Paws

April 12, 2012

Why is it important to keep the feet clean

It is important to keep the feet and paws of your dog clean. The reason is because dogs are not aware of where they are walking. It makes no difference to them whether they are walking across clean grass or the most disgusting mud. If the mud is wet, it usually presents no problem. However, when the mud dries, this can cause much irritation to the paws. Many problems can result if a dog’s paws are not kept clean. It is possible that skin infections can occur. This can cause the dog to begin chewing on its paws, which can cause even more infections. That is why it is so important to keep the paws clean because the situation could quickly go from bad to worse.

Facts about the dogs foot

The paws of a dog are used to pad their feet when walking. The paws also help reduce friction. A dog paw consists of five different parts. These are the claw, digital pads, metacarpal pad, dew claw, and the carpal pad. The pads serve as a cushion for the load bearing limbs of the dog. The paw is made up of a large metacarpal pad on the forelimb and the metatarsal pad on the rear limb. Usually there are also four load bearing digital pads. On the forelimb is found a carpal pad, which is useful for providing the dog with additional traction when needed. Dew claws can also be found on the inside part of the front dog legs and sometimes on the hind legs.

The dog’s paws help the animal absorb shock when walking, provides traction, and is very helpful for digging. Rough pads help the dog get better traction which helps with sprinting and making fast turns.

Different types of dogs have different types of paws. Some breeds have what is referred to as cat feet. This describes compact feet that is caused by short third digital bones. This type of paw helps the dog to conserve energy, which helps their endurance. Some examples of dogs with this type of feet are the Bull Terrier, Old English Sheepdog, Doberman Pinscher and the Akita.

Many of the toy breeds have elongated hare feet. Usually the side toes are shorter than the two center toes. Examples of dogs with this type of feet include the Greyhound, Samoyed, and Skye Terrier.

In most cases, breeds that spend time in water have webbed feet. These include the Portuguese Water Dog and Newfoundland.

A dog is similar to a horse in the manner in which it walks. A dog walks on its toes. This is unlike a human who walks on his soles. The front limb of a dog works in a similar manner as the human arm, shoulder, upper arm, and foreman. The dog’s paw is very useful. It provides the dog with traction and also allows it to absorb shock when walking and running.

What can cause a dog to have problems with its paws?

Well, if we as humans were to walk around all the time without shoes or other covering our feet, we can imagine the problems we would encounter. There are some obvious paw problems a dog will experience depending on the terrain. Other issues are not so obvious. Particularly if a dog lives in the city, you need to be on the lookout for debris, such as glass, that could injure the dog. Even rural areas contain dangers that could injure your dog’s paws. For example, rocky areas could contain sharp rocks that could cause injury. Also, many rural roads contain gravel surfaces. This can cause painful injuries for the paws of a dog. During the summer months, pavement and concrete become very hot and that can be quite painful for a dog to walk on. During the winter months, ice and even road salt can cause damage to the paws.

Cleaning the paws

Each week you should have a maintenance routine for your dog. Part of the routine should be the maintenance of the paws. This includes examine the paws very carefully. Look for unusual bumps or cuts on both the top and bottom of the paw. It is also recommend that you look and feel in between the toes for cuts or bruises. Certain breeds of dogs also tend to get digital cysts.

When taking care of the paws of your dog, you should also consider the sensitivity of your own pet. Different pets have different sensibility levels. Active owners who often run with their dogs may find an increased sensitivity in their pet because of the constant activity and movement. It is recommended when you first begin walking or running with your dog, you should start out slow and allow them to get used to it and build up an endurance. Don’t forget that some dogs will continue with an activity even when it is uncomfortable or painful for them. Responsible pet owners will remember this when beginning a new exercise routine with their dogs.

How can you help your dog with various paw problems?

Here are some suggestions for various situation that your dog may face:

Cuts

If your dog has suffered a cut on its paw, it is important to clean the wound. Then you should use a disinfectant for dogs that will prevent potential infection and encourage healing. Some disinfectants are made of natural ingredients and have proven to be effective in treating cuts.

Debris

In order to remove debris from your dog’s paws, it is recommended that you first soak the foot in warm water for 10 – 15 minutes. This will help to soften the skin, which will help the debris be removed easier.

Infections

If your dog has gotten an infection in its paw, there are specific medicinal products that be be used to treat this. Make sure your follow each products recommended dosage. If the infection does not get better in a reasonable amount of time, it is advisable to take your dog to the vet.

Snow, ice and salt

Removing salt from your dog’s paws is very important. During the winter months, your dog has to deal with snow, ice and salt that is found on various highways and roads. Salt tends to dissolve in between the toes of the dog. Salt, bacteria, and humidity is a bad combination for a dog. It can be painful and cause putrefaction, infections. Even though it is time consuming, the only real way to protect him is to clean his paws after each walk. Wash the paws with warm water. Either a washcloth can be used or simply put the entire paw in a container or bowl of warm water. This will wash away any residue. If you live in an area where snow is common, then make sure you remove snow or ice that accumulates on your pet’s paws.

Mats

Mats from your dog’s paws should be removed because they can become very painful. Depending on the severity of the problem, clippers could be used to remove matting that has become severe. Be very careful when doing this so that you don’t cause pain or injury to the dog. If you are inexperienced, it is recommend you take your pet to the veterinarian.

Mud

You can use warm water and soap to remove the majority of the mud. After you have taken care of each paw, dry them off using an towel. At that point, you can normally remove most of the remaining mud. In the hot summer months, you could even use a hose to soak the dog and clean him. It is highly recommended that the mud is removed before it hardens.

Sores

Sores can lead to infection if they are not treated promptly and correctly. There are a number of natural remedies that can be used. These products can be effective in treating cuts and sores. It can also condition the paws to be less likely to get sores in the future.

In order to prevent sores from forming on the paws, it may be a good idea to use dog booties. Paw injuries tend to heal very slowly so if your dog already has a paw injury, dog booties can still be helpful. You can also use paw wax to further the healing of an injured paw. Paw wax coats the paw, softens and protects it. It is particularly helpful if the paws are dry and cracked.

At times you may not be able to give your dog the care it needs. If your dog has a severe injury, it is recommended you take it to a vet. In the meantime, keep the paws as clean as possible, Bandage the paw and change the bandages on a regular basis. Try your best to keep your dog off his feet as much as possible. After doing these things and the paw has still not improved in a reasonable amount of time, then you will want to take it to a vet.

When taking care of your dog’s paws, it is important to keep the hair on the paws cut regularly. The main reason for this is because the hair tends to accumulate humidity and it prevents air circulation. It is also recommended that the hair between the toes be cut. This will help keep the paws to remain dry and healthy. It is recommended to use the rounded tip scissors and cut the hair following the outline of the toes. After cutting the hair and other debris out, if the dog continues to get debris in and around the paws, then you may want to find out the area where the dog is picking up the debris. The goal is to keep your dog away from those areas. If that is simply not possible, you could use oil or wax that is designed to coat the paws. This will help prevent mud and other debris from easily sticking on the paws. Another option is to let your dog wear dog booties.

If your dog gets sores or infections in their paws, you could use a natural remedy to treat these injuries. Not only will it help fight the infection, it will condition the feet so that future injuries are less likely.

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