You’re going for hiking with your friend and are probably wearing comfortable shoes to protect your feet, but then, what about your dog’s feet safety? Here are ideas to keep your dog paw in good condition despite the harsh surfaces.
Dog paws are normally thick and tough. However, this is no guarantee that they can’t get hurt, and just like other animal paws, dog owners need to be cautious of this. By nature, dog’s feet were crafted to endure harsh surfaces, but despite this, pet paws are still highly prone to injury by burns, blisters, sores. Sore pads are usually a common manifestation especially after a long period of hiking, moving through icy and snowy surfaces and walking on roughly cemented surfaces like pavements.
Luckily enough, our team has gone out of their way to come up with some of the useful tips in preventing and managing these dog situations. A quick tip can be carefully inspecting the dog pads for any abnormalities. After long hours of traversing to snowy and harsh surfaces, you could look out for any debris, swollen toe or any foreign body that you might find stuck in between your friend’s paws.
Here are some of the symptoms of paw injury:
- Noticing the dog chewing paws
- Licking of the paws
- The pet owner complains “My dog is limping”
- Blisters on dog pads
- Discoloration of dog pads
- Dog pads are bleeding
- The dog walks while lifting up the injured paw
Once you notice that he is presenting with the above symptoms, then it’s about time you identify what the problem might be. Of note, caution is crucial; injured dogs can be quite aggressive especially when handling them. It’s therefore required that owners should be on the lookout for such dog behaviors. You can keep yourself from dog bites by putting a muzzle on the dog’s mouth while handling the animal.
Ways to Soothe a Sore Dog Paw
Pet owners need to brace themselves because, sooner or later, they’re going to have to deal with some problems related to their dog paw. Here are great ideas to help you get through in the event such happens:
1. Foot Baths for Itchy Paws
If your dog is the type that constantly chews and licks their paws despite veterinary interventions, then foot baths are the solution. A quick hack is to keep a water bucket just by the door to use after your dog walks.
Here are some of the effective foot bath recipes for your sore dog paws:
Place some baking soda in a bucket of warm water and then place your dog’s feet in the solution. This is usually effective immediately you’ve come back from your dog walk. Just place the bucket outside and ensure he stays there for a few minutes. This baking soda solution functions to remove all the irritating allergens that usually cause the itching and even better go ahead to refresh the inflamed skin.
This can be effective for the dry and cracked paws that are prone to soreness after a long day’s walk. Dissolve grounded oats in warm water then in a bucket then dunk the dog’s feet inside for a few minutes. This will moisturize the pads and prevent the skin from being inflamed.
This is mainly useful for dogs that chew and lick their paws. This is a mixture of warm water and iodine that normally get rid of allergens that irritate the skin and disinfects any sore cuts that the dog might have got along the walk. The iodine should just be enough to be able to prevent any ongoing yeast infection on your puppy paws.
This is usually mixed with water and works by raising the dog’s PH level. Raising the PH will get rid of some of the allergens and irritants on dog pads that are responsible for the sore dog paws. Bath your dog for a few minutes with Epsom salt and help improve the integrity of your dog’s skin and enhance the regeneration of the paw cells. All this just to ensure your dog gets a healthy coat and skin. In some instances, povidone iodine can be substituted for Epsom salts as it also has a good range of antibacterial properties.
2. Control Licking and Chewing
This is usually forbidden in a bid to drive faster healing of wounds on dog chewing paws. For some instance, licking of wounds to facilitate healing can be effective. Nevertheless, this can at times affect the healing process by slowing down the scarring. When done in excess, it can result in new infections and inflammation of the puppy paws. This can be prevented through the use of some sprays and creams that have so far proven effective in combating the situation. These are usually applied around the licking, and chewing area and their bitterness will keep the dog from the habit.
In addition, you can apply bandages to the wound to prevent the dog from accessing the site. This can allow for better cicatrization and avoids contact between the paws and the ground. Pressure bandaging can help in alleviating the pain. In case your dog is ill-mannered and decides to start chewing the bandages, use a dog collar to curb this.
3. Paw Creams
In addition to using the best joint supplement for dogs, paw creams can be a long-term solution for soothing sore dog paws and even provides antiseptic options. You can apply an ointment or topical cream. Before use, you’re required to ensure that the application site is clean- cleansing can be done by dog swipes or saline water. Apply the substances once the site is thoroughly dry. In some situations, you will find some dogs are hypersensitive to the creams or ointments.
To avoid this, it is recommended that you start by applying small bits then increase the amount as you go by, usually an hour or so. Caution is that this should not be used over long periods, as they can be averse to the skin.
4. Avoid Excessive Dog Movements
Dogs, just like most animals, are not entirely conscious of their movement activities. This is where the owner should play a proactive role in controlling and restricting some of the unnecessary dog movements that contribute greatly to sore paws. For the lucky pet owners who have crane trained companions, just keep them there and ensure they get adequate hydration.
Another option is to spice up the kennel. This can be by improving bed comforts, extra toys, yummy feeds and of course your presence.
The goal is to keep the dog indoors and reduce outdoor activities. Whenever the dog goes out, the healing process is affected as the sore paws are further rubbed against the rough surfaces.
5. Hair Trimming
Excessive hair, as much as it usually makes the dog look beautiful, has its disadvantages. It can retain and harbor some of the allergens and bacteria that usually contribute to sore paws. To prevent this, it is advisable that you occasionally give your dog a gentle trim should there be a need.
6. Treating Cut Dog Pads
In an ideal setting, a cut dog should just be left to rest and heal. But let’s face it, this can never happen. We mean, dogs can’t cease from running up and down no matter how hard you try to control them, leave alone the wound continuously reopening. Even the slight disturbance on the feet can cause the bandaged paws to open and become sorer. An ideal way to curb this is to first make a good judgment on the situation. For the higher population, stitching cuts don’t really hold well on the pads. However, this approach can help:
- Do a thorough examination of your dog’s paw. Look out for ripped nails and cuts, pad tears and small bleeds. At times the dog can have one swollen foot, therefore compare both feet.
- Use warm water to clean the wound to get a better look if there’s any left foreign bodies and debris and remove if any. Tweezers can be of help in such instances.
- Use antiseptics, normally Betadine solution to cleanse the area.
- Once the affected site is dry, apply some cream or ointments. This you can find in your nearest pharmacy.
- Apply cushion to the pad by using soft gauze and pressure bandaging to help in relieving pain. Ensure it’s not too tight. Then apply some anti-licking creams to prevent the dog from chewing bandages. A good first aid kit normally contains almost all this.
The bandages are normally kept on for at least three days and then cut off. The challenging part comes in when you want to keep the bandage from reopening. A dog boot could come in handy. This can be worn whenever the dog goes out on a walk and once they’re back, remove the boot to restore adequate aeration around the wound.
7. Protect the Foot Pads
Whenever you’re going out for hiking, traversing snowy terrains or long walks, remember to protect the dog’s foot pads by using foot wax. Others use dog boots. These are available in your nearest veterinary shop.
It is important for pet owners to be well aware of when to visit the Vet. Always contact your Vet whenever you notice some abnormalities in the dog’s behavioral and movement patterns.
Please share with us some of the tips on how to heal a blister that has worked for you. We’d love to hear from you!
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