HOW TO HEAL CRACKED PAWS ON A DOG
SIGNS OF CRACKED PAW PADS
CAUSES OF DOG PAW CRACKS
To effectively treat cracked paws on a dog, you first need to determine the cause. Here are the most common reasons:
TREATING DRY, CRACKED PAWS
When a dog’s paw pads are cracked, their natural processes can usually take care of healing themselves. Often, all you need to do is to make sure that they’re clean and dry all the time. However, for more severe cases – such as when it’s bleeding – go through the following steps:
Clean each paw with mild, dog-safe soap and warm water.
Step 2:Dry it thoroughly but gently with a towel.
Step 3:Apply an antibiotic or antibacterial ointment to prevent infection and speed up the healing process.
Dress the wound with gauze to allow for better ointment absorption and to protect it from debris. If that’s too difficult, you may use a clean sock secured with paper tape around the ankles. Just make sure you do it carefully so you don’t unwittingly wipe off the ointment as you put it on.
Watch your dog closely and keep them from chewing off or removing the gauze or sock. If necessary, get them a cone.
Clean and dress the wounded paw daily and observe for signs of healing. If it doesn’t improve after a long period of time, don’t hesitate to take your dog to the vet.
PREVENTING CRACKED DOG PAWS
If it’s not caused by any health issues, there are things you can do to minimize your dog’s risk of cracked and irritated paws. The most basic thing to do is to make sure they eat high-quality food that nourishes them with their complete nutritional requirements every day. Apart from that, avoid using harsh chemicals like chlorine and formaldehyde to clean your home.
When it’s hot outside, never leave your dog on a paved yard or driveway. Also, schedule your walks when there’s no risk of burning their paws from the hot pavement. During winter, always make sure to protect their paws before going outside because chemicals that help manage snow on the road can quickly hurt them. You can use paw wax or protective balms. If you can get your dog used to it, dog boots will provide even better protection.
Once you notice any dryness, you can apply soothing paw balm. Never use lotions made for humans on your dog. Not only could these contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, but these could also leave them too moisturized. Soft paws won’t be tough enough to withstand the daily rigors of dog life and could cause even more harm.
Dog-safe paw balms are safe even when licked off. Plus, they’re meant to nourish the paws the way they’re meant to. If you want an inexpensive and guaranteed safe product for paw care, the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society has an easy-to-make DIY paw balm recipe.
Dogs are not likely to complain or show signs of pain until it has progressed, so it’s essential to check their paws regularly. It’s especially important to check for signs of trauma when you’ve just come from outdoors. If caught early, it’s easy to treat dryness and cracking on your own. But you need to be vigilant and always observe your dog for signs of discomfort.