10 things you didn’t know about your dog’s paws

  • Dog’s toes are equivalent to our fingers and toes; however they are unable to move them with ease like we can.
  • Dewclaws are thought to be a dog’s version of thumbs. Most dogs have front dewclaws, and occasionally have them on the back. Surprisingly they do have a function! They can help the dog get a better grip on bones or toys to chew on; most dog owners will notice this at some point.
  • Breeds from colder climates such as St. Bernard’s and Newfoundlands are renowned for their ginormous, floppy paws. These are actually used for gaining a better tread on snow and ice due to their great surface area.
  • Newfoundlands, German wirehaired pointers, Labrador Retrievers and a few other breeds have webbed toes, enabling them to be excellent swimmers.
  • You may often notice a biscuit or popcorn-like smell coming from your dog’s paws, some people even find this smell enjoyable. However the cause being bacteria and fungi may cause these people to be slightly put off!
  • A peaceful hand massage can be enjoyable for all of us, even your dog. It can relax and promote better circulation.
  • While humans carry most of our weight on our heels, dogs carry it on their toes. Known as digitigrade walking, making the delicate bones of the toes very important!
  • Your dog’s paws contain sweat glands to help them cool down.
  • Paw pads provide protection and cushioning. Dogs that spend a lot of time on rough surfaces have thicker, rougher pads than others who tend stick to grass and carpets.
  • Paws consist of five sections. The claws, the digital pads (toes), a metacarpal pad (the big one!), the carpal pad (the one higher up) and the dewclaw.
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