Paw-Some Paws! What You Need to Know About the Ones on Your Dog
Dogs are fascinating in many ways, but one of the most interesting parts about them are their paws. Did you know:
- Dog’s paws are made up of skin, ligaments, tissue, blood, and tendons?
- The digital and metacarpal pads work as natural shock absorbers for your pup?
- Paws provide grip when a dog is digging?
- Your dog may not seem to care when it’s cold outside because paws are cold-resistant, keeping your pup’s feet warm and cozy?
Those little paws can do a whole lot! However, they’re not perfect, and they can be prone to injury. Here’s how to prevent that.
Keeping Your Pup’s Paws Safe
Perhaps one of the biggest threats to a dog’s paws is hot concrete. This is usually a problem in the summer or in places that are naturally hot year-round. As paws were designed to be resistant to the cold, they can hold too much heat, and when the pavement is so hot you could fry a meal on it, you need to take precautions.
First, test the pavement by putting your hand on it for a few seconds. If the pavement is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for Fido. Walk your dog in shaded areas, or wait until it’s cooler outside.
If you have to walk your dog on hot pavement, buy shoes for your pup, or use a pet stroller.
Another danger to your pup’s feet is broken glass or other sharp objects. Avoid walking your dog near any area that may have broken glass, and be on the lookout for sharp objects. If you want to take preventative action, look for dog shoes with thick soles to avoid injuries.
Taking Care of an Injury
If Duke did step on some glass or burn his paws, care for him ASAP. Remove any shards from the foot, clean the paw properly, use ointment if the paw is burnt, and try to stop any bleeding through pressure and bandages. Call your vet if bleeding is uncontrollable or you need more guidance.
Paws and Diseases
Aside from the possibility for injury, your pup’s paws may exhibit signs of disease. If you see something unusual on your dog’s paw, investigate it, and consider making an appointment with the vet.
Some common diseases and symptoms are as follows:
- Lick granuloma — This is when your pup’s paws are swelling or bleeding. You may catch your dog licking its paws as well, and hair loss may be a symptom. A lick granuloma is caused by food allergies, so take your dog to the vet as soon as you can to get it on a new food plan.
- Diabetes — If there are strange sores on your dog’s paws, they could be a sign of diabetes. Other signs include extreme thirst and wait gain.
- Cancer — Look for tumors, lumps, or limping because of the paws.
- Pemphigus foliaceus — This disease can cause your pup’s skin to be destroyed by its own antibodies. Look out for blisters on your dog’s paws, and treat the disease immediately by taking your pup to a vet.
Your dog’s paws take on a lot, from walking to jumping to digging and scratching in hot and cold weather! Do your part to keep them healthy and strong, and if you see anything unusual, contact your veterinarian!