Moose loves to go hiking, when we’re at a local off leash trail he enjoys running through the creek, along the gravel, mud and a variety of terrain. Wearing shoes was never something we considered, on warm and sunny days we always checked the temperature of the pavement and went on walks at dawn or dusk but had otherwise seen no need for shoes.
We’d probably been on twenty trips to this off leash hike trail with Moose, accompanied by all sorts of other dogs and never had any issues with his paws. On one visit, specifically the one in the photo I noticed red blotches on the rock and Moose started to limp. I had a cloth in my backpack that I dabbed on his feet but could not find the problem paw so we walked carefully back to our car and said goodbye to our friend. I cleaned his paws with some water in the parking lot but still could not locate the wound. A few hours later after a very long bath (he had managed to cover himself in sticker burrs, you can see them in the photo if you look closely), I noticed what looked like scrapped knees on his paw pads while he was lying down to be blow dried. I realized this must be where he was bleeding from, I took a moment to check each paw where I found the same wounds on all four!
I was devastated and as we settled in for the evening could visibly see he was uncomfortable. I called my vet who explained it was just that, like scrapped knees and to keep them clean and apply antibiotic with some socks to keep him from licking them. We purchased these adorable boots that he wears every time we go exploring to help protect his paws!