While we need to protect our feet from the ground, dogs have their own built-in shoes: their paw pads. However, dog paws can get injured and get sore like our feet, but in many ways are more connected to their overall health. As such, their paws are the first place you should check if your furry friend is wailing louder than a toddler who just dropped their full ice cream cone on the ground.
Paw pads do a lot of work for dogs including protecting tissue deep within their paws, provide insulation against extreme weather, help them walk on rough ground, and provide cushioning to protect bones and joints from shock. When they do all that, preventing injuries to their pads to help your dog live a long happy life is very important.
Why Is My Dog Licking/Chewing Their Paws?
If your dog is licking their paw there could be a number of reasons why they’re doing so:
During the winter the salt and de-icing chemicals can be hard on your dog’s paws. Oftentimes snow can also get compacted into ice balls and matted into their pads as well, making it uncomfortable for them to walk on them and can even cut into their pads over time. Untreated, the chemicals can also cause dog paw blisters and sores over time.
The best treatment is to wash your dog’s feet with warm water after a winter walk to remove the chemicals and/or ice balls. Prevent your dog from having these issues while walking with doggie boots.
For a robust solution to preventing dog paw injuries (and not having to put on and take off dog boots every time) Dr. Maggie’s Paw Protector Paw Wax uses natural ingredients and creates a hard barrier to salt, snow, and ice. During the hot summer months, regular use of the wax helps to maintain the normal moisture content of the skin, protecting pads from hot asphalt and rough terrain and keeps their pads moisturized.
My Dog Is Just Licking One Paw, What Could That Mean?
If they are limping on just one paw, that could mean there is a cut, or, if the pad doesn’t seem to be injured, it could be a muscle or tendon issue that’s not visible. If the cut can’t be treated by first aid done by you, it’s best to take them to the vet as soon as possible. The same goes for any tendon or muscle issues. Prevent future cuts by keeping your home and yard clean of any broken glass or sharp objects.
Licking could also be caused by boredom or anxiety. In both cases, it’s best to take your dogs on walks or playing fetch with them daily. Interaction with other dogs can also be good for them, so search out the best trails where they can encounter other dogs.
Your dog is on their feet almost the entire day so checking up on their paws will be the simplest way to tell if something is wrong with them and keep your pooch happy.