Absent a pair of shoes, your pooch relies on her foot pads to cushion and protect her feet. But when her pads get hard, cracked and crunchy, they can damage furnishings and cause pain and discomfort. There's nothing like a pampering "peticure" treatment to get her pads soft and supple.
Sit on the floor with your dog lying in front of you. Lift one of her paws and turn it over to inspect it for burrs, thorns, gum, pebbles or other debris. Feel the hair between the pads, and remove any foreign bodies with a pair of tweezers.
Place a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil on your fingertips, then massage it into your dog's pads. Alternatively, apply a small dab of petroleum jelly. Distract your dog for up to 10 minutes, or cover her feet with a pair of old socks or gauze until the oil soaks into the pads.
Heal deeper cracks by soaking your dog's feet. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 pint of water. Soak for several minutes. Dry her feet, then repeat the olive oil massage to the affected pads.
- ASPCA: Top 10 Paw Care Tips for Dogs
- "Canine Medicine and Disease Prevention"; Cody W. Faerber, DVM; et al.
- "The Passionate Olive: 101 Things to Do With Olive Oil"; Carole Firenze
- Many dogs do not like having their feet touched. Condition your dog when she is young by massaging and handling her feet.
Elle Smith has been an advertising professional for more than 25 years. Her work for ABC, CBS and Sony Pictures Television has appeared on radio, on air, in print and outdoors. In addition, Smith has more than 20 years experience in marketing, graphic arts, commercial photography and print production, and is a licensed real estate agent with property management certification in California.