Paws are a fascinating part of a dog which can easily be overlooked. There is so much going on underneath the fur of a dog’s paw that you may have never realized! Pet owners should take high importance in understanding how their dog’s paws have an impact on their overall health. Please take a moment to review our PAWesome tips so that you are headed in the right direction.
- The Components – A dog’s paw consists of five different parts working together with unique functions. The nails on a dog are known as claws. Below the claws are what we like to call digital pads (one for each claw). In the middle of the paw and underneath the digital pads are the metacarpal pads. There may be a little claw off to the side which resembles a thumb. This is known as the dewclaw. The carpal pad is the final component of a dog’s paw. Think of this as a heel in human terms. The purpose of the carpal pad is to help the dog stop if they are going at a quick speed and/or moving down a slope. The digital and metacarpal pads act as a support function for the weight of the dog, which helps lessen the stress of their bones and joints.
- Essential Care – Taking proper care of paws is crucial to the well-being of your dog. Nails can break, pads can get scraped, and the skin between your dog’s claws can get infected. Trimming your dog’s nails is something that should be completed often. Long nails can be painful for dogs. When nails are repeatedly hitting a hard surface, the dog’s toe joint is more likely to become injured.
- Allergies & Infections – You must be on the lookout for allergies and infections. A clear indicator of the problem is if your dog is constantly biting or licking their paws. Look and see if there is excess redness or swelling. This can be due to a seasonal pollen, fungus in the dirt, or even a cut from a rock. If you are unable to determine the main problem, then we recommend that you contact your veterinarian.
- Massage & Moisturize – The bottom of a dog’s paw pads will secrete perspiration for a variety of reasons including to cool down, in times of stress, and when their pads are dried out. This is where you come in. Grab a dog-friendly moisturizing wax and massage the paws. This will not only feel great to your pup, but it will increase the flow of fluids and circulation!