Unlike us, dogs don’t usually wear shoes when they run. Having said that, more and more people are trying barefoot running these days, so will be in the same boat as their dog. I’m not here to talk about people’s feet, but to give you some suggestions about caring for your dog’s pads.
Your dog’s feet are at risk of injury every time you take him running. Just ask Cinnabar, who had a tiny sliver of glass removed from a paw after stepping on a broken beer bottle! How do you keep your dog safe?
The most obvious thing is to keep an eye on the ground where you are running. Watch for broken glass, rough stones or other potentially hard surfaces that could cause an injury.
Even grass could be painful if there are burrs or prickles in it. We have small prickles in the grass here called bindii, and Guinness will not walk on them!
If you live in a cold climate, snow can stick to the hairs between your dog’s pads and form little balls of ice. These hurt when your dog walks.
We don’t have to deal with that here in Queensland, but we do have to watch the temperature of the footpath or roadway – the ground can get very hot indeed in summer.
Make sure your dog’s toenails are neatly trimmed, so they don’t hit the ground with every stride. This will quickly become uncomfortable.
Some dogs are happy to run in boots but it’s not something that most dog owners worry about. So, to keep your dog’s feet in good condition:
1. Watch the ground you are running on for hazards and
2. Keep an eye on the temperature of the ground in extremes of temperature, and
3. Don’t forget that manicure!