How To Toughen Up Dogs Pads

There are a few main methods for hardening your dog’s paws.

The easiest and most natural way to toughen your dog’s foot pads

The greatest technique to strengthen your dog’s paw pads is to take them for regular walks on concrete or asphalt.

Regularly walking your dog on hard, uneven surfaces will encourage the development of calluses on their paws, thickening the skin and assisting in preventing scrapes and punctures.

It’s like nature’s booties for dogs because a dog’s natural sanitary pads are incredibly strong and tough.

Given that you probably already take your dog on daily walks, this approach is the most natural and straightforward (or at least most days).

Making ensuring that a significant amount of the walks are on sidewalks, city streets, or paved trails is all that is necessary to harden their foot pads.

You can also use a dog paw pad strengthener to help your dog’s food pads become tougher

For dogs who require strong and resilient paw pads, there are products available on the market.

I’m not referring to your typical paw balm. These are intended to soften and moisturize, which may be detrimental to your health.

While you do not want to soften your dog’s paw pads, you do want to keep them moist enough to prevent cracking and keep them flexible.

To strengthen the paw pads on your dog, you should use a substance that is especially made for that purpose.

Tuf-Foot for Dogs

Tuf-Foot for dogs has consistently been regarded as the best product for strengthening dog paw pads.

We’ve only had foot pad troubles a handful of times during the hundreds of excursions my dogs and I have taken in the past 15 years.

But because I wanted to see how Tuf-foot for dogs worked and because I was interested in doing a 75-mile trip with my dog, I got some to try.

You can spray Tuf-Foot on your dog’s paw pads to treat them. You can spray it on your hand first, then massage it on your dog’s feet if the sound and feel of spraying terrifies it.

According to Tuf-Foot liquid paw protection,

  • It is the only foot-specific preparation available.
  • It will definitely toughen delicate, painful, cracked, and mushy feet.
  • It shields the feet from bruising and pain.

Isopropyl alcohol, balsam Peru, tincture of benzoin, and less than 5% acetone make up the ingredients in Tuf-Foot.

The spray contains Tincture of Benzoin, which is used to make the skin tacky so bandage tape clings better, as well as Peru balsam, an oily sap, even though it is not a resin per se.

Athletes also use Benzoin tincture because it is known to toughen skin.

I did see that it slightly made my dog’s pads tacky, but not so much that dirt and needles would attach to them.

According to the Tuf-Foot application directions, apply twice weekly if the feet are in good condition and everyday after that.

My dog’s paws only received a few applications of Tuff-Foot, but it did seem to give the skin a little more tenacity.

Two key points regarding this product:

  • Let the product dry on your dog’s feet before allowing them to walk around the home because it can stain fabrics and carpet (it dried withink 10 seconds).
  • If it enters the mouth, it won’t cause any harm. The composition for quick drying dissolves quickly, and any residue that is left behind is harmless. If a significant amount was consumed directly, you should seek medical help right once.

Pad-Tough for Dogs

I only recently learned about Pad-Tough for dogs, which is also made to strengthen and toughen a dog’s paw pads.

Product claims for Pad-Tough:

  • strengthens elbows and foot pads
  • helps shield skin from abrasions and sores
  • helps with healing

Isopropyl Alcohol, Purified Water, Comfrey Extract, Ethyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Benzoin, Storax, Tolu Balsam, and Aloe Vera are the ingredients in Pad-Tough, which are nearly identical to the ingredients in Tuf-Foot.

The main distinction is that Balsam Peru and Storax are both types of resin, but Pad-Tough uses Storax instead.

Apply Pad-Tough liberally on pads before participating in field tests, competitions, hunting, or other strenuous activities, according to the product’s application instructions.

The main difference, in my opinion, is that my dog’s paw pads didn’t appear to be left with a light layer that was sticky.

While I can’t say for sure that this discrepancy will render Pad-Tough less effective, it did make me personally less confident in it.

According to the product caution, Pad-Tough should not be ingested. No other information was given.

However, WebMd claims that Storax is safe for use in humans when used as prescribed.

However, avoid ingesting excessive doses or applying a lot to exposed wounds. Kidney damage is one of the significant side effects that may result (in humans).

