Your dog’s paws are truly amazing. Like a great pair of running shoes, they can take your dog through all kinds of conditions, from the blistering heat of summer sidewalks to the icy roads of winter. The paw pads provide support, enhance traction and act as shock absorbers for your dog’s bones and joints. They also contain scent and sweat glands that enable him to mark his territory.
But, unlike running shoes, your dog’s paws need some TLC to ensure they don’t get dry, cracked, blistered or infected. And it’s not just cold or hot weather that can affect your dog’s paws.
Causes of Cracked Dog Paws
Your dog may end up limping because he stepped on a thorn or sharp object, ran around for a long time on a rough surface, or otherwise cut or scraped his paws. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need to make a quick trip to your vet.
Dogs who have chronically irritated feet may be suffering from allergies to pollen, yeast, food ingredients, mold or mites. This makes the feet itchy, and your dog will lick and chew her paws until the skin becomes red and infected. To arrest this issue, you will need to get to the source of the allergy and find a way to eliminate or reduce your dog’s exposure to it.
Dogs with hormonal imbalances or autoimmune disease may have a predisposition to get cracked, bleeding or swollen paws because their bodies don’t fight off foreign cells as well, and they have a limited ability to generate repair and replacement of cells in the paws. (Paw cells must have a good blood supply and be able to replace cells at a high rate in order to be healthy). Either of these conditions require veterinary care to diagnose and treat.
How can I treat cracked, dry or bleeding paws?
If your dog’s paw pads have minor cracks (small fissures or cracks in the paw pads) or they seem dry, but she’s not limping or bleeding, you can treat these at home yourself. First, make sure they’re clean. Then use a gentle but potent anti-bacterial product like Banixx Pet Care spray – just spray it on and let it dry. This is an especially good solution, as it sets up a hostile environment for any bacteria that loves to set up house in your dog’s cracked paws.
This may be followed by an application of Banixx Wound Care Cream that serves not only as another gentle antimicrobial layer but contains moisturizing marine collagen and aloe to rejuvenate and replenish the paw tissue. This may be re-applied on a regular basis until the cracks are gone.
If things have gone to the next level and the cracks in the paw pads are bleeding or you see open wounds, then it’s definitely time to get them looked at by a veterinarian. Don’t let things deteriorate to the point where you see that your dog’s paw pads are bleeding more heavily, there are missing sections, or you notice a terrible smell. If this happens, infection may have set in, and the vet may need to prescribe an expensive medication and even provide a (dreaded) cone to ensure your dog doesn’t lick her paws.
Banixx Pet Care spray and Banixx Wound Care Cream can be part of the package that helps restore the pads to good health, and rest assured, these can be applied in conjunction with any medication that your Vet prescribes.
How can I prevent dry cracked dog paws?
If your dog is licking or chewing his paws, that’s one sign that there may be an injury or irritant. Check the paws, make sure there’s no foreign body in there, and then use Banixx Pet Care to soothe irritation and aid in the recovery process. The sooner you notice an issue and start working to alleviate it, the less chance of infection – so daily monitoring of your dog’s feet is a great habit to get into.
Practice good grooming
Groom your dog’s paws on a regular basis by keeping the nails clipped and hair trimmed between the paw pads to prevent matting (which can be another source of irritation to the paw pads). Check regularly (even after every walk) for debris like pebbles and grass/grass seeds that can get caught in your dog’s paw pads. Clean out anything you find by putting your dog’s paw in a bowl of warm water to dislodge it, or using tweezers.
Take note of seasonal weather changes
Being too cold or too hot can cause the paw pads to crack, blister, chap and bleed. You can use boots in both summer and winter, though not all dogs will accept wearing them. In winter, check her paws after walks out in the snow and ice, and wipe them down afterward with a moisturizing product like Banixx.
Road salt can get into any paw cracks and cause intense pain and/or infection, something you definitely want to avoid. Then again, during summer months, try not to walk her during the hottest part of the day, and try to find grass to walk on, rather hot pavement, rocky ground or hot sand. It’s important to note that when the outside air temperature is only 77 degrees, hot asphalt, in the sun, has been measured as high as 125 degrees.
Moreover, you can fry and egg at 131 degrees!! So, in summer, just imagine how your dog feels as you drag him along to the farmers market or outdoor festival being held on asphalt. During these more intense months, whether it’s a cold intensity or hot, when you come in from your walk, check the paws and wipe them down.
Just like with humans, moisturizing can prevent painful cracks and bleeding. Using Banixx Wound Care Cream on a regular basis will keep those pads soft and healthy. Just apply it to the paw pads and massage it gently between the paw pads, up in between each toe and the back of the paw. It’s important your dog not lick off the Banixx, as the longer it stays in contact with the dog’s paw, the more effective it is – so after applying, try distracting her with a treat, a game or a toy.
Remember, most problems with cracked or dry dog paws can be handled by you at home – but make sure you consult with your veterinarian if you notice deep cracks with excessive bleeding or oozing, crusting, or an obvious injury like a bleeding cut or missing pad. And if you suspect that allergies or health issues are the cause of your dog’s sore paws, you’ll need to visit the vet to get to the bottom of it.
Healthy dogs need healthy feet. Take care of them as you would your own.