My 4 year old Lab Titus loves to run around on the occasion that he gets to go out to the farm. There is a bit over a hundred acres and the driveway is so long there is no traffic or anything like that to worry about. Anyways, we ride the quads around a bit and he thinks he has to go along anytime we go. He has to be out front and will push himself till he is running on bloody nubs if I let him. The last time, around 6 weeks ago, he only ran around a little bit and all 4 paws had cracked up and peeled off a layer of the center pad. He was in bad shape, none bad enough to be bleeding, but bad to the point that he was limping on all 4 paws and trying to walk on his toes.
Titus is all heeled up now. We bought him a set of boots from a basspro shop (he hates em), they are a bit of a pain to get on him and the rear boots won't stay on. I understand that it just takes time to him used to wearing them, but the rears won't even stay on.
Anyways, my question is... Is there anything I can do for him to make the pads on his paws stronger or tougher to be able to run around without a constant worry that he will hurt himself again.
I presume that he only gets to go to this farm every now and again? how regularly do you go?
The only way you can build the pads up is through exercise. What is his exercise routine like when you are not at the farm?
Road walking is a wonderful way of building up the strength of the pads. My dogs get some form of road walking every day and we have never had so much as a cut pawpad.
Check into "hoof heal" at the equine store. There is something like it for dogs, I will see if I have it written down someplace. Regular exercise is the best way to toughen them up.
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He doesn't get exercise like he should. The back yard is fenced in and he can run around there, but no I don't walk him nearly as often as I should.
He only gets to go out to the farm about once a month or every other month. So, not often at all.
I have wondered about walking him, but some days work is a bit much.
Is there anything I can get for him that will help to build stronger pads, along with the walks?
Well, you answered your own question here. 'Weekend warrior' syndrome - a dog who doesn't get much activity the majority of the time, but occasionally gets taken out on long jaunts. Because the dog doesn't get regular structured exercise, when it does, it is unable to cope with the demanding exercise which leaves them susceptible to injury. Just as we wouldn't run a half-marathon without conditioning and training, our dogs shouldn't either.He doesn't get exercise like he should. The back yard is fenced in and he can run around there, but no I don't walk him nearly as often as I should.
I assume your back yard is grass, in which case running on the grass will do nothing in strengthening the pads because it is a soft surface. Daily walking is essential and the only sure fire way to strengthen them up. I can understand work related time constraints, but road walking just 20 minutes or so a day would work wonderfully. Walking is also necessary for mental stimulation - they don't get that in their own back yard.
Thanx for the info. And yes... we have been walking every day this week, except yesterday in the rain.