Just FoR Today. Welcome to a new series we will be running here on Fidose of Reality. If you can do just one thing just FoR today (FoR as in “Fidose of Reality”) to change your dog’s life, how paw-tastic would that be?
We’ll be scouring the world of dog news and sharing with Fidose of Reality readers tips to enhance your dog’s life and things to ensure they aren’t a victim of things like dog food scares, treat recalls, etc.
So just FoR today, here is our inaugural tip.
Just FoR today, January 3, 2012, keep your dog’s delicate pads and paws safe from cold weather and winter’s harm. Though a dog’s pads are the toughest part of his or her skin and able to withstand basically walking and running “barefoot” through life, they are still prone to injury and harm.
Regularly examining your dog’s paws and pads should be a regular part of his or her care.
Get a dog accustomed to having paws touched from an early age. If the dog is older, start slowly and reward when Fido behaves for paw touching, patting, etc. Never scold a dog who will not cooperate for this. Make the entire experience a positive one. “Good boy, Rex!” with an enthusiastic tone will get pet parents far in the acclimation to paw touching process.
What to look for: Lacerations, cuts, cracks, burns, blisters, any foreign objections, and dryness.
Preventative care: Keep hair between pads groomed and nails adequately trimmed. Learn to do this the right way or have a professional groomer do this, as I have been doing for over 15 years with my dogs. You’d be amazed how many dogs I’ve seen who limped until they had their pads trimmed and/or nails clipped.
Paw-natomy: Dogs sweat through their foot pads, so use caution with what you place on the pads. For abrasions and cuts, be sure the vet takes a peek at this and recommends infection prevention and maintenance cleaning. A soft E-collar can prevent licking while Fido’s feet heal.
Products that rock: Two items I’ve been using that have been absolutely wonderful in paw care and wound prevention are:
Musher’s Secret: Musher’s Secret is a barrier, food-grade wax for dog paws/pads that acts as an invisible boot. Developed in Canada for sledding dogs, apply a thin coat on pads and between toes, weekly. It dries in seconds and does not stain, is nontoxic, non-allergenic and ranges from $12-$20 depending on size. Good on hot pavement, sand and sand burn, snow and ice, salt and chemicals. Booties be gone, Musher’s to the rescue! I use this year round and carry it in my dog’s first aid kit.
Morton Safe-T-Pet ice melt: With the first coat of snow on the ground and temps dipping below 20 degrees Fahrenheit here in the northeast, this product has become a staple for dog owners in my neighborhood. Not all ice melts are created equally; in fact, there are many toxic ice melt products on the market. Be sure to use one like Morton Safe-T-Pet which is made of urea, a non-toxic ingredient that is non-irritating and less corrosive than other ice melting products. It was developed with veterinarian support to be safer for your furry friends. Safe-T-Pet has a completely salt and chloride free formula which is less irritating and safer for pets’ paws and stomachs, people, and plants, as well as paved surfaces, than plain salt.
So just FoR today, stock up on the above, check those delicate paws regularly, and be the pet parent your dog knows you are… pawsome in every way!