What Can You Do About Dog Paw Blisters While Hiking?
If you’re an active hiker, you know the importance of having the right footwear. If your shoes are the wrong size or not broken in, you can experience excruciating blisters.
Dog paw blisters are no less painful for your furry friend.
After all, you’re wearing protective footwear and they’re wearing none. Their paw pads may not be as tough as you think. Dogs can get blisters on their paws from rough terrain.
This is a common question we’ve received and we’ll share our remedy.
Q. My dog got blisters on her paws hiking. What can I do to treat the wounds and prevent her from aggravating the sores?
A. Paw pad injuries can be tricky to heal, mainly because your dog needs to walk on them to get around and many dogs are prone to licking and chewing areas that feel bothersome. If your pet is suffering with dog paw blisters, it will take a bit of creativity in terms of keeping her feet clean until the sores can heal.
Imagine having a blister on the base of your foot, it would hurt every time you walked and it would take more time to heal because it was constantly being irritated. Plus, it could easily get infected if you walked around barefoot all the time.
That’s what’s happening to your dog.
If your dog has a serious dog paw injury such as a deep cut or puncture, you’ll need to pay a visit to the vet for an in depth examination and antibiotics if needed.
If the blisters seem superficial, you can try and treat them yourself by following these tips.
Begin with a trip to the drug store. You’ll need:
-A bottle of betadine/iodine (found in the first aid section, near the hydrogen peroxide & rubbing alcohol). This disinfectant is used in hospitals to kill bacteria.
– Epsom salts (also found in first aid area)
– Rolled gauze
– Antibiotic ointment like Neosporin™
– You’ll also want some self-sticking bandages, which will be found with the Ace bandages and joint braces.
These bandages, which stick to themselves, can also be found at most pet supply stores, like Petco or PetSmart.
– You may also need a lampshade collar, also called an Elizabethan or “e-collar.” They’re available at pet stores like Petco. Or get Snuggy Boots Suspender System and Traction Socks or Boots (or both).
1- You’ll begin by cleaning your dog’s paw.
You’ll mix two teaspoons of betadine per one cup of water. Add some Epsom salts as well and make up a sort of footbath in a plastic container big enough for your pet’s paw to rest in. You’ll want to get your dog to soak her paw in this for about fifteen minutes if possible, as it will soften the skin and flush debris.
Don’t let your dog apply weight to the foot while she soaks – you want water to be able to flow into the wound freely.
Hopefully, your dog will be tired after your hike and cooperate. If not, you may need a steady stream of high value treats to keep your pet calm.
2–Next, dump the footbath and dry her foot. Examine to ensure that there’s no debris wedged in the injured area. If there is, you can use tweezers to remove the debris. This may be a two-person job with plenty of peanut butter or another favorite treat to maintain cooperation.
3–Once the area is free from debris and clean, you can apply a bit of antibiotic ointment to the affected area.
4–Next, you’ll want to bandage the foot using rolled gauze. You only need a couple of layers over the affected area. Wrap in a figure eight pattern, with the loops around the foot and ankle. Wrap firmly, but not tight. Tape the end of the gauze to secure it.
5–Then, you’ll apply some of the self-sticking bandage in a figure eight pattern over the gauze. Again, only a couple of layers are necessary. A huge, bulky bandage will just be cumbersome and she’ll want to mess with it. Wrap firmly, but not tight.
After the foot is wrapped for a few minutes, check her toes to ensure that they don’t feel cold. Cool toes will indicate that the circulation the bandage is too tight and you’re cutting off circulation!
Re-check every so often for a couple hours after wrapping her foot. To determine the correct wrapping firmness, you can test by wrapping your own hand and wrist. You’ll be able to feel what’s just right versus too tight. With Snuggy Boots Suspender System and Traction socks, the bandage can be put on much less tight because they’ll protect the paw and help keep the bandage in place.
What To Do If Your Dog Wants to Chew Off The Bandages
Some dogs will not mess with a bandage. Others will worry it to death. If your dog tries to bite at the bandage, you can mist the outer wrapping (the self-stick bandage) with a bitter apple spray BEFORE you wrap it on her foot. This will discourage biting at the bandage because it tastes terrible.
The trick is to keep her resting and prevent her from chewing on those paws. Dog socks can help by providing another layer of protection. The Snuggy Boots System keeps those socks in place.
For the first few days, you’ll need to change her bandage twice a day. When you do, see how they’re healing.
If the injured area appears to swell or increases in redness and discharge, your pet may have an infection that will require a vet’s attention. She may need antibiotics from the vet.
Dog paw blisters can be tricky. They’ll also put your pet out of commission while they heal.