Keeping Your Dog’s Feet Healthy.
4 Tips for Keeping Your Dog’s Feet Healthy
Keeping your dog’s feet healthy is essential in keeping your dog healthy
Imagine if your feet weren’t healthy! Consider the following tips to help keep your dog’s feet healthy.
Keeping your dog’s feet healthy can be hard. Is your dog eating right? Is she getting enough exercise? How are her bones and her joints? Sometimes it is so easy to focus on our dog’s major issues like her diet, or play schedule, that we overlook the little things, like her feet. Keeping your dog’s feet healthy is essential in keeping your dog healthy, imagine if your feet weren’t healthy! Consider the following tips to help keep your dog’s feet healthy.
1. Your dog’s outdoor activities
One of the first steps in keeping your dog’s feet healthy is to consider what your dog does with her feet. Does she spend all day inside with a few trips out to your manicured lawn, or does she spend the day hiking in water and snow and ice? Either way is okay, you just need to know what your dog’s feet are up against. Obviously, the more dirt, and mud, and snow, and ice, and pavement your dog’s feet come into contact with, the more likely your dog is to injure her feet. If your dog spends most of her time in the lawn, she has a much smaller chance of injuring her feet.
2. What can injure your dog’s feet?
Pretty much everything can injure your dog’s feet. Everything from sticks, to ice, to water, to pavement, to trash, to glass and beyond, are risks for your dog’s paws. Dog’s paws are designed to withstand a fair amount of damage, but our modern environment sometimes provides dangers that your dog’s paws can’t defend against. If you live in a city, your dog can easily step on something like discarded trash, metal, or broken glass and that can cut her feet. What is more, is that dogs have many major tendons running through their feet and a single cut can injure those tendons and cause serious damage. If you spend most of your time on trails or in the backcountry, your dog can also injure her feet. Sticks, rocks, and even water and ice can cut her feet, and potentially injure those tendons as well.
3. Water and Ice
As I mentioned, water and ice pose a threat to your dog’s feet. This may seem strange, but it isn’t, especially for dogs with particularly furry toes. When dog’s play in water and snow and ice, that fur between their toes collects water. The heat that your dog’s body generates causes that water to warm, or in the case of ice and snow melt. Then if it is cold out, the air temperature causes the water to cool down. Eventually your dog will develop ice clumps between her toes. These clumps can cut her feet, and they often cause discomfort. If you are out for a walk in the snow and you notice your dog biting at her feet, she is most likely trying to pull the ice clumps from her feet. If you live in a warm area, and your dog often tromps around in water, that water that gets between her toes will warm and can develop into a yeast infection.
4. What to do to keep your dog’s feet healthy
The first thing to do when monitoring your dog’s foot health is to identify any injuries. Is your dog limping, or licking at a specific spot? If so, she might have a cut. It is better if your dog does not lick at the cut, however monitoring your dog 24/7 can be difficult. There are ways to prevent foot damage however. One basic way is to trim the fur between your dog’s toes. If your dog has less fur between her toes, she has less chance of developing ice clumps between them, or if you live in a warmer climate, yeast infections. Another preventative measure is to invest in dog booties. Dog booties are essentially shoes for dogs. These can help prevent injuries in a variety of environments. Some dog booties are designed for snow, while others are designed for running on pavement. If you often run with your dog in areas that have broken glass or uneven ground, you may want to invest in some running booties. One word of advice when buying booties is to take your dog to the store to try them on. Most stores who sell booties will allow dogs in the store to try them on. You want to make sure that the bootie is not too big for your dog. While it may seem like bigger booties would prevent blisters or other cramping related injuries, if you get your dog booties which are too big, they won’t stay on while your dog runs or plays
5. Tendon and ligament recovery
If your dog does injure a tendon or ligament, you need to go to your vet. The dog may require surgery. One way to help a dog with injured tendons or ligaments recover is to consider getting your dog a memory foam dog bed. Memory foam beds are orthopedic, and can help your dog recover in the event of such an injury.