Thursday, January 03, 2008

It's official - I have sensitive paws!

Mum has always suspected I have sensitive paws. She first noticed it when I was about a year old, and she and I were taking our daily walk. This day there was snow on the ground and it was pretty cold, but not too cold. And she thought we'd just go down to the end of the street and back.

About three houses down, I collapsed in the snow and wouldn't budge. At first she got worried and carried me back home (thank goodness I'm only 19 lbs.). She checked me out and I was fine, running around the house just minutes after getting back.

So she knew at that point the snow and cold bothered my paws. Then one weekend at an indoor agility trial with soccer flooring, I laid down at the start line on my last run of the three-day weekend and didn't want to run. That's when Mum really realized I have sensitive paws. The floor even hurt Mum's knees when she knelt down.

Well, sensitivity has reared it's ugly head again. It's been about 3 degrees here the past two mornings with snow on the ground. Which, may I say is just beautiful - the snow sparkles like the brightest of diamonds at this temperature. But I just can't handle it. I went out yesterday for my morning poo, collapsed in the snow and wouldn't move. I was on my back, paws flailing. Mum had to go out and pick me up and carry me in the house. Happened again this morning.

Now to a tough herding dog like me, this is really difficult for me to admit. I'm pretty sensitive on the inside, but usually tough as nails on the outside. But Mum and I decided to post about this because it's more of a common problem than we thought.

Seems many pups have sensitive paws, some caused by allergies (they have troubles in the Summer and Winter, poor pups) others from cold and snow (like me) and some from the salt put on the roads to melt ice. Dogs can even get frost bite if they aren't careful!

There are things you can do for sensitive paws so that we can still enjoy a good hike, good zoomie, the snow and even the cold. Some rub paw de-icer or Tuf-Foot on the pads, others (like me) wear boots like Mutt Luks, Pawz Protective Boots or Bark 'N Boots from RuffWear. We've even read where some use cooking spray on the pads to keep them supple and less likely to crack and get dry from the terrain or environment. My Mum would be more apt to go with something like salmon oil on my feet in case I licked it. And of course she always cleans up my pads after our walk out on the sidewalk - gotta clean off that road salt it's not good for us pups.

When we were at the next indoor trial on soccer flooring Mum rubbed a touch of Traumeel on my pads before my runs. I was running with absolutely no problems. And Mum is really glad she discovered this!

Mum has also thought that maybe my sensitivity is aggravated because of my broken paw last Winter.

So Mum got into the closet this morning and got out my Mutt Luks. One good thing about the Mutt Luks is that those tough sled dogs wear them too. If tough dogs like those can wear them, then I don't feel so badly. I'll be wearing my boots to go out today. Tomorrow and the days following are supposed to be warmer and I won't have any problems, since it only happens with the thermometer dips below 15 degrees or so.

But this really got us any of you pups have sensitive paws like me?

EDIT: We were just over visiting and they are doing an entire series on the effects of cold weather on us pups! Worth checking out!


  1. I don't think I have sensitive paws.

    But I don't like to get them wet.


  2. i hope ur owner can find away to overcome ur problem..or maybe alleviate ur discomfort..

  3. Sorry to hear about your sore paws. I like walking on the forsty ground, make me feel all invigorated!

    Toodle pip,
    Harry x

  4. I think I do too..although I do last a bit longer out there..but once I'm in the deep snow my paws get irritated.

    Mom will look into the paw de-icer for me.


  5. Good tips you gave Johann. Rosie seems to be really sensitive to the cold, especially her feet. Abby tends to get cracks on her pads from certain surfaces, so you are not alone my friend. Glad to hear the boots and oil help you be more comfortable. I hadn't thought of salmon oil, but I have some and will see how it works. Might have to get Rosie some boots.

  6. Sorry to hear your paws are sore! Thanks for answering the Johann question....that is cool how you were all named! My mom's uncle was a pretty famous flutist in Holland and traveled the world in concert...does your mom still play the flute?
    I think you are a very nice doggie friend, and i just added you to my favorite links list.
    See you again soon!

  7. Hey what a difference 20 degrees makes. This morning when I collapsed for the second time in the snow it was 3 degrees. Now it's 23 degrees and I'm a snow zooming maniac.

    Now I'm wondering what my cold wish snow threshold is. 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 15 degrees? Hmmm, may have to keep stats on that - being the stat fanatic that I am!

    Thanks all for your help and concern! BTW - I'm not that fond of my boots, oh, unless there is something to chase, then I just forget about them.


  8. Mine aren't sensitive but we are glad they make things like boots for our dog buddies who have that problem.

  9. Hey Johann, I have muttluks, but I never wear them. My paws don't get cold ever, because I am a tough girl. Well, really, it's because of the Chesapeake in me, probably. But the salt burns, so mom sometimes puts vaseline on my pads before we go out. She loves the idea of salmon oil. We have flax oil. I wonder if that would work? Or maybe I can hold out for some truffle oil or something fabulous like that. Also salmon oil sounds pretty darn fabulous.


  10. Hi Johann,
    I was tagged!
    Take a look and continue the game!

    Read the rules on my friend Anna's site:


  11. I don't think I have sensitive paws (but then we don't have snow either). I did wear holes in my pastern pads a while ago, mum said I play to hard when chasing my ball.

    I can't help it if I stop like a cow pony - if I don't I trip over myself because I run to fast to catch the ball!

    I hope your feet a feeling better real soon!



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