Often we don’t pay much attention to our dog’s paws unless there is something wrong with them. Here are some fun facts about dog paws you may not have known
The pads of the paws provide protection and cushioning to your dog when walking on hard surfaces or across rough terrain. Dogs that spend a lot of time outside develop thicker pads that have roughened skin to protect them while dogs that spend most of their lives on grass or carpet will have softer, thinner pads.
Paws consist of five parts: The claws (or the nails), the toes (or digest pads), the big pad in the middle (or the metacarpal pad), the little pad higher up the leg (or the carpal pad) and the dewclaw.
The digital pads and the metacarpal pads work as a shock absorber to help protect the delicate bones and joints in the paw. The carpal pad helps your dog to deal with inclines and slippery surfaces, and also act as a kind of rear brake.
Dogs can sweat through their paws, just as we humans can sweat through our hands and feet. The dog’s sweat glands are located on the paw’s inner layer of skin, which carries sweat to the outer layer to prevent the pad from drying out as well it helps cool the paws down.
Written by Leanne Radcliffe