Have you ever worn super tall, skyscraper shoes with killer 4-5" heels? The kind that look really, really cool on movie and tv celebrities? By the end of the night were they in your hand on handbag? Your poor feet were probably screaming at the injustice of such heinous atrocities. Guys, if you have never worn heels (and I am not judging either way!), just imagine walking while wearing an electric drill attached to your feet.
While your dog will hopefully never experience this type of paw trauma, thanks to their being DOGS and are thus way too smart to ever purposefully do anything that silly, they DO have paw pad stress.
Dog paw pad are thick and tough, built to trot for miles and miles, but they are not impervious to injury or discomfort! Just as wearing the afore-mentioned Louboutin shoes with 5″ inch heels would take their toll on your feet, trotting on hot pavement for hours or dashing about in snow, salt and ice will brutalize your dog's paws.
City sidewalks are notorious enemies of healthy, happy paw pads and so many of our urban dogs walk on them a lot! For the country canine, icy yards, rock hard frozen ground and the threat of froze toes is their burden. Froze toes you ask? Little ice picks poke into your dogs paws, causing them to stop and raise their paws, whimpering until you pick them up or get them back inside fast!
So, what is an adoring dog mom or dad to do?Here are a few tips for keeping your dogs paws in great shape.
Tips for Pawfect Paws (Pun-is Me For That, Please)
HOT! HOT! HOT! In the summer, if it is too hot for you to press your bare forearm on the sidewalk, then it's too hot for your dog's paws. Especially if they are smaller or mostly indoors.
FLAT FACED DOGS In the hotter weather, please, please, please be very careful when walking flat-faced dogs. Frenchies, Pugs, Bulldogs and such can literally die from heat stress in minutes. They were not built for hot weather. Their throats swell and with an already compromised breathing system there is not enough air getting through. They panic and that makes it worse and before you know it...disaster! Tip: Sometimes a squirt of lemon juice into their throat will open up the tissue enough for them to breathe until you can them into the cool house. I know this has nothing to do with paws, but I felt I had to share it...
WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND
Chemicals and alts used on winter sidewalks wreak havoc on dog paws and your shoes! After outdoor walks, wash your dog’s paws in warm water to rinse away winter sludge of salt and chemicals. If your dog will tolerate them, you may dry dog booties or shoes.
FROZE TOES We call it froze toes when our dogs run outside during our Minnesota winter, then stop and hold a foot up within minutes. Ice and snow crystals can freeze inside their paw pads and damn, that hurts!
OUNCE OF PAW-VENTION Keep your eyes open for potential paw danger while walking your dog. I'm not suggested you be a helicopter dog parent (we all know some of them), just be aware. Watch for glass, sharp rocks, and gum and while you are scoping out the path. Also, steer clear of dropped food, road kill, anthills and such. I speak from experience on all of those…don't ask.
BUILD UP Do not take them for a long walk across rocky terrain with carpet soft paws. Think walking barefoot across sharp rocks. We've all seen exhausted puppies being forced to run beside their people and it is so sad. Ugh. Let your dog build up to longer walks, watch for signs of discomfort or being tires.
FOOTPAD HYPERKERATOSIS 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. And yes, PAW BUTTER will help get rid of Footpad or Paw Pad Hyperkeratosis.