So they are big and small, webbed, wide and dainty and you see them every day. Do you know why there are certain paws that belong to certain breeds? Here are some fun facts about your dog’s feet.
The pads of your dog’s paw are largely made up of fatty tissue, which is why their feet don’t get cold when they’re in the snow! This fatty tissue padding also protects them while venturing on warmer ground and rugged landscapes.
However, those paws can get burned and blistered on hot surfaces (like summer pavement). They also can get irritated or burned from rock salt and other chemicals on the ground. While their paws are durable, mind where your dog is stepping. Yes, booties are necessary in very cold and very hot climates. Not to mention it protects them from sharp rocks and cactus when hiking.
There are sweat glands on a dog’s paw and a dog carries the majority of their weight on their toes (as opposed to their heels).
Have you ever seen that funny little claw that hangs a few inches above the rest of your dog’s foot? That is called a dew claw. It is thought to be the remnant of what used to be a thumb but not all dogs have them. Dogs can use their dew claws to help keep things like bones and toys in their grasp as they gnaw and some dogs still actively use their dew claws when navigating choppy, mountainous landscapes.
Certain dogs are bred for cold climates, like St. Bernards and Newfoundlands; they have wide, sprawling paws to give them a better grip on snow and ice. Breeds like Akitas, Dobermans and Grey Hounds, have what are called “cat feet.” This enables them to excel with endurance because their paws are so light. Labrador Retrievers are natural-born swimmers who have webbed feet.
Does your dog ever have an awful smell to his feet? It is a form of bacteria that grows on their paws and is totally normal.
A word of caution: If you see you dog excessively gnawing or licking his/her paws, it could be a sign of anxiety and could lead to open sores and infection. So make sure to get your vet involved.
Rover’s Rest Stop has some exciting news for the New Year! Watch for the announcement and updates. Don’t forget to stop and say hello to all the kids at the adoption events held every month in Cottonwood. The calendar is on Rover’s web page or call 480-600-2828. We have four new kids looking for wonderful homes!