Put Your Best Paw Forward

Article by: Deb D’Andrea

Summer Paws, What to Watch For

Now that summer is in full swing and we’re out enjoying the beautiful weather, it’s also that time of year to keep an eye on your pup’s pads.  This year I’ve had several agility students whose pups have experienced pad issues, from pad blisters to severe deep pad cuts.  Unfortunately once your pup’s pads are compromised, they can take weeks to heal and be very painful.

One of the first things I do before letting my pups out of my car is to place my hand or foot on the tarmac to feel how hot it is.  Most of the time I’m in flip flops so I can easily consistently test the ground temperature with my foot.  If it’s too hot, I’ll move my car to a different area for them to hop out or choose a different path for them.  I do the same foot test if we’re on a trail or area that is paved.  On a trail, I test to feel how sharp the rocks are as some trails are created with various forms of gravel that can easily cut or gouge a dog pad.

Once I was at Bryce Canyon National Park and a lady placed her small puppy on the black tarmac, then she turned to attend to her kids in the car.  The puppy was standing there, lifting one foot, than another and another hot footing it.  I walked over, picked up the puppy, tapped the woman on the shoulder, handed her the puppy.  I explained to her what I observed and for her to keep an eye on her puppies pads as they may end up blistering.

Another common item to watch for is yard lawn dividers which keep grass on one side and rocks on another.  Some of these dividers are made from metal versus rubber, which bends when stepped on.  One of my agility student pups was playing in someone’s backyard, jumped up and landed on this metal divider, severely slicing through her pad.  This injury has taken over a month to heal.

So as your venture out, please keep in mind things to watch for that may end up injuring your pups pads.  And as you go along, check their pads and keep an eye out for any signs of limping.  Till next time -- If you have stories you’d like to share, questions you’d like answered, email me and I’ll be happy to write about it in this column.  Enjoy this beautiful weather!

4TheLuvOfDogz ~ Making Tails Wag Better

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Deb D’Andrea is Founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz.

Contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or

email:  info@4theluvofdogz.com

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