Caring for Cracked Paw Pads

It’s winter time again and your pet’s feet are suffering. Ice, rock salt and snow can lead to dry cracked paw pads. Paw pads are a difficult thing to heal because your pet is constantly walking on them, each time your pet walks on them the area splits open again, so how to do you help his paw pads heal?

With just a little bit of first aid and TLC, you pet can be up and running again in no time. The most important thing to help heal the paw pad is to keep it clean and dry. You will want to clean the wound with an antiseptic wash a few times a day. Then apply some neosporin and then cover the wound with gauze. You can wrap it with vet tape or an ace bandage to keep the gauze in place, you might also want to cover it with a dog bootie. If the wound doesn’t start to heal in a couple of days, visit your veterinarian.

To prevent your pet’s paws from cracking and bleeding, you want to keep them moist and protected. You can apply some Protecta-Pad by Tomlyn each time your pet goes out to keep the salt off your pet’s pads. You can also use dog booties, such as Pawz, if your pet will tolerate them.

Each time your pet comes in from outside, be sure to wipe his paws off, especially any snow that is caked between his toes. This will help remove any salt that may have gotten on him while he was out.

Tips to keep your pet safe in winter

In light of the wonderful weather we’re having around here (snow, then ice, then more snow). Here are some winter pet care tips I’ve gathered from around the ‘net.

  1. Keep your pets indoors as much as possible. Even pets can suffer from hypothermia. If you can’t keep your pet indoors provide ample shelter that is well insulated and if possible, heated.
  2. Keep water from freezing with a heated bowl and make sure that fresh water is always available.
  3. Stray animals may use your car motor for heat and crawl up under the hood. Bang on your hood or honk your horn before starting your car.
  4. Keep your pets on a leash. They can easily lose their scent in a snowstorm and become lost.
  5. Wipe your pet’s paws and belly off when they do come inside to get rid of any ice melt or salt that may be on his paws or coat.
  6. Just like in hot weather, don’t leave your pet alone in a locked car.
  7. Beware of antifreeze, it is toxic to pets.
  8. If you have a short-haired dog or a cat, don’t be afraid to put a sweater on him. It will help keep him warm.
  9. Don’t forget to protect those paws! Using paw wax or dog booties can help prevent cracked paw pads.
  10. Staying warm burns extra calories, so you might want to increase the amount of food your pet is getting each day.