A good dog paw balm or dog paw moisturizer may be more important to have in your home than a regular hand moisturizer. At certain times of the year, or walking on rough surfaces, can make your pup’s pads dry and raspy.
We, as dog lovers have all experienced a raspy paw pat from our furry friends a time or two. There is nothing worse than feeling like your knee has been exfoliated after your dog has given you their version of a love pat.
A good paw balm or moisturizer will help you to combat a case of the dry raspies.
What Causes a Dog’s Paws To Become Dry?
There are four main reasons a dog’s paws can become dry. Allergies, exposure to chemicals, walking on hot surfaces and walking on cold surfaces.
A lot of dogs have allergies of some kind. Environmental (like doggy hayfever) or food-related. Allergies make their paws itchy, resulting in a lot of nibbling.
Exposure to Chemicals
Your dog can be exposed to chemicals without you even realizing it. Things such as garden fertilizers, de-icing salts in winter or household cleaners when mopping your floor, these can stick to your pup’s paws.
Dogs clean their feet by licking them, sometimes several times a day. As they lick, they swallow, ingesting whatever they have on their feet. Not only can the chemicals cause dry paws, but may make them sick. A paw washer is a quick and easy way to wipe off any unwanted foreign matter.
Tougher pads are necessary for your dog to walk in warmer weather, but the problem is they can also become dry and raspy from loss of moisture.
Be careful not to burn your dogs feet by strolling on too hot surfaces, such as rocks or pavements.
You may not realize just how toasty the ground can be in summer, so the best way to test if it is too hot, is to take off your shoe and stand on the path barefoot for five seconds.
If your foot burns, it will be too hot for your pups feet and would be best to wait until later for your daily exercise. Alternatively, your dog can wear booties. Walking on rough surfaces such as sidewalks will toughen your dog’s pads to help protect them.
Just like if a person walks around with no shoes on outside, the skin will naturally thicken.
Having tough paws is not always a bad thing, but if they become too hard, they may crack, causing pain and in extreme cases, infections.
Walking in cold weather is fine for short amounts of time. The danger is, if you both stay out too long, the fur between your dog’s toes can freeze, causing ice balls between your dog’s pads and toes.
Long-haired pups suffer more than short-haired breeds. Most people use de-icing salts on their walkways and pavements. While it is a good idea to keep snow-melt down, the salts, when combined with ice, react causing the snow to burn your dog’s feet. Coating your dogs’s feet and nose in a paw balm before heading out can help add extra protection.
Pet safe ice melt or dog booties can also be a good solution to keeping your dog’s paws healthy.
A dog’s pads are a good indicator of their health. If they are extremely dry, your pup may be lacking something in their diet, or itchy can mean allergies.
If you are concerned about your dogs paws at any time, you should seek veterinary advice.
How to Help Your Dog If They Have Dry Paws
There are many things you can do to help your dog. Deep paw massages, regular cleaning PAW WASHER CUP INTERNAL LINK, even finding new walking routes or dog parks can help to keep their paws healthy. However, a good paw moisturizer is a sure-fire way to enjoy soft paws.
How To Apply A Paw Balm
There are a few different ways to apply a paw balm. The easiest is to place your finger in the pot and melt it with your body heat. Once you have a sufficient amount, gently dap and rub it in. The link below will show you how.
What are Dog Paw Moisturizers?
Much like your hand or face moisturizer, a dog paw moisturizer can help to keep your dog’s paws well-hydrated and healthy. They can help prevent cracks and bleeding, which are common occurrences, especially during colder climates.
Although they serve the same purpose in terms of maintenance, paw moisturizers are vastly different from what humans use. The ingredients in human moisturizers can be very toxic to dogs, so it is best to stick with ones made specifically for dogs.
Different Types of Moisturizers
There are five main types of moisturizers for dog paws: balms, butters, soothers, waxes, and lotions. They all provide the same outcome, the only difference between them is absorption rates and texture.
Your dog might not like the first moisturizer you use, whether it is the scent, texture or taste. Don’t be discouraged, try another brand or type. It will be worth the effort of finding what your dog prefers, and you will be rewarded with softer, non-exfoliating pats from your furry friend.
What Ingredients to Avoid
The ingredients you should try to avoid rubbing in your dog’s paws (providing your vet hasn’t advised it) are preferably anything that is not a natural substance.
Not only will your pup lick his or her paws, therefore ingesting whatever you put on them, but any chemicals in the product will also be absorbed through their pads, therefore into the bloodstream.
Make sure to read the back of the packet to view the ingredients. This is not to say that the chemically formulated moisturizers don’t work, but rather to give you a natural alternative.
The chemical-based moisturizers typically are derived from 3 sources. Hydrocortisone (a steroid for external use) diclofenac (also known as Voltaren) and petroleum, which is then refined into petroleum jelly (also known as vaseline).
How to Pick the Right Dog Paw Balm
Assuming that you can’t sample all five types, consider opting for natural or organic first. That way, even if your dog licks it off, at least they won’t be ingesting anything harmful.
Some dogs may be allergic even to some organic ingredients, so keep a close eye on them to make sure the type or brand agrees with your dog. Although it is tempting, you shouldn’t make your dog’s paws too soft either. They still need to be able to walk on rough surfaces and if they are too soft, that can invite the risk of injury, as well.
How Important are Pricing and Brands?
There are many brands on the market. The best way to decide which one to try, is to read the product reviews. There are always positive and negative reviews, and by reading both, you should get a good indication of if it works, if the pups like it and if it is good value for money.
Keep in mind that different dog breeds can have different requirements. You can’t put a price on your furry friend’s health, but more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean a better product. Doing research can be time-consuming, but if it helps you find the product that works best for your dog, the extra effort is worth it.
So, have you decided to start using a dog paw balm on you dog? Let me know in the comments. Do you have a friend or family member who’s pooch needs some paw love, send them this article. The dog will love you for it.