Dogs cracked foot pads have as many unknown causes as known causes, but you should certainly not overlook the lack of vitamins and minerals that your dog may be getting in their diets, especially with the mineral zinc.
A canine paw, or the actual foot, consists of four toes, and a nail for each toe. Some dogs may even have a fifth toe known as the dew claw that is located further up the leg.
The bottom part of the dogs paw is protected by what is referred to as keratinous footpads that are especially made for the cushioning of your pets feet.
We all know how miserable we can feel when our feet hurt and or get damaged; just imagine how your dog must feel with crack pads.
It hurts, just like with us.
Although zinc deficiency in dogs is commonly associated with skin conditions that will affect hair loss, and scaling on or around the face, head, or legs, it can also affect dogs cracked footpads.
This will make them scaly and a lot more vulnerable to cracking.
Some dog breeds, especially larger long hair breeds such as Malamutes and Huskies, have a very difficult time in absorbing zinc.
If fed a diet too high in calcium, it may also trigger a zinc deficiency.
Magnesium, however, is very effective in preventing calcium deposits and does not produce zinc deficiency.
In smaller dog breeds, both nutrients can be very beneficial in the prevention of dogs cracked foot pads.
Vitamin C and the bioflavonoid class of vitamins act as a natural inflammatory agent and can help with any breed, regardless of how big or small.
There are a myriad of basic things that we ignore that could be causing your dog’s pads to crack.
They include the fertilizer on your yard, chemicals that you spray in or around your garden or plants, and even the floor cleaners that you may be using.
All of these may be causes of dogs cracked foot pads. The preventive steps of making sure your pet has the proper nutrients in their diet can go a long way in helping with this condition.
Once the footpads start to crack, your dog may make it worse by chewing at their feet, which actually causes the condition to spread.
There are two types of injuries that can lead to dogs cracked foot pads, and that will be cracks themselves, or cuts on the foot pads.
Your dog will naturally lick either of these injuries, or by doing so, will actually cause them to bleed.
If it is a cut that has caused your pet’s foot pad to crack becomes infected, it will start to swell and it will be warm to the touch, both of which are symptoms you can watch for.
Foreign objects that have been caught between their foot pads can also cause a very high degree of discomfort for your dog.
Dogs will naturally try to pry the object loose by licking and a close visual inspection on your part may quickly find the problem.
Whatever the cause of dogs cracked foot pads, one thing is certain, your pet will favor the leg or the foot regardless of the type of injury that has occurred.
They may also whine, exhibit limping, as well as demonstrate favoring gestures that will easily warn you of their pain.
In the summer months your pet may also have other potential dangers that may cause their foot pads to crack, such as being stung by a wasp, hornet, or a bee.
This in jury will be very difficult to actually find, but the warning signs will be a sudden swelling and itching on your dog’s part, as they are in obvious pain.
The heat from your driveway, or in the city sidewalks, like New York City where all kinds of breeds live and walk daily, can cause potential danger of cracking as well.
In very hot climates like the Southeast and the Southwest, some dogs may not be able to even walk on the pavement as it is so hot.
Don’t force them to walk in these types of conditions without protection.
Using a lotion or a suave may help, but it is still going to cause potential injury if it is too hot.
The winter months will bring on an entire new set of challenges for your pet and the potential for developing cracked foot pads.
Your hands crack and burn when the weather gets cold and dry, and the potential for your dog’s foot pads to crack and burn are really not much different, expect the have direct contact with the cold with no protection.
Using baby oil or even a cooking spray will help to coat your dog’s foot pads, and in smaller breeds you may have to use socks or booties.
Rock salt used on the streets will definitely cause dogs cracked foot pads, especially in urban environments such as large cities where the only place to walk your pet is on the sidewalks or the streets.
In situations like this, you should wash your dog’s foot pads frequently and make sure they have some type of antiseptic cream or ointment.
Most cases of canine cracked foot pads will not last long, are relatively minor, and will heal very quickly, but in severe cases they may need to be seen by a veterinarian.
There are several natural remedies that can help with cracked foot pads.
They inculde soothing gels, Arnica, which reduces both pain and inflammation and actually helps in stimulating the immune system, and St. John’s Wart which promotes the healing process.
But there is nothing is more important than supplementing your dog properly and building their natural immune system to help prevent this painful condition in your best friend.