With all of the wet weather that has occurred in the last two or three months, caring for your dog’s feet has assumed new importance. Even indoor dogs must go outside to use the facilities, so your dog is at risk, too. How do you care for your dog’s feet and make sure they stay healthy? Here are two hazards and ways to avoid them.
Because there are puddles of water everywhere that hide nails, rusty bits of metal, glass, or other sharp objects, dogs frequently cut their pads. These cuts usually bleed like there is no tomorrow. A small amount of bleeding will help flush the wound. Much else, though, needs to be addressed.
First, clean the foot. Use soap and water to get all the dirt off of the cut. If the cut continues to bleed, use a clotting product such as “quik stop” to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding will not stop, call your veterinarian for instructions. Dogs have problems when they lose too much blood jut as humans do. Bandaging the food is pretty useless. Most dogs whip the bandage off in less time than it takes you to put it on. Just keep an eye on your dog and make sure the paw is healing properly. Long walks are probably out until the healing process is well along, as well.
As much rain as has fallen, mud is everywhere. Aside from ascetic problems with a mud covered dog, letting your dog run and play in a muddy area is dangerous. The dog can slip and blow out a knee, tear muscles, ligaments, or cartilage, or cut themselves on a sharp object It is best to keep the dog on lead and under control when in muddy areas. This can be difficult in the rain and mud, but is better than your dog getting hurt. Letting your dogs out one at a time instead of letting the whole pack out at once can cut down on the pushing, shoving, and running that might cause a slip.
Rainy, muddy days are no fun for anyone. Having to keep your dog inside is like being stuck in an elevator with a sugared-up three year old. However, care must still be taken when letting your dog out to avoid damage to the dog’s paws. You dog will not take care the way he should. It is up to you to do it for him.