The stress pads of dog paws are subjected to is quite significant. Cases when cracks appear on them are not uncommon in veterinary practice, moreover, dogs often wash them literally to the point of bleeding. Why is this phenomenon dangerous, can it be avoided, and what to do in such cases? This is where cracked dog paws home remedies come to the rescue.
The causes of cracks
First of all, you need to understand that the pads are kind of natural shock absorbers, the role of which is to reduce the load on the legs and the entire body. This is especially true for service breeds who have to move and run a lot on a hard surfaces.
It also happens that dog owners, in an effort to introduce their canine friend to work assignments, begin to walk and train them intensively. Such practice increases the risk that paw pads quickly become covered with cracks, which cause considerable discomfort, even lameness, and pain.
Hot asphalt, ice, snow, as well as reagents used to treat roads in the cold season, cause considerable harm to the paws as well. Snow crystals, sticking to the pads, injure the paws, chemicals penetrate into the cuts, the skin on these parts of the body becomes dry, rough, often red, then cracks appear on it.
Some dog breeds have paw pads that are naturally so soft and gentle that the use of special shoes during walks becomes not a whim, not a tribute to fashion, but an important necessity to act as a protection from all types of chemicals.
In addition, the pads are very sensitive to changes in nutrition, in particular to the lack of nutrients such as zinc and selenium. If they are absent in the dog’s diet, then the cracks on the dog’s paw pads will not take long to develop.
In summary, the reasons contributing to the appearance of cracks include hard road surfaces, climatic conditions and poor animal care (improper feeding, lack of water and, as a result, dehydration). With the elimination of these factors, the paws may well revert to normal healthy conditions.
Cracked dog paws home remedies
The first thing to do if cracks are found in a dog’s paw pads is to limit the dog’s activity. After a while, the pads will heal on their own. However, care must be taken to prevent the dog from licking the pads, since a dog’s tongue contains a massive amount of bacteria which will induce development of the inflammatory process.
If your dog’s paw pads are cracked and bleeding, first rinse them under running water and remove dirt and blood with a gauze swab. It is not recommended to use cotton pads, since cotton wool can get stuck into the cuts between the pads and contribute to the occurrence of abscesses. Then the damaged area is treated with a disinfectant solution such hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate or furacilin.
After the paws have cleaned and disinfected it is advisable to lubricate them with a fat cream to prevent dryness of the skin. For these purposes, any type of cream for babies, sold at the drug store and intended to lubricate the skin is suitable. You can also buy a special ointment with beeswax in veterinary pharmacies, which is good for prevention (especially in cold weather) and for treating cracked paws. If the crack is strong, then the paw should be bandaged and the bandage changed on a periodic basis.
Zinc ointment can be a very effective treatment, but it is not recommended to use for an extended period of time, as it can severely dry the skin on the paws.
It is necessary to revise the dog’s diet, because the problem could be caused by improper nutrition, lack of vitamins and microelements, as mentioned above.
Dry paw pads can also be lubricated with nourishing shea butter and a gentle massage.
More serious paw pad conditions
In some cases, cracked dog paws home remedies may not be sufficient. If, in addition to cracks, the dog’s paws turn red, swollen and inflamed, then your dog should immediately be taken to the veterinarian. After examining the dog, he will prescribe the appropriate treatment and tell you how to smear the paws.
But it is strictly forbidden to prescribe drugs on your own, especially antibiotics, this can only harm your dog’s health condition.
Any disease is easier to prevent than to treat later. Factors that lead to cracking of the paw pads in a dog can be avoided by following these simple prevention measures:
After walking, wash your dog’s paws with clean water without using soap, then wipe them dry.
There are often cases when the dog tore off the pad on the paw due to excessively long claws, so make sure you keep his claws at the right length by trimming on a periodic basis.
Monitor nutrition, include vitamin E, Zinc and selenium in the diet, after consulting a veterinarian.
Hydrate your dog, by providing him with fresh water he can easily have access to all day long.
After washing floors using household chemicals, rinse the surface with clean water.
From time to time, lubricate the limbs with beeswax or zinc ointment.
For dogs with very delicate skin on the paw pads, your dog should put on special shoes for his walks on the street or sidewalk, so that the limbs do not crack and swell. It is especially recommended to wear boots during the cold season, when reagents are scattered on the roads.
However, do not try to make the paw pads too soft, like a baby’s, as this will make them even more vulnerable.