apply Paw Butter™!
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