How to care for and prevent paw calluses in dogs

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There is nothing wrong with small paw calluses here and there during the lifetime of your dog, as they tend to appear more or less naturally under extensive load pressure. The way more important is properly caring for them, and preventing them.

Medium size dog performing a jump over the an obstacle with impact on hard asphalt, which can cause callus.
Various activities may contribute to paw pad calluses, like agility training on a hard surface.


What these calluses are?

The calluses are usually harmless skin lesions that most of the time appear on the elbow area which is the most prone and discussed place in terms of calluses occurrence and appear less often on the knee or paws. The progress of development is quite simple and straightforward. In the area of the change, the skin hardness, but is still usually flat and smooth. Fur falls out with a gradual color change to greyish or yellowish. Rare cases include a purulent exudate. Remember, there is nothing to worry about as the proper care is taken. Calluses are mostly a natural response to protect the paw pads.

However, the bigger, not maintained calluses, although prevalent in elbow and chest areas can be itchy. They may eventually crack, bleed, or get infected. This is a case for a vet and antibiotics therapy.

? Both calluses and corns can occur on a dog’s paw, but they are different conditions.

? If your dog experience “something” on a TOP of a paw, it’s more likely to be a corn, tumor, cyst, or other skin abnormality than a callus.


Why do the calluses form on my dog’s paw pads? + Prevention tips

The reason is most of the time very simple: a certain constant friction and pressure. If you are not aware of any secondary cause like not properly cut nail and your vet also ruled out all general paw problems, then look closely at these causes and included prevention tips:

Walking on rough surfaces – try to avoid asphalt, gravel, rocks, and uneven terrain.

Excessive digging – the habit of digging for hours each day puts pressure on paw pads, leading to the formation of calluses.

Obesity – the extra weight puts additional pressure on paw pads when walking or standing, resulting in the development of calluses.

Agility training – the intense training sessions involve navigating through various obstacles, including ramps, A-frames, and seesaws. The repetitive impact may cause calluses to form.

Long-distance hiking – challenging trails with rocky paths and steep inclines. The rough surfaces and extended periods of walking contribute to the formation of calluses.

Walking on hot surfaces – various pavements can become an extremely hot and paws exposed to the heat, may lead to burnt paws or callus formation as a protective response.

? Pelling callus never tears off. Keep the paw clean and apply a dog-specific paw balm like mine, to the affected areas. This can help hydrate the callus and prevent further drying or cracking. Be sure to use products specifically formulated for dogs, as human products like Vaseline may contain ingredients that are harmful to dogs.


How to treat calluses on canine paw pads?

Calloused dog paws should be treated and prevented with a high-quality balm routine only while considering limiting the activities that primarily caused them. If the callus is that big and unappealing that you consider using a pumice stone procedure consider a vet visit. As I stated at the beginning, the calluses are expected and usually harmless, and gentle moisturizing and identifying cause is more recommended than removing it by force.

If you are more opted for the pumice stone procedure, do it really gently and soak the paws before for at least 5 minutes.