Dogs and Storax are a subject on which there is very little information, although I did locate evidence suggesting that some dogs may have diarrhea after ingesting the resin.

It’s better to wait until the spray has dried before letting your dog lick his or her paws alone.

Because of how similar the color and characteristics of Pad-Tough are to those of Tuf-Foot, I suppose it will likewise stain carpet and clothing, which is another reason to wait until it has dried before allowing your dog out to explore.

How do you make a dog’s paw rough?

The dog should be regularly walked or run on unforgiving surfaces like concrete or asphalt until the pads begin to harden. Pea gravel spread over the ground of the dog’s outside kennel will also help the pads become more resilient.

How do I train my dog to be tougher?

When a dog exhibits fearful behaviors in response to a noise-related incident, it is said that the dog has a noise phobia or fear. Try feeding your dog while you’re cooking or cleaning to help train them to remain calm in noisy settings. In times of stress or fear, not many dogs like eating. You should stop cleaning if your dog responds to the sounds. The exercise must advance and modify based on the dogs’ responses. The dread of loudness is gradually fading, though, if your dog remains quiet and consumes the food without incident. In order to give this activity to your dog at a volume that won’t immediately terrify him, you should constantly be aware that the sound you use is controllable.

What causes my dog’s pads to tear?

Injuries to the paw pads are frequent in canines. Stepping on foreign things like glass, rocks, or metal can cause it to happen, and ice is frequently at blame during the winter.

Dogs’ paws have four toe pads, a bigger pad in the middle, and carpal pads on both of their front legs. Some dogs also have carpal pads on their back legs, which are placed where the wrists would be. They are typically used for braking at high speeds and as shock absorbers. Carpal pad tears are more likely in dogs who are extremely active since these pads do not always make touch with the ground.

How can I heal the rough pads on my dog?

Is it any surprise that having good feet is crucial for a dog’s wellbeing given how much time canines spend running, jumping, fetching, and generally romping both indoors and outside?

Skin, bone, tendons, ligaments, a blood supply, and connective tissue make up a dog’s paw. Paw pads are quite durable, although they are not constructed of armor.

Dogs can be sensitive to heat and cold, but Greg Hammer, DVM, a past president of the AVMA in Dover, Delaware, believes that they develop a tolerance far more quickly than humans do. “A dog kept indoors who is never taken for a walk in the heat will develop blisters or foot ulcers. It would be similar to if we were shoeless.”

Dr. Hammer continues, “So usage and exposure helps dogs build up the tolerance needed to walk on hot and cold surfaces, as well as uneven terrain, over time.

Exercise your dog early in the morning or late in the evening throughout the summer to prevent pad scorching and other heat-related ailments. Dogs have additional problems throughout the winter because of the salt on the roadways, the ice sidewalks, and the frostbitten toes. Stay out of the cold for short periods of time to protect your dog’s paws.

Dogs can move about on land and in water with ease because to their paws. Webbing is located between the toes of water dogs like retrievers to aid in better swimming. Breeds that excel in the snow, such as the St. Bernard and the Newfoundland, have broad paws with more surface area that enable them to move slowly and easily over cold and ice ground.

“A dog will limp if one of its paws is injured, but it can still move around. If more than one paw is hurt, the animal will be seriously disabled “explains Chris C. Cowing, DVM, Sacramento, California’s president of the California Veterinary Medical Association.

Like any other member of the family, dogs thrive when they are included in activities. We bring them along when we go shopping, trek up the closest mountain, and spend the weekend at the beach, where there are plenty of opportunities for them to go on walks on different terrains.

You may err on the side of caution and check your dog’s paws every time they enter the house from the outdoors to make sure they haven’t picked up a stick, thorn, or bee stinger in a paw or in-between the toes. This will help keep those vital paws in peak condition.

However, you should check your dog’s paws right away if they suddenly start limping. On the bottom of the feet, check in between the pads, between the toes, and on the top of the foot.

Do your dog’s foot licking sessions go on for too long? If so, this might be a red flag. To find out if there is a specific cause or area for the dog to focus on its feet, dog owners need to look into the source of the discomfort.

