Paw & Pad Care

Posted by Holly Veith on

Through our local dog community on Facebook I found an event in my area that I knew my dog Whiskey would love.  This event was at a waterpark.  You know those fun water parks for kids that dump buckets of water on you.  For the month of October, TY Park in Hollywood, Florida closes their water park to rugrats and opens it to our furry friends. The park is open every Saturday and Sunday in October from nine to five for dogs and costs five dollars for a fifty minute session. 

When we arrived I thought Whiskey would enjoy two fifty minute sessions.  We have a pool at home that he swims in every chance he gets so I thought he would do well with a longer session.  He was doing great until I saw bloody paw prints on the pool deck.  What I did not realize was that Whiskey’s paws were softening up as he ran around the pool deck and through the water playing with the other dogs.  At home he spends lots of time in the pool swimming, not running around in the shallows of a cement beach or on the pavement chasing after other dogs.  Take yourself back to when you were a young kid and spent hours in the pool.  I have fond memories of my childhood days in a pool but not so fond memories of the raw toes from climbing in and out of the water.  Once we noticed the minor limp and the spots of blood on the pool deck, we had to cut Whiskey’s fun short and care for his paws.  The issue was mostly on his front two paws.  It was minor, but there was a spot on each of his front paws where the middle pad had been scraped off.  It looked like a small blister on each of his paws.  After making sure his paws were clean, we dried him off and headed home.  We also decided to only do one water park session in the future.

Once we got home he was limping around and just wanted to sleep.  I think he was exhausted from all the swimming and running around with all his dog friends.  I decided to do a bit of research on what I needed to do to help his pads heal.  He had no current bleeding so from everything I read, I just needed to keep them clean.  If I took him for a walk I needed to put on a loose sock and tape the top so that it stayed on.  I also kept a close eye for a day or two to make sure no infection developed.  After four days he was running around again and seemed to be much better. I also read an article about a product called Pad Tough that a lot of hunters use to toughen up dogs pads to help keep them safe from injury.  I ordered some, so I will do a review of the product once I use it.

For now I will be more aware when I take him out.  They sell dog booties that I could use, but I know my dog, and he would probably not be down with the booties.  Healthy paws are important for a dog.  After all, they carry all the dog’s weight and are important to their daily activities.  Your dog's paws are the shock absorbers of your dog's body.  According to https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/paw-care-tips-dogs#1rature, a dog's pads tell them what kind of surface the dog is walking on and they also help to regulate a dog's body temperature.  Pad care is very important to a dog's health and well being.  Below is an infographic with tips on how to keep your four legged friend happy and healthy! 

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