Dog Paw Anatomy
Paw pads have a thick layer of fatty tissue (kind of like whale blubber) that insulates the inner foot tissues from extreme temperatures, as it doesn’t conduct cold as quickly. As a dog’s paw gets cold when it hits the ground, arteries transfer the chilled blood back to the body where it warms up again.
The pads also offer protection when walking on rough terrain. Dogs that are outside a lot and exposed to rough surfaces have thicker, rougher paw skin; dogs that stay in more and walk on smoother surfaces have softer pads. The pads help dogs distinguish between different types of terrain.
The inner layer of skin on the paw has sweat glands that convey perspiration to the outer layer of skin, which helps cool a hot dog and keeps the pads from getting too dry. Paws can also exude moisture when a dog gets nervous or experiences stress; dogs get sweaty hands, just like people do!
If your dog’s nails are scratching you or your furniture, trim your dog’s nails or take them to get them trimmed.
If your dog is digging holes in your yard, make sure he/she gets regular exercise so they won’t get bored and dig holes. If the problem persists, talk to your vet or a dog trainer to correct the behavior.
Declawing a dog is not cosmetically pleasing. Instead take your dog to the spa and have their nails trimmed and painted.