In a figurative sense, my dogs have left paw prints across my
heart. In the literal sense, my dogs are constantly leaving
paw prints across my floors. That got me to thinking about
their paws, specifically their pads.
Did you know?
The pad is made up of hairless, pigmented skin overlaying a
thick group of fat and tissue. The surface texture can vary
based on the dog's environment. As we see with our
rescue dogs, the surface of paw pads can be very tough if they are
continually exposed to rough surfaces.
Paw pads help with balance and stability by providing traction
and acting as shock absorbers for the bones, tendons and ligaments
of the limb.
A fast moving or high energy dog can tear their pads during
intense play or prolonged running. Just as hot surfaces can
burn or blister dog pads, the exposure to extreme cold can freeze
dog pads. If you are out and about with dog in extreme
temperatures or for long periods, consider dog booties. Your
dog may high step when they first go on but he'll get used to
In addition to acting as shock absorbers, the pads contain sweat
glands which help dogs cool off when they get too hot.
So the next time your pooch leaves a dirty paw print on your
floor, you can have a better appreciation for how important those