A dog with sensitive paws is an unhappy dog. Sensitive paws interrupt a dog's lifestyle as much as any illness or disease. An owner who cares about his dog's health will pay close attention to its paws. Knowing the causes of sensitive paws will help dog owners prevent the condition beforehand. Knowing how to deal with sensitive paws will help dog owners quickly and safely help their pets if the condition occurs.
Dogs are naturally shy and careful about their paws. An owner must gently handle her dog's paws every day. This way the owner will gain the trust of the dog. Knowledge about a dog's paws is useless unless the dog allows its paws to be handled and inspected. Consistency is crucial to gaining a dog's trust. Not only should an owner inspect his dog's paws every day, he should pick a specific time to do it and stick to the schedule.
Feel each of the dog's pads and between the pads. Gently squeeze the pads, and gently squeeze each paw individually. If a paw or any part of a paw is sensitive for some reason, the dog will let you know by whining or yelping. Remain courageous and upbeat. A whine or yelp isn't a sign that you've hurt the dog; it's a sign that the dog is hurt. Pay attention to your dog as it walks and runs. Limping and tentative movements in general often point toward sensitive paws.
Common causes of paw sensitivity include walking on hot surfaces such as blacktop, walking or running too often on hard surfaces such as cement, unclipped hair between a paw's pads that snags burs and other annoying and painful objects, and untrimmed nails
A dog owner can do much to prevent paw sensitivity. Regularly trimming a dog's toenails, testing blacktop with your hand on a hot day, and seeing that your dog exercises in a park or on a lawn rather than on a sidewalk are basic preventative measures. Routinely inspecting a dog's paws will reveal if the hair has grown too long and alert you to burs or splinters.
Your veterinarian should be consulted whenever you are concerned for your dog's health. This includes even basic tasks such as nail-trimming. Your veterinarian will give you confidence, which will give your dog confidence. If you believe that your dog has sustained a serious injury to its paw, such as a broken toe, contact your veterinarian at once.