Why Should I Care About Extra Fur Between My Dog's Paw Pads?

Why Should I Care About Extra Fur Between My Dog's Paw Pads?

Have you ever heard the term dog hyperkeratosis?

We didn’t...until we started researching more about caring for our dogs’ paws. 

According to, “Canine hyperkeratosis is a skin condition in which excess keratin is produced, in particular in the nose and/or paw pads; causing skin thickening and hardening, sometimes to the point of cracking, thus leading to the emergence of secondary infections.”

You might be wondering what does that have to do with the fur growth between my dog’s paw pads

First thing’s first: Extra fur between your dog’s paw pads won’t cause or lead to canine hyperkeratosis but what it will do is hinder your ability to catch the symptoms. 

Canine hyperkeratosis can be painful for your dog and when you examine the paws of a dog who has this condition, you’ll understand why. It looks uncomfortable, and at a certain stage of hyperkeratosis, it looks like the skin on the paws is coming apart and mimics the look of hair or fur. 

That being said, it’s recommended that you trim the extra fur between your dog’s paw pads so that you can quickly recognize if your dog is affected by dog hyperkeratosis. 

Take it a step further and make sure you’re educated on dog hyperkeratosis so that you can take preventative measures. Here are some causes of hyperkeratosis:

  • Age - As dogs grow older, their chances of developing canine hyperkeratosis increases.
  • Breed - Some breeds have a genetic makeup that is more prone to hyperkeratosis.
  • Canine Distemper - Schedule an appointment with your trusted veterinarian and begin shots for canine distemper. Treat this like you would with any other vaccination.
  • Zinc Deficiency - Dermatosis stemmed from zinc can open up an arena of issues including canine hyperkeratosis. 

Other causes of canine hyperkeratosis are rooted in auto-immune issues like leishmaniasis which is a disease caused by sandfly bites.

How Is Hyperkeratosis Treated?

Canine Journal reports, “Unfortunately, there is no known cure at this time. However, the skin condition can be managed by softening and then removing the hardened skin on your dog’s paws and nose. Make an appointment with your vet to have this done frequently.”

If you discover that your dog has canine hyperkeratosis, after grooming your dog’s paws, Natural Dog Company recommends a balm to help rejuvenate your dog’s paw pads. 

“It’s a gentler formula used to maintain smooth and healthy paws. PawTection can be used as a first resort for more sensitive dogs or for less serious cases of paw pad hyperkeratosis.”

So remember! Keep the extra fur trimmed for better visibility of symptoms and increased chances of handling canine hyperkeratosis effectively once diagnosed.

What you’ve just read is a sampling of different blog posts we offer at Joyride Harness. We cover current events, informational posts on dog health, interviews, and more! You can find more posts like this including tips and tricks and how-tos for caring for your dog on our blog at this section. Feel free to leave a comment with tips you’re looking for!
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