As a dog owner, you know firsthand the joy and companionship that your doggie brings. Their love for life, desire to be outdoors, and eagerness to play are just some ways dogs exuberate satisfaction and happiness. But like everyone, dogs need constant care and upkeep, and one place that often goes unnoticed is dogs' paws. Despite their paws being able to endure extended and strenuous activity, they encounter some problems.
At Chew + Heal, we want to make your life easier. Besides providing you with premium natural and healthy dog supplements, we want to ensure that our customers have the knowledge and confidence to look after their dogs. So below, we are going to outline the leading causes of paw problems and some tips that you could do to treat them.
Signs To Look For
- Licking and chewing the affected paw(s)
- Lameness or limping
- Red and inflamed paws
- Lesions and discharge
- Hair loss
- Ulcers with scabbing and blisters
- Cuts, abrasions, and tears
- Cracked and torn nails
- Dry/cracked pads
- Loose flaps of skin on paw pads
- Refusal to walk or bear weight on paw(s)
- Cysts and growths
- Foul smell coming from paw
Paw Pad Hyperkeratosis
Hyperkeratosis is the abnormal production of keratin, the key structural material making up scales, hair, nails, feathers, horns, claws, hooves, and the outer layer of skin among vertebrates. This can lead to the unusual growth of skin, nails, hair, and claws. As a result, the skin can become tough and rough, leading to cracks, blisters, and infections.
Like us humans, dogs are prone to all sorts of allergies. You'll notice if your pup has them if they are itchy, especially in the paws, and typically will bite, lick, or chew on them to attempt to relieve the itching. They will also be more likely to have chronic ear and skin infections and anal gland issues.
If your dog excessively and continuously licks their paws, it's a good idea to schedule a vet visit to check for allergies.
We don't always give our food or our dog's food the attention it deserves, but a healthy and balanced diet is the key to healthy skin. If your dog is low on zinc or other minerals, its skin can harden and crack.
Cuts and Abrasions
Minor injuries are a common occurrence with dogs, especially if they are active outdoors. A slight scratch or cut on their paw can lead to several issues. Be sure to check your dog's paws for any such injuries or sharp rocks or objects after they play outside.
Fungal and Bacterial Infections
Infection is the mother of all issues. When a dog has cracked skin, resulting from any reason under the sun, the cracks can lead to infections if not treated correctly. The signs of infection are redness, swelling, or drainage from the paws, or if you notice that your dog is licking and chewing its paws irregularly. Often, the skin between the toes is a breeding ground for infection, so be sure to keep an eye on your dog's toes.
Tips For Healthy Paws
- Cut your dog's nails consistently. Different breeds require their nails cut at various intervals, so be sure to know what your dog needs.
- Be cautious about walking with your dog on hot or cold surfaces during the height of the summer or winter. Use dog moisturizer when needed.
- Do regular paw checks. An issue can often be nipped in the paw right at the onset before it becomes more serious. Your dog deserves to be looked after.
- Apply first aid when needed, and do not hesitate to call or visit your dog's vet if you're unsure or worried about something.