How to Prevent Paw Blisters

Easy
5 - 10 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

No one likes trying to walk with blisters on their feet; this includes your pup. The big difference is that while your kids can tell you that they have blisters and that their feet are sore, your pup can't really tell you what's going on. In many cases, it is pretty obvious there is something wrong with your pup's feet. He may be limping, licking them constantly, or he won't let anyone touch his paws. Blisters can be caused by over-exercising, hot pavement, even excessive licking. Your dog can also end up with blood blisters if his paws become injured or pinched. 

Dog's Perspective

The last thing your pup wants is to have sore paws. They make everything about his life more difficult, from standing up to eat to going outside to pee. However, while your pup's paws will eventually heal, they are likely to remain painful until they do. It is your job to do everything in your power to prevent them. Your pup will appreciate the fact his paws no longer hurt, and it is a lot better for the health of his paws and his overall condition. 

The Side of Caution Method

Effective
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Step
1
Examination time
There are several steps you can take to help prevent blisters, starting with examining your pup's paws frequently. Inspect for blisters, cracks in his pads, thorns, sticks, bee stings, or anything else that could cause pain or further injury.
Step
2
Watch for licking
If you see your pup licking one paw more than the others, this could also be a good indication that he has something wrong with his paw.
Step
3
Avoid hot surfaces
One of the leading causes of blisters on a dog's paws is making your pup walk on hot surfaces such as roads and sidewalks. The heat literally burns the pads on the bottom of his feet. The best way to avoid this is to keep your pup off of these surfaces when they are hot. Tarmac can easily be more than 20 to 30 degrees hotter than the ambient temperature. For example, if the ambient temperature is 91 degrees, cement could be as much as 124 degrees and tarmac could be 140 degrees. Both of these temperatures could easily burn or blister your pup's feet. Keep him on the grass or inside until the outside temps go down.
Step
4
Take lots of walks
Another easy way to help prevent blisters is to start walking your pup as often as you can. This will help him to build up calluses on his pads that will help prevent them from blistering. Start out with short walks during cooler weather. This will help to get his paws ready for the hotter weather to come.
Step
5
Longer walks to finish the job
Increasing the length of his walks will help to build up significant calluses on his pads that will serve to provide the necessary protection.
Recommend grooming method?

The Bootie Method

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Step
1
Take your dog shopping
You can buy booties to help protect your pup's paws when he needs to walk on hot surfaces. Take your pooch with you to ensure you get the right fit.
Step
2
Try on lots of booties
Each paw may need a different size bootie, this is why you need to take your pup with you to the store. Try booties on each paw until you have a set of four that fit well. This means not so loose that your pup can literally fling them off and not so tight that they cut off circulation to his feet or end up rubbing his skin raw.
Step
3
Short walks
Start out going for short walks that let your pup get used to wearing the booties. Do this for several days, allowing your pup to get used to walking in them.
Step
4
Boots on, boots off
Alternate between boots on during walks and boots off, this will help your pup to slowly build up the calluses he needs to prevent blistering on his pads.
Step
5
Longer walks
Go for longer walks with his boots on and off to continue the process until your pup finally builds up the calluses he needs to protect his paws and stop them from blistering. The rest is all about keeping a very close eye on your pup's feet to make sure you take care of any blistering or other damage immediately.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Remember that any surface your pup walks on in the summer is likely to be too hot for his paws. If you can't stand on it barefoot, it is too hot for your pup.
  • The best thing you can do to protect your pup's paws is always going to be keeping a very close eye on them.
  • Summertime is not the only time he can get blisters. They can also occur in the winter as the result of the cold weather and the use of rock salt or chemical deicers.
  • If your pup's paws blister, wash them with an anti-bacterial soap and then cover the affected paw with a bandage while it heals.
  • If part of his pad comes loose, you may need to take him to see his vet to have it trimmed off.
  • Excessive licking can also cause blisters, if your pup keeps licking, check his paws for injuries or irritation.
  • Always start your pup out with short walks to give his pads time to build the necessary calluses that will protect his feet. 

Conclusion

Your pup's feet are a lot like yours in many ways. If they are abused, they could form blisters. He will keep walking on blistered feet, albeit he might be limping simply because he has no way to tell you his feet are hurting. It is up to you as a responsible pet owner to keep an eye on your pup's paws to make sure they stay healthy and blister-free. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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