Pads Of The Dog: Role, How To Take Care Of It?

Although they are made to be resistant, the pads are a sensitive place in the dog because they are exposed to various potential problems because of their contact with the ground: cuts, burns, frostbite, spikelets... Discover what the pads are facts, as well as their importance for the comfort of your doggie and advice to maintain, treat and prevent small sores.

Pads of the dog: role, how to take care of it?

Role and importance of the dog's pads

The pads are the only part of the body in the dog that is in direct contact with the ground, so they are covered with a thick horn. But beneath it lies a sub-layer of fragile and highly irrigated epidermis. The slightest cut can therefore become very painful for your dog and cause lameness, infections or other annoying irritations.

In addition, the pads are exposed to burns in summer if they walk on bitumen and frost in winter. Thus, the cold can be at the origin of the appearance of cracks and frostbites which make the dog suffer a lot if they are not supported. Some reflexes are therefore essential to avoid the hassle.

Care of the pads: the reflexes to have

The maintenance of the pads of your animal should go through a regular monitoring of their condition: inspect its paws at each return ride, especially if you went to the park, the beach, the countryside or any other place where they have could come into contact with risky surfaces such as stones, chippings, bitumen or hot concrete, frozen ground, broken glass...

During and after the walk, pay attention to the behaviors that can translate a pain in the legs: lameness, intensive licking, paw held in the air, reluctance to walk on certain grounds. Check that no foreign objects are trapped between the pads and that they do not show cuts, redness or abnormalities. If a paw is irritated or injured, clean and disinfect the affected area. Be especially careful with the spaces between the pads and between the toes of the dog, where the skin is very thin.

How to react in case of break?

If the paw has a cut on the pad, it is first essential to clear the area by rinsing or using a soft antiseptic wipe. Avoid the use of cotton that could leave fibers in the wound. Be sure to remove any residue between the pads as well as between the fingers and the claws.

It may be necessary to trim the hair around the affected pad for better visibility. Then disinfect the area with a sterile compress and an antibacterial solution: betadine, chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide... Apply an antiseptic herbal paste if you have one and make a bandage.

Protect the pads from cold and heat

Preserving pads against frost, snow and salt on the pavement in winter is important. It is therefore necessary to dry the legs of your animal after each exit and insist on the areas between the pads. If the dog has walked on salt, rinse thoroughly under the shower to avoid irritation.

A reflex that is as simple as wiping the legs helps to fight against moisture and prevent chapping, cracking and frostbite. These disadvantages can also be prevented through the use of a veterinary tanning balm that can strengthen and isolate the pads of cold and moisture, also effective against burns in summer. However, avoid as much as possible to take your animal out in extreme weather conditions.

Wash the pads after the beach and the snow

As mentioned above, it is recommended to rinse your dog's paws if they have been in contact with snow or salt. But the beach is also a place to walk at risk, because of the presence of sand, stones, small shells and of course sea salt. Rinse well the pads of your dog after a trip to the seaside to avoid irritation and make your usual inspection looking for cuts, redness, residue or other foreign objects.

Beware of spikelets!

The spikelets, those small residues of dry grass which are detached from the stem while drying, represent a real danger for the paws of the dog. Very discreet and pointed, they can penetrate easily into the epidermis and cause acute pain and infections.Remember to regularly cut the hair between the dog's fingers and between each pad to have a better visibility during the inspection but also to limit the clogging and the flocks which are an ideal hiding place for the spikelets.

If you find one, try removing it gently with tweezers. Know that this operation can be painful for your dog and that he may have an unexpected reaction, so it is better to keep it to two people or take him to the vet if he really does not let it go and especially if the leg remains painful after one or two days.

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