Balance is the watchword in this Pet Parents Guide Pampered Paws. Part One of our Two Part Guide includes Daily Check Guide, Pampering Options, and Potential Triggers.
This two part article will explore the balance of softness, moisture, and health for your dog’s paw pads. Care of the padding on your dog’s feet should be considered a daily routine, whenever pets have been walking, year round. You will find tips to find the right balance for your dog in this guide to promoting and maintaining your dog’s healthy feet.
Pet Parents Guide Pampered Paws — Daily Check
Pads of paws should be subtly moist,
Pads should be free of dryness,
Paws shouldn’t have cracks,
In between toes and under nails should be free of debris, and
Massage shouldn’t be tender to the touch.
Pet Parents Guide Pampered Paws — Pampering Options
Make sure paws are clean and dry before applying moisturizer. Once a week is a good routine to wash, dry, and moisturize. The schedule will depend on your dog, the season, and the conditions (weather, ground cover, etc.). We use coconut oil as a moisturizer (see below).
If paw pads are dry apply a small amount of coconut oil (extra virgin or fractionated),
If paws have cracks apply a small amount of coconut oil with tea tree oil (IMPORTANT: Tea Tree oil shouldn’t be used on puppies or small breed dogs). Mix 4-6 ounces of Coconut Oil with 1 drop of Tea Tree oil. Apply a small amount to clean dry paws.
If debris is present wash feet in a solution of warm water and gentle dog shampoo be sure to dry them well,
If toe nails are long trim them or make an appointment with your groomer or vet to have them trimmed,
If hair between toes is matted or has been attracting debris you can apply coconut oil to remove tangles, gently comb and (if needed) use scissors to gently trim or have this done by your groomer,
Potential Triggers of Problematic Paw Pads
Heat: When the ground is hot in the summer,
Cold: When the ground is cold in the winter,
Debris: Pebbles, stickers, glass, slivers, etc. may be on the ground and become lodged in the creases of the pads,
Toxins: Walking where chemicals (salt or other de-icing applications for example) have been used on walkways or crossings,
Insects: Be sure your dog’s feet are not harboring something he stepped on while walking which could become a health hazard.