The 5 Most Common Paw Problems in Dogs
When our furry best friend starts to feel irritated, it causes a lot of stress in pet parents. We know how you feel! It's not only important to notice this though, but also be able to diagnose discomfort early so you can properly address the issue.
In this post we'll go through the five most common paw related problems that occur in dogs based on our conversation with multiple vet professionals.
Just like humans, our dogs get seasonal allergies due to the increased pollen and foreign substances circulating in the air. Symptomatically, this might look like excessive itching, licking, or biting at the paws. Additional symptoms such as general irritation, ear infections or skin infections can also present themselves.
Excessive licking, biting, or chewing of the paw can also lead to bacterial or fungal infections, so seek allergy prevention if you notice this early before other problems start to rise up.
Dry or cracked skin
Dryness or redness of the paw pad is also common. In fact, most dogs will experience some form of interdigital dermatitis in their lifetime. Interdigital dermatitis is caused by lack of cleaning and moisturizing of the webbing in between each toe.
Dry or cracked paws can also occur from seasonal changes. In specific, extreme cold or hot months can lead to dry or cracked skin. In the winter months, over-exposure to salt on pavement can lead to extreme cases of dry or cracked skin which will also show in extreme redness. In summer months, hotter pavement or too much exposure to heat can lead to the moisture in your dogs paws to be fully sapped.
For dry or cracked skin, we recommend using a daily moisturizing paw balm. Our Nourish paw balm is perfect to soothe even the most dry paws. It's also great at fighting skin conditions such as interdigital dermatitis and eczema.
Bacterial or fungal infection
Bacterial or fungal infection is also quite common in dogs. This typically happens when there's an imbalance in the norma levels of bacteria or fungi that exists on your dogs paws.
Symptoms for a bacterial or fungal infection is similar to allergies - namely redness, excessive itching, or chewing - but also comes with discharge either from the paw itself or from the webbing between the toes. It's not uncommon to experience nail discoloration either.
Your vet may prescribe specific treatments for severe bacterial or fungal infections so be sure to contact them if you suspect your dog has these types of infections. If you're looking for a more immediate fix for less severe infections, you can also try our Mend paw balm. This vet approved paw balm is formulated with antifungal and antispetic ingredients that help eliminate bacterial and fungal infections in dogs. You can check out Mend here: Shop Mend!
Another common paw issue in dogs are nail issues. There are three typical nail issues: long toenails, ingrown nails, or damaged nails.
Long toenails are quite easy to diagnose. One general rule of thumb is to ensure that toenails aren't touching the ground when your dogs paw is flush on the ground. Toenails that are too long cause discomfort by pushing up against the dog's nail bed. Long nails can also lead to ingrown or damaged nails in the future.
Ingrown nails are highly uncomfortable for dogs and occurs when a nail starts to dig into the paw pad. Severe cases can lead to nail infections in dogs. The best way to handle an ingrown nail is to trim the affected nail carefully where it digs into the paw pad.
Lastly, damaged or fractured nails occur when a nail gets torn. In this case, it's best to contact your veterinary professional to seek immediate assistance. Your dog may be bleeding, limping, and/or crying when this occurs. Be sure to gently inspect the nail and if the nail is indeed damaged, then limit mobility in that paw until you've spoken to your vet.
Burns or blisters
Unfortunately hot surfaces can cause burns or blisters on our dogs paws. When we have shoes on in the summer, it's easy for us to forget how hot pavement can get. As a general rule of thumb, you should be able to comfortably hold the back of your hand on the asphalt for at least 10 seconds for it to be safe for your dog.
The best way to prevent burns or blisters is to either apply a paw balm before going on walks, avoiding walks on hot surfaces completely, or putting on dog boots!
If your dog's paws are already burnt, we recommend our Mend paw balm. Mend is formulated to treat infections, burns, and scarring. Mend is backed with nutrients that promote deep tissue regeneration while actively soothing hurt paws.
There you have it - the 5 most common paw problems in dogs. If you have any concerns or further questions about any of these, feel free to drop a comment below and we'll answer to the best of our ability!