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Why Are My Dog's Paws Cracked?

Posted on 15 January 2019

Just Say NO to Cracked Paws

dog lying down blue cookie monster paws

So there I am, minding my own business chasing a squirrel back and forth 7,654 times along the top of our concrete parking lot’s fence, and before I know it, my paw pads are all cracked and bleeding! My human was even more upset and immediately got on the phone with the nice Vet lady. We soon learned a lot of very interesting things about puppy feet and how to protect them from cracking.

First of all, did you know that we sweat through our paw pads? That’s why some dressings don’t stick or need frequent changing. Some of us have really sensitive paw pads and little booties might be necessary, in addition to being totes adorbs. Other obstacles to smooth paw skin include floor cleaners. Caustic chemicals can have a painful effect on your fur baby’s paws. Try to use mild and/or organic cleaners and detergents instead. Remember that we dogs lick whatever cleaners you’re using off our paw pads. If you see us licking our paws excessively, a pH imbalance from insufficient meat in our food might be the culprit. Cracked paw pads can also result from a zinc deficiency, and your vet might prescribe fish oil or another appropriate remedy.

dog feet puppy paws pads happy

If the pads crack so badly that there’s blood, clean it off and use a dog paw balm like Vaseline or Bag Balm. Cover the cracked paw with a sock and secure it with tape around the ankle, not the foot. Monitor your pup’s paw pads daily. You can also try PawTectors® booties which invariably leads to some funny footloose dancing for first-timers.

Is your pupper a rescue like me? Then consider how much time we’ve spent in kennels before finding our fur-ever home with you. Our tender paws are soft and haven’t built up the calluses necessary to cushion our sliding around on pavement and asphalt. Snow dogs in colder climates are especially vulnerable to cracked paw pads. Moisture can freeze between our toes and ground salt can be especially irritating. The good news is that paw pads heal fast, so with some rest, the cracks could well disappear on their own. Just keep an eye on your pup to ensure they aren’t going overboard with the licking. Paw pads need to be kept dry and clean in order to heal. Of course, the best thing for healing is quiet time resting at home, snuggled up on the couch, and being sung sweet little puppy songs.

Peace & Paws,

Intern Blanche

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