How to Condition a Dog's Paw Pads

Easy
15 - 30 Minutes
2 Weeks

Introduction

Your dog's paws see more of the world than his eyes do. He walks around inside and outside over grass, dirt, rocks, concrete, asphalt, and more. Wherever he goes, his paws lead him there. 

Your dog's paw pads are typically pretty rough because they spend a lot of time walking around various surfaces outdoors. This rough dry skin on your dog's paw pads can become cracked, tender, and very sensitive. This could make walking uncomfortable and difficult for your dog. 

You can condition your dog's paw pads by giving your pooch a bit of pampering. This paw pad conditioning will help to heal hairline cracks in this thick coarse skin as well as soften your dog's pads for a more tender touch.

Dog's Perspective

If your pup is not used to being pampered he might not enjoy having his paws touched, so take things slow and easy if he's hesitant. If you rub a conditioner or oil on your dog's paw pads, make sure you're using something that is safe for him to lick off as he is likely to lick the paws once you're done. Always end your grooming sessions with a tasty treat to reward your dog for time spent treating his paws.

The Coconut Oil Massage Method

Effective
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Scissors
Clipper
Towel
Step
1
Prepare
Prepare your workspace with a bowl of warm water and a soft clean cloth. You will also need a small amount of coconut oil and a dry towel will help clean up any messes. Your pup will enjoy some tasty treats during his coconut oil massage and a nice reward after.
Step
2
Lay dog down
Get your dog comfortable and ready for a lovely foot massage. Lay him on a counter or directly on the floor on his soft, comfortable bedding. It might be a good idea to do this at the end of your day when your dog is already sleepy.
Step
3
Clean paws
Dip your dry clean washcloth into your bowl of warm water and wipe down each paw. Focus on cleaning your dog's paw pads in between his toes and in between his pads.
Step
4
Optional trim
You may consider trimming your dog's fur on the bottom of his paws with clippers or scissors. This will help uncover his paw pads and give him a nice tidy appearance once his conditioning is complete.
Step
5
Condition
Apply a liberal amount of coconut oil on to each of your dog's paws. Gently massage the oil into the dry cracks of your dog's paw pads.
Step
6
Massage
Spend a little time with each paw massaging the oil into the pads. Coconut oil is safe for your dog to ingest, should he decide he needs to lick his paws. It will also help to kill off bacteria or yeast.
Step
7
Treat and bed
End with a tasty treat. If you have done your massage right at bedtime, you can leave your dog alone relaxed and ready for sleep. The coconut oil can stay on his paws all night long conditioning dry cracked areas, healing cuts, and softening his tender paw pads.
Recommend grooming method?

The Soak and Condition Method

Effective
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Nail Clipper
Towel
Step
1
Preparation
Have a bowl of warm water and Epsom salts ready. You will need four soft washcloths and a conditioner for your dog's paws. You can purchase wax paw pad conditioners at your local pet store or you can use petroleum jelly or coconut or olive oil straight from your kitchen.
Step
2
Paw soak
Prepare a bowl of warm water and Epsom salts. Place your soft washcloths in the bowl of Epsom salt water and let them soak for a few minutes. Ring out any excess water and wrap a soft wet cloth around each of your dog's paws. Leave these wet cloths on your dog's paws for at least 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can soak each paw in a bowl of warm Epsom salt water.
Step
3
Condition
Choose a conditioner appropriate for your dog's paw pads and their condition. If it's winter time and your dog is outside often, you may consider a wax based pad conditioner. If you are just treating his pads for weekly conditioning, olive oil, coconut oil, or petroleum jelly will work to soften the pads and relieve minor cracks, scrapes, and cuts.
Step
4
Apply
Apply your conditioner onto each paw pad. You will need to work with each foot individually and apply the product to each of his toe pads and his main paw pad. Pay attention to any deep cracks. Apply a liberal amount and let it sit and soak into your dog's skin.
Step
5
Wrap paws
You can place socks over your dog's paws or wrap them in gauze or a dry towel. Let the conditioner sit on your dog's paw pads for at least 10 minutes before allowing your dog to move.
Step
6
Wipe excess
Once your dog's paw pads have had time to absorb the conditioner you can use your cloth to wipe off any excess.
Step
7
Treat
Always end a quick grooming session with a tasty treat to reward your dog for patience, tolerance, and great behavior.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • If your dog's paw pads are rough and scaly or even have hairline cracks, they are probably tender and sensitive to the touch.
  • Conditioning your dog's paw pads will help heal these cracks and take away discomfort.
  • Your dog's paws see most of the world. Protect them by conditioning them, but keep in mind you don't want them to be too soft. Do not condition too often.
  • You do not need to give your dog an entire bath just to treat his paws.
  • You can make paw pad conditioning treatments fun by giving your dog a pedicure at the same time.
  • Soaking your dog's paws in Epsom salt and warm water will help to soften the skin before conditioning.
  • Consider trimming your dog's nails while you're working on his paws.
  • Consider paw pad conditioning at bedtime so your dog does not walk off the conditioner product. Allowing your dog to sleep after his paw treatment gives the conditioner time to soak into the skin and heal small cracks and cuts.
  • Consider checking your dog's paw pads at least every week if not sooner for cuts, cracks, and injuries. Remember your dog's paws go everywhere and can become injured or tender and sore rather quickly.
  • Though you can use items such as petroleum jelly to condition your dog's paw pads, consider how often your dog licks his paws and what he may be ingesting. Petroleum jelly, vitamin E, or medicinal conditioners may not be safe for your dog to lick in excess.

Conclusion

Pamper your pooch's paws perfectly with a deep conditioner such as all natural coconut oil, which will work to soften hardened pooch paw while killing bacteria and yeast. Give your pooch paws to walk the world with comfort and ease with regular paw pad conditioning treatments at home.

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