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As loving Yorkie owners that we are, we always look after our beloved best friends. We bathe and groom them, we buy their favorite treats and the best food, we take them to their checkup at the vet, and we do everything within our means to keep them healthy and happy, after all, they are family.

Even though we take care of and want the best for them, we rarely take care of their feet and paws.

Paws 101

  • Paws have five parts:
  • Claws
  • Digital pads
  • Metacarpal pad
  • Dewclaw
  • Carpal pad

dow paw maintenance

Dog paws, by nature, are versatile and multi-purpose. They have a thick layer of fatty tissue that protects and insulates the dog’s foot from cold and heat. This same fatty tissue works as a “shock absorber” to protect them when they walk on uneven or rough terrain.

Dog paws, just like human feet, are soft and thin if used mainly indoors but they can become rough and thick if your Yorkie walks mainly outside the house. Also, just like human feet, a dog paw has sweat glands that serve two purposes:

  • – Allow perspiration to help hydrate paws preventing them from getting too dry.
  • – Regulate and cool off the dog’s core body temperature.

True or Not? Do paw digital/carpal pads protect dogs from extreme weather?

This is partially true.

While it is true that paw pads are thick (fatty tissue) and made to isolate a dog from cold and hot surfaces, they are not made for extreme cold or extreme heat. They are still sensitive to extreme temperatures and still can freeze and get damaged or scraped by ice.

Also, snow can accumulate between the toes producing irritation and pain.

The regular use of a dog paw balm can provide an extra layer of protection to your dog’s paws. We tested (we will publish a complete review later) Pawln, a 100% Natural Vegan dog paw Balm. It is made only with natural ingredients and no harsh chemicals.

dog paw care

♦ Paws are made to walk on anything?

Paw pads are thick and resilient but this doesn’t mean that they are unbreakable. Contaminants and chemicals on the floor can be absorbed through your dog’s paw pads and get into their bloodstream. When walking with your dog be aware of where they step and avoid stepping on suspicious liquids or even dust.

How to Care and Protect Your Dogs’ Paws

♦ Follow these tips to keep your dog paws healthy:

♦ Trim the paw nails periodically so that they barely touch the ground.

♦ Keep the fur between the toes trimmed.

♦ Use a moisturizer made specifically for dogs (avoid human moisturizers). It will prevent dry and cracked dog pads in hot weather and will prevent ice/snow scrapes and cuts in cold weather.

♦ Keep your dog’s paws clean and inspect them regularly. If you see anything abnormal like cuts, bleeding, pain when touched, funny walking style, etc proceed to wash them with antibacterial soap and apply a dog paw balm or an over-the-counter antibiotic cream.

You can read more tips and dog paw care ideas here.