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Pet Health

06/06/2024

In the Purrsuit of Knowledge

At Holiday Barn, we help pet-parents purrsue pet care knowledge. We take great care in doing this (and with their…

At Holiday Barn, we help pet-parents purrsue pet care knowledge. We take great care in doing this (and with their pets too!). Dry paws can often go unnoticed, but caring for your pet’s paw pads is just as crucial as taking care of your own hands and feet. No one likes cracked and rough hands, even your dog. But never fear, we’ll help you find the best ways to protect against dry pads so your pups can put their best paw forward.

 

Dry Paw Pads 101

Dry paw pads can cause irritation while walking. If your pet’s paws are already vulnerable, a rough surface like a sidewalk can more easily tear open the paw pad and cause injury. Luckily, there are many steps we can take to prevent dry paw pads, care for them when we see them, and take precautions when walking conditions may be harmful. One of the best ways to do this is to inspect your pet’s paw pads regularly for dryness, unwanted objects like pebbles, and injury. Keep an eye on your pet’s reaction for pain or tenderness.

 

Paw Pad Care 102

To inspect your pet’s paw pads, gently press between the toes to see if any debris is there. Feel the texture of the paw pad as well and note any roughness or dryness. Slight roughness may be akin to human calluses, meaning that their paw has built up some resistance to rough surfaces. If the paw pad is too tender and soft, be wary of taking your pet for walks on rough surfaces, as a smooth paw pad may be more susceptible to injury. You want to ensure paw pads are moisturized and clean. Our Itchy Scratchy spa treatment uses moisturizing and gentle oatmeal based shampoo and conditioner to refresh your pup. Spa care with an emphasis in moisturizing is a great way to prevent dryness. Our grooming department offers an incredible product for dry paws called “Bag Balm.” Bag Balm is safe to use on paw pads, noses, hot spots, and anywhere your dog struggles with dry skin or irritation. A luxurious paw massage with Bag Balm is only $6.00 when added to any Holiday Barn dog bath or haircut.

 

Paw Wax and Booties 103

Paw wax is a great way to prep the paw pad for outdoor endeavors.  It moisturizes the paw pad while creating a barrier from outside elements, repelling against dirt, debris, and ice and salt in the winter. Moisturizing balms also keep your pet’s paws in great care. Use paw wax before an outdoor adventure, and keep moisturizing balm indoors so it doesn’t rub off. Moisturize regularly, but with ample time in between applications. Overdoing moisturizer may make paw pads too soft and therefore more susceptible to injury on rough surfaces. Some #LifeHacks will tell you human lotions or salves may be good for your pets, put proceed with caution. Pets like to lick their paws, and ingesting products made for humans may be dangerous. Stick to products made for pets and research ingredients to ensure they are safe for your pet’s skin and accidental ingestion. Wearing booties is another great way to protect paw pads from the elements. Paw wax and booties are essential for winter walks. Some ice-melt products that treat sidewalks can be toxic for pets to ingest, so use booties to keep this sidewalk residue off their paws. In the summer, keep walks short, in grass, and in the shade as much as possible to prevent hot pavement harming the paw pads.

 

Pop Quiz:

 

What are the benefits of wearing booties?

(Protect the toe beans!)

 

Can you use lotions made for humans on paw pads?

(Nope.)

 

Should paw pads be moisturized at all times?

(No. Overdoing moisturizer makes paw pads vulnerable to tears and scratches, moderate moisturizing is best.)

 

Who can you go to for rejuvenating spa services or answers to your pressing pet questions?

(Holiday Barn! Contact us at 804-672-2200 for our Glen Allen location or 804-794-5400 for Midlothian.)

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