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Caring for Dry, Cracked Dog Paws

dog paws

What Makes Dog’s Paws Dry Out or Crack?

Dry, cracked dog paws can be caused by many different issues, typically stemming from where your dog walks on a frequent basis and the environment you live in. 

Dogs in areas with dry, hot ground can have paws that dry out frequently, and result in cracking. This is also seen in dogs who swim frequently in chlorinated pools or even the ocean. Both salt and chlorine can dry out paw pads. 

Dogs who live in colder climates, or who play in the snow frequently, can also find themselves having dry, cracked paws. In those same cold climates, dogs who walk in areas that have been salted to help prevent ice from forming may also find themselves with irritated paws. 

Dogs who lick their paws frequently in an attempt to soothe itchy paws may find themselves with red, irritated, inflamed paws. This can sometimes be caused by allergies or another medical issue. 

If you are just seeing your dog’s paws becoming dry, with some cracking, there may be some ways to help out before it becomes a more serious issue.

dog paw in snow

Preventing Dry, Cracked Paws

Dog Paw Balms

There are many different balms that can help moisturize the paws and soothe irritations. Always use dog paw balms that are labeled safe for animals, since they may ingest it if they lick it off.

You should clean paws after your dog comes back inside if they have been playing , then you apply the balm, making sure to rub in as much as possible. You can also try applying the balm before outside time to prevent irritation. 

Musher’s Secret brand balm is a commonly-used product that is safe for dogs and is most often used for sled dogs.

Dog Paw Booties

In addition to balms that help cracked paws, wearing dog booties is also something to consider. Booties can help prevent cracking and irritation in cold environments, especially with ice. Additionally, they can also protect paws from heat. Booties are often used by hikers for their dogs since terrain can be unpredictable and potentially hazardous to paws.

dog wearing booties in snow

When to Seek Help

If you are seeing redness, swelling, yellow or green discharge, bleeding, or if your pet will not leave their paws alone, it is time to speak with a vet and discuss treatment options and better understand what may be causing their cracked paws. 

Hello Ralphie veterinarians can offer advice and over-the-counter solutions to help! Reach out for an advice appointment – available 7 days a week.

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