Q. My husband and I adopted our dog. She is a good dog, about 5 years old. She stays in all the time, and almost everyday we take a walk. The bottom of two of her paw pads look like they are separating. She licks them at night. I don’t know how serious this is, but it concerns me. Please advise if this can be cured or how we can give her comfort.
A. You need to treat your dog as if she is a sled dog for a while: Invest in some booties.
Dogs who do not spend a lot of time on hard or abrasive surfaces can have more fragile foot pads which can get torn on harder surfaces. Even dogs who are outside much of the time can damage their foot pads on rocky ground, snow and ice, and sharp-edged gravel.
A variety of dog booties are available, ranging in material from plastic to leather. Use these for a while when you walk your dog, and in the meantime, the pads should heal up.
You may also want to look into using one of the products available used to keep pads soft and crack-free.