How can I heal my dog’s cracked paw pads?
The first thing to do if you notice cracked or dry paw pads is to see your veterinarian. Certain diseases can cause cracking or inflammation, and your vet may want to do some blood testing, make slides from the pads, or schedule a biopsy. If the pads seem normal, you may need to avoid rough surfaces for a while. Gentle, animal-safe moisturizers are another option, but consult your vet before using any products on your pup’s feet. Remember to use a small amount and rub it in well, as most likely your dog will want to lick it off.
When coming in from winter walks, gently clean your dog’s paws to remove any salt that may irritate the pads. In summer, try to avoid hot surfaces, such as asphalt. You can put booties on your dog when he’s walking on hot, rough, or salty surfaces, but don’t expect him to like his footwear right away. Use lots of treats and positive reinforcement and let him get used to the booties inside the house before having him appear in public with them! It may take some time, but eventually he should learn to love them–or at least not mind them.