It’s no secret that our pets become a part of our family, or that dogs are known as man’s best friend. Think about it —how many times have you heard a friend or family member refer to their pets as their fur baby or one of their children? It is estimated that there are 70 to 80 million pet dogs in the United States. Or, think of it this way: almost one-third of American families share their living space with a dog!
But there are several things about dogs that you may not know. For instance, did you know that you dog is as intelligent as the average 2-year-old toddler? Believe it or not, your pooch likely understands roughly the same number of words, commands, or gestures as the average two-year-old child —about 250, on average. And your dog also has an uncanny sense of time, able to distinguish and remember routines and patterns in your day. Dogs can pick up on your habits, and they even respond to their owners differently, based on how long they have been away.
Dogs have even been known to read our moods, picking up on even the subtlest changes in our scent. This means that they can tell when you are stressed or upset. Some dogs can even tell when their owners are pregnant, or even sniff out certain diseases or illnesses, such as cancer.
Taking Care of Paw Pads
With all that our dogs do for us, it is only natural that we want to do our very best to take care of them and make sure they are happy and healthy. And sometimes that is easier to do than others. Sure, you know to feed your dog the best foods and take care of his or skin with quality shampoo and treatments, but most people tend to overlook a very important part of their dog —the paw pads.
Think about it: puppy dog eyes, a happy wagging tail, and a shiny coat of hair are what we usually think of when we think of our dogs. But there is another part of your dog that is extremely important —and very often overlooked. Your dog’s paws and paw pads are critical to their comfort and well being, but many owners unintentionally neglect these important areas. Before you dismiss your pup’s paws, read on to learn more about how important they are —and how you can take care of them.
Here are 4 things that you may not have known about your dog’s paws:
1. The metacarpal and digital pads in your dog’s paws act as shock absorbers, helping to not only protect the bones and joints in the foot, but also to work almost like brakes. The pads help your dog navigate steep slopes or slippery terrain.
2. Your dog’s paw pads also provide protection while walking on rough land or terrain. This would explain why dogs who are kept outside or who are outside often and exposed to naturally rougher surfaces have thicker and rougher skin on their paws (think similar to calluses in humans). Dogs who primarily stay inside, on the other hand, often have softer and smoother paw pads.
3. The pads of your dog’s paws help them distinguish between different types of surfaces and terrains, much in the same way we can tell the difference in walking on a smooth hardwood floor from a rough and rocky gravel path when in our bare feet.
4. Most dogs actually enjoy having their paws massaged. The ASPCA suggests that massaging the paws and pads on your dog’s feet can actually help promote relaxation and help calm your dog. To give it a try, slowly massage the spot on your dog’s paws, and also between each toe.
In addition to massaging your dog’s paw pads, it is crucial that you help keep the skin on the pads moisturized and healthy. And one of the best and easiest ways to do this is with our On the Paw Therapy Balm, which is designed with a perfect blend of natural ingredients to heal, protect, and restore your pet’s paw pads. In addition to protecting the skin on your pet’s paws, On the Paw Therapy Balm can also help heal a long list of ailments, including rashes or dry skin irritation, ulcerated paw pads, cracked and crusty paws, hyperkeratosis, heat or ice burn, and more.