Dealing With Your Dog’s Cracked Paws

Dealing With Your Dog’s Cracked Paws

Cracked dog paws are more common than you think. They are even more common in areas that are extremely hot or extremely cold. Luckily, they can be healed and maintained so your dog will not have to experience that painful ordeal again.

What causes cracked paws?

Besides living in an area where the ground or pavement is extremely hot or cold, dogs may develop cracked, rough or dry paws due to ice melt, pesticides, and any other chemical applied to lawns or any area of the ground on which your pet walks.

You can tell your dog has cracked paws if he/she has swollen paws, is limping, or is constantly licking his/her paws. More subtle signs include reluctance to go on walks and lethargy.

This can all be treated at home, however, if you notice there is no change, contact the vet immediately, as cracked paws are associated with several medical conditions including autoimmune diseases and liver disease.

Treating and Preventing cracked paws

Cracked paws may be treated and prevented with:

  • Dog paw balm which is sold in pet stores. Try to find one with Vitamin E, as this supports paw health. If you have Vitamin E oil at home, it may be used as a substitute. Ensure your dog does not lick his/her paws after application. This can be done by using a recovery cone or keeping him busy with an interactive treat dispenser.
  • Dog paw protection- If you live in an area that makes your dog especially susceptible to cracked paws, try to limit outdoor activity in weather that is extremely hot or cold. You may also consider using dog boots to keep their paws safe.
  • Dog paw washer- Washing your dog’s paws after going outside helps to remove any potential irritants that dry out the paws and causes cracking.
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