What You Should Know About Paw Pad Care

Caring for your pet’s feet is a year-round affair, but seasonal extremes definitely create opportunities for extra attention. Whether it’s hot asphalt in the summer or the painfully drying effects of winter ice melt, your pet’s paws deserve full protection. To that end, we offer these supportive tips in paw pad care in the hopes that your pet will continue to be happy and frolicsome in 2017.

What’s in a Word?

The root of the Middle English word pawe is related to the Dutch poot and Old French poue and patin which means clog, a type of shoe. In any case, the word in its numerous incarnations has been used for centuries to refer to an animal’s foot.

“Paw”some Basics

Cats and dogs share some of the following paw characteristics:

  • The inner layer of skin on the paw houses sweat glands that help keep the animal cool.
  • Frightened or stressed cats and dogs will also perspire through the paw pads.
  • Paw pads help to cushion and soften landings, protecting the joints and bones from injury.
  • There are four claws, four digital pads, and metacarpal pad, dew claw, and carpal pad.

Paw Pad Care

The ice and snow are awful enough to your pet’s paws, but when you add snow melt or chemical deicers, his or her pads can be in a world of hurt.

Consider soaking the paws in warm water after any time outside during the winter. Thoroughly dry and check for any ice balls or salt that may be embedded in the fur between the paw pads. Please let us know before using certain wipes or cleansers on your pet’s delicate paws.

Lastly, when you consider the amazing benefits of insulating booties, you can effectively prevent any problems your pet may be encounter.

Licking the Feet

It’s a fact of life that pets lick their feet to stay clean. Because of this, it’s critical that products applied to the feet are pet-safe in case of inhalation or ingestion.

Some animals will do this to soothe themselves, but excessive licking can soften the paw pads to a degree that enables injury.

Lastly, some paw pad licking can be related to allergies or other problems; please take note of your cat or dog’s behavior, and call us for help.

Other Considerations

It can be very effective to trim the hair growing between the paw pads. This minimizes how much packed ice, salt, or dirt can travel inside your home via the feet and can reduce warming insulation that’s already built into your pet’s paws. Our team is happy to discuss your pet’s lifestyle to determine what will suit him or her best.

Ouch! Cracked Pads

Paw pad care is central to preventing and treating cracked pads. Painful surface breaks can result from lengthy runs on rough or hot surfaces, exposure to frigid temperatures, and sometimes even certain diseases. While painful in and of themselves, damaged, cracked pads can also result in a secondary infection that threatens overall health and wellness.

We urge you to contact us as soon as you notice cracked paw pads. Before moving forward with a treatment plan, we can rule out larger medical issues, such as liver disease.

In addition to a daily routine that keeps your pet happy, safe, and comfortable, certain dermatology products may be prescribed, such as safe cleansing antiseptics and healing skin balms. Now, that we can trot along with!