There’s nothing more passionate than a dog’s paw , right? The shape and soft pads make the paw very cute, but did you know that it is much more than a beautiful part of the animal’s body?
The dog’s paw is responsible for supporting the body and providing locomotion by allowing the dog to walk, run and jump with balance.
Therefore, it is very important to take good care of the paws so that your dog does not have health problems in the region and does not feel pain. Thus, he can walk freely and without discomfort.
See now how to take care, how to hydrate the dog’s paws, what are the main problems in the paws and curiosities that you didn’t know about the region!
Dog paw care
The dog’s paw is a very resistant region, with hundreds of bones and enough strength to support the body. However, it is also a sensitive area, especially in the cushions, which are the cushions.
Here’s how to take good care of your dog’s paws:
bath and groom
Hygienizing the paws well is important to remove excess dirt, foreign bodies (such as thorns and burs), dead skin and organisms such as bacteria, fungi, ticks and fleas.
Grooming also works to eliminate these agents, but its greatest importance is to remove excess hair that can interfere with the dog’s balance when walking. And for those dogs that live more indoors, on smooth floors, the clipping of these hairs can prevent slips and accidents, especially for animals that already have a tendency to orthopedic and obese diseases.
You can also clean the paws when you arrive from the walk and, if you have a paw injury, intensify hygiene.
Cut the nails
Regarding the nails, it is also important to keep them short to prevent the dog from getting hurt, scratching other animals and people, and even growing and tangling on surfaces.
To cut, use specific scissors for dogs and cut only the external part, more transparent, so as not to cause pain and wounds to the animal.
Hydration: What to put on your dog’s dry paws?
It is very common for some dogs to have dry, very rough, and scaly paws. This is a sign of dehydration and can happen if the dog walks a lot on hot and uneven floors.
To moisturize a dog’s paw, you can opt for specific dog moisturizers. But don’t overdo it, okay? The stiffness of the pads is important to protect the paws from injuries and give the dog more stability for walking.
Before applying the dog moisturizer, talk to your vet.
Swollen dog paw, what could it be?
In addition to dryness, other reactions can arise in the dog’s paw. It is the case of itching due to insect bites, parasites or allergies; from redness due to bruises or burns on the pads (cushions); and swelling in the region.
Swelling is an inflammatory reaction to an injury or infection to the paws or nails. It can happen by:
- Overload on the paws, when the dog walks for a long time or with great effort;
- Burns caused by excessive heat from the asphalt;
- Sprains, dislocations and fractures in bones and joints;
- Allergic reactions, such as insect bites, worms or dermatitis;
- Interdigital cysts, which are lumps between the fingers for different causes.
Along with the swelling, you should look for other signs . See if the dog is limping (what we call lameness), has difficulty putting the paw on the floor, if there is redness or blood in the area, if the paws are warmer than normal, if your pet has a fever, be quieter and prostrate, and if he is licking his paw excessively.
All these symptoms can indicate health problems in the paws and you need to investigate. Although not serious, they can become chronic if left untreated, which will cause your pet pain and discomfort.
Fun facts about dog paws
Dog paws also bring some interesting little secrets:
Can dogs walk in the snow
And no shoes! It’s just that the cushions have thicker skin, with a lot of fat and keratin. This creates insulating protection, which allows walking on icy ground.
But watch out! In the case of very hot asphalt, there may be burnt on the pads. Therefore, always take your dog for a walk at less hot times – before 10 am and after 4 pm.
Dog paw has 5 toes
You may have only noticed four toes, but the front legs (and the hind legs in some breeds) have five toes. The fifth, called “ergot”, works like our thumb and, although it doesn’t help support the body or absorb impacts, it helps the dog to pick up food and toys.
The ergot is very small, does not touch the ground and is suspended on the inside of the paw.
Licking your paw can be a sign of stress
If your dog licks his paws excessively, he may have an injury in the area or this could be a behavioral sign.
Licking can indicate that the dog is stressed or anxious. When observing this behavior, try to understand and eliminate the cause of this psychological issue. And if it continues, take the pet to the vet.
Dogs have foot odor
If you couldn’t resist and sniff your pet’s paws, you may have noticed an unpleasant odor. Similar to our foot odor, this smell is caused by bacteria and fungi that develop in the region.
In the dog’s paw, there are sweat glands, which help balance body temperature. As a result, it is common for moisture and heat to accumulate between the fingers, which makes the paw a favorable environment for the proliferation of these microorganisms.
But it’s important to say that this doesn’t hurt the puppy, it’s just a natural reaction of the body. If you notice that the paw is whitish and with many fungi, look for the vet, as this could be a dermatological problem.