It's no doubt that dog's paws are stronger than our extremely sensitive palms. However, that certainly does not mean paw pads are indestructable.
Many dog owners overlook basic paw care outside of the harshest winter weather, so here are a few things to consider next time you and your best friend are lounging around at home together:
1. Paw Balm and Massage. Talk to your vet or check a local petstore for a good moisturizer. Your dogs paws can easily become dry and cracked, especially in the changing weather. After applying, use the moment to give your dog a little paw massage. Rub the paw pads and also get in between each toe. This will be relaxing, rejuvinating, and can help you check for foreign objects that may have gotten stuck during a walk. (i.e. pebbles, rock salt)
2. Even if the snow has melted there may be leftover rock salt or chemicals on the sidewalk. Rinsing their paws in warm water after a walk can be a simple way of preventing issues. Additionally, applying a layer of vaseline (instead of putting boots on them for easier weather days) can also act as a barrier for that leftover salt on the ground.
3. Summer happens! If it's too hot for you to be barefoot it is probably too hot for your dog. Walk in shaded areas as much as possible and keep up with the balms and massages, this will allow you to keep an eye on any symptoms of burning: blisters, red patches, loose skin flaps.
Although nothing is too much when it comes to taking care of our four-legged family members, a little TLC and attention will go a long way in preventing larger issues.
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