When your favorite part of the day is going for a walk to explore the neighborhood, it’s no fun when you’ve got sore cracked paws!
Cold winter weather is hard on your dog’s footpads, because they are constantly in contact with cold sidewalks and snowy grass. The result is painful fissures in his pads which may bleed and become infected.
There are steps you can take to treat splits in your dog’s footpds, and prevent them recurring.
Cure those Cracked Pads
It’s important that you look closely at your dog’s pads often. That way you find any splits early, and can start treatment straight away.
If the cracks look at all infected, take your dog to your vet for a checkup. Infection can delay healing, and he may need antibiotics to clear it up. He may also need a bandage to protect his foot as he recovers.
If your dog’s pads are only mildly cracked, you can take care of them yourself at home. Clean his pad gently with a mild antiseptic such as iodine scrub, and dry his foot thoroughly. Apply bowWOW Butter Balm to his pads to help heal and condition his skin. It not only contains shea butter and other natural oils to moisturize his skin,but also coconut oil and tea tree oil which can help to control infection. Marshmallow extract and calendula will soothe the irritation in his skin, and have him feeling comfortable very quickly.
Providing your dog isn’t limping, you can continue to take him for walks as normal. Just be careful; sometimes salt is sprinkled on icy footpaths to make it melt, and this salt will be very painful if it gets into the crack in his footpad.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
It’s worth while taking a few minutes after your walk to care for your dog’s pads; by doing that you can prevent painful fissures from developing.
When you return from your outing, bathe his feet with warm water to clean away any salt that has stuck to his paws. This will also remove any chemical ice melting products that may have been used on the roads. These aren’t good for your dog, and you don’t want him to lick them off his paws. It will also allow you to have a good look at his feet for any injuries that need more attention.
Massage bowWOW Butter Balm well into each paw as a preventative, to help stop his pads from splitting.
You can purchase booties for your dog, and these may be useful if you plan on walking over rough ground or going for longer outings in the snow. He may take a little while to feel comfortable in them, and may try and kick them off or walk with a funny gait. Booties are very handy, not only to protect his feet and stop him developing splits in his pads, but to protect any existing cracks as they heal. There are so many styles of booties available, you’re sure to find a pair that suits your dog’s personality.
Cracks in the footpads are your dog’s least favorite part of winter. Fortunately, they usually heal quickly, and it won’t be long before you’re again sharing winter adventures.