As tough as dog paws seem to be, at the same time they are very sensitive and can be easy to hurt. Because dogs walk barefoot, blisters on their paws are a more common issue than you might think. If you notice your little friend has suddenly difficulty walking, is limping, or extensively licking paw pads, it can be a result of having a blister.
💡 A blister is a fluid-filled sac on the skin’s surface. Most often they appear on the paw pads and they are causing pain when walking. If you find a blister between the pup´s toes pay attention and this may indicate the interdigital cyst that requires a vet visit.
What causes blisters on paw pads?
Blisters on paw pads aren´t any different from blisters on human feet. The main difference is, that “Hoomans” get blisters usually from uncomfortable shoes but there are more threats when talking about dogs.
These are the most common:
Walking on the hot pavement isn´t comfortable or enjoyable for dogs. There is an easy way how to find out if it´s safe to walk your dog on a sunny day or wait until the sun goes down. Put your hand on the sidewalk and hold for 7 seconds. If it´s too hot for you, it will be too hot for your dog too. Walking on the hot pavement might cause burns that will result in blisters.
The other extreme is walking your dog on an icy surface, ice melts, or rock salt during winter. These are skin irritants that can cause blisters or even a paw pad peeling.
Dogs‘ pads are exposed to surfaces they walk on all the time. Little grains of sand, rocks, or gravel can irritate, damage, or infect the skin which might result in blisters.
If you are a hiking lover, you should know that the paw pads may form a callus to protect them from further damage. Don´t take your pup on long hiking trips from the beginning but start with shorter walks.
Allergic reactions from food, pollen, dust, mites, or flea bites can cause itching inflammation. In some cases, the inflammation can lead to the formation of blisters on the skin.
How to treat blisters on canine paw pads? My home cure.
Having a blister is not always an emergency situation for visiting a vet. If you find one small blister on your pup´s paw pads, try my home cure first.
1) Clean the bubble with an anti-bacterial wash to prevent infection. You can also soothe it then with my natural organic balm.
2) Cover the wound with a bandage, sock, or booties for faster healing. Check daily if the blister is healing and change the cover.
3) Don´t let your pup lick the blister as it may cause irritation or infection. If needed, let them wear a cone collar.
4) Never burst the blister as it may cause infections. If you want to remove it, visit your vet who can trim it.
The patience and gentle handling with a combination of the tips above always bring me great results, but if the blister isn’t healing or getting better for over a week, visit your vet.
What is the average healing time?
As we stated above, the regular blister should be healed within a week or two. The symptoms should have a decreased character after the blister reaches its peak and proper treatment begin. A healthy young dog with a strong immune system shouldn’t have any problem dealing with a regular blister.
When to visit a vet
Not all the blisters are the same and under certain circumstances, you should visit a vet immediately.
Here are some examples:
– Your dog is in obvious discomfort or has a fever.
– You see redness around the wound, or the paw pad is swelling. Your pup might be fighting an infection.
– Blisters are on other parts of the body too.
– Your little friend has blisters between their toes. It can be an interdigital cyst.
– If you don´t think it´s a blister but rather a cyst.
– If you don´t feel comfortable healing your dog´s injury yourself.
My tripod prevention rule for blister-free dog’s paw
1. Checking – 2. Cleaning – 3. Protecting.
We all have heard this phrase before: “Prevention is better than cure,” and indeed, there´s nothing better than prevention. The best way how to prevent injuring and not getting a blister is:
2. Good hygiene is a must
Make sure to wipe the pup´s paws to keep them clean when you come home from a walk. Especially in the winter or after a long walk.
3. Plan an activity/walking route more thoroughly
Walking on pavements that are too hot or cold is a big NO. Walking your dog on soft grass or in nature is usually the best way to go. Others would recommend dog booties for absolute protection, but Im against them. What I recommend is applying a quality natural paw balm, as it can be used as a protection but also for soothing and healing the paws.