Walking on cracked paw pads can be very uncomfortable for your dog. Although usually not a serious condition, cracked paws should be treated quickly to avoid further complications, such as bleeding or infection.There are a few simple steps you can take at home to prevent and treat a dog's sensitive paws. Always consult a veterinarian before administering treatment to your pet.
Take the dog to a veterinarian to ensure there is no underlying medical issue. The veterinarian may perform a biopsy to test for skin conditions or a blood test to determine the dog's zinc levels. If there is an underlying medical issue, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to treat the skin condition and/or fish oil supplements to add to the dog's food if a zinc deficiency is detected.
Find ways to prevent your dog's exposure to harsh substances that can cause paw cracking -- if your veterinarian deems that the dog's paw problems are not due to a medical issue. Avoid using harsh chemicals to clean your floors and use organic products as a substitute. Limit your dog's exposure to pesticides and other chemicals found in grass, hot asphalt and sidewalk salt used for melting ice.
Apply an animal-safe moisturizer directly on your dog's paws in order to soothe the cracked paw pads. Also purchase dog booties so the dog will not lick or chew on its paws while they heal. Give the dog treats each time it wears the booties without trying to take them off in the house until it is comfortable wearing the boots for extended periods of time.