Why are my dog's paw pads so rough?
I've been noticing lately that my dog's paw pads are terribly rough. They are rough and scratchy to the touch, and I know they bother her sometimes. I once read somewhere that not walking around enough can cause that, because the pads get smoothed out (or exfoliated, so to speak) by the ground. But I KNOW that's not the problem because she gets plenty of exercise and goes on walks daily. I've also tried putting Vaseline on her paws to moisturize them, but that doesn't seem to be helping. What's going on?
Cracks in the pads are one of the more typical paw injuries for dogs. These cracks often result from too much exposure to hot, dry weather, to wet conditions that soften the outer skin, or to very cold weather. Cracked pads from hot dry conditions or very cold conditions benefit from ointments such as aloe that soften up the hardened areas. You can toughen up soft pads that develop from wet conditions with special solutions such as Tuff Foot. If your dog has especially sensitive paws, you may want to consider paw booties to protect his pads from snow and other tough surfaces.
It is much the same is the bottom of our feet would be if you went everywhere barefooted. If it bothers her, you could ask the vet what kind of moisturizer to use. Vaseline will hold in moisture already there, but if the pads are dry, it won't do much.
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