According to Dr. Hammer, one of the telltale indicators of canine atopy (allergy) is when the animal chews or picks at its paws. Malassezia is a yeast infection that can result from this.

So cleaning the dog’s feet after being outside is a good idea for dogs who are prone to contact allergies to particular grasses.

According to Dr. Hammer, biting and chewing might be symptoms of inhalant allergies, and the dog should be examined by a veterinarian. He lists the Beagle, Bichon Frise, West Highland White Terrier, and Poodle breeds as being more prone.

Dr. Hammer made the observation that a dog may have OCD if it repeatedly chews, picks, or licks his foot. It’s a type of self-trauma that’s frequently referred to as “lick granuloma” in which the dog repeatedly licks a tiny, usually the paw, area until it becomes sore and inflamed. The causes of this behavior include stress, boredom, or compulsiveness.

Excessive licking can exacerbate tissue injury and slow the healing process. Therefore, it’s a good idea to regularly check your dog’s paws if anything seems unusual. Apply a topical antibiotic treatment to the affected area and wash your dog’s foot with antiseptic soap if you see a little cut or abrasion on his paw. says Dr. Cowing “A veterinarian should check on deeper wounds. A tendon laceration may be present beneath the surface of what appears to be a minor wound.”

It’s common for dogs to have dry or cracked pads. Dogs’ pads will gradually expand if they spend a lot of time on unforgiving surfaces like concrete runways. says Dr. Hammer “The best course of action is to apply Vitamin E cream to the pad in the same manner that you would apply hand lotion to your own hands. You prevent the dog from licking the ointment off, make sure to spread it in well.”

Foxtails present another threat to a dog’s paws. A foxtail is a pointed, arrow-shaped plant that can cause an abscess and can penetrate the skin. If you often take your dog hunting, be on the lookout for foxtails. A foxtail can frequently pierce a dog’s skin in the space in between its toes. Foxtails that have gotten stuck in a dog’s paw are an issue that veterinarians may encounter on a weekly basis. When a dog becomes tangled in a foxtail, it can be quite uncomfortable for him until the foxtail is removed, and he risk getting an infection in his paw.

The activities that the dog engages in will determine how frequently the dog’s nails need to be clipped. The nails should typically be trimmed weekly such that the nail’s tip (length) is about parallel to the plane of the toe pad.

According to Dr. Cowing, “Due to breed-specific variations, this is a difficult subject to answer. My Labrador didn’t require nail trimming until he was extremely old.” Because of his active lifestyle and frequent use of hard surfaces, his dog’s nails were efficiently worn down.

Here are some suggestions to keep your dog’s paws healthy and prevent paw injuries.

Watch where you walk your dog first. Avoid taking him anywhere where there is glass on the ground or other dangers. Keep an eye out for weeds like foxtails when trekking through difficult terrain and in the field.

Second, keep an eye on your dog’s feet while exercising. Dr. Cowing claims to have observed a number of dogs with ruptured blisters on their pads who were brought into his facility after playing ball with their owners on concrete or asphalt.

After playing with a ball, chasing a Frisbee, going on a hike in the woods, or taking a walk in the park, thoroughly check your dog’s feet. By doing it this manner, you’ll steer clear of any unpleasant shocks and your dog will be in peak form with four sound paws firmly planted.

Does Vaseline work well for dog paws?

If your best friend doesn’t feel comfortable wearing boots, try Vaseline or a paw balm like Musher’s Secret.

Apply balm on your dog’s paws before walks to provide a barrier that keeps snow, ice, and salt from entering in between your dog’s toes. Their paw pads stay moisturized thanks to the balm or Vaseline. When you return inside, just make sure you have a towel on hand to wipe it off.

Do dogs’ paw pads need to be rough?

It’s time to dispel this recurring misconception that dog owners frequently encounter! For a variety of causes, it’s typical for dog paw pads to grow dry, rough, or even cracked. But this is not how dog paw pads should be in a healthy environment! To the touch, a healthy paw pad ought to be smooth and unblemished.

Your dog may feel a great deal of discomfort from having rough paw pads, which may even cause compulsive licking and exacerbate the discomfort. It’s time to give your dog some all-natural, moisturizing comfort if you find that their paw pads are scratchy or dry.