This article will explain why your dogs feet are pointing outward, the different causes of this condition, when to worry about this, how to diagnose this condition, treatment options for dogs with this condition, and prevent this condition.
Why Do Dogs Feet Point Outwards?
Dogs feet point outwards because it is more comfortable for them.
When walking on flat surfaces, such as pavement or concrete, they can easily step forward without having to turn around or change direction.
However, if you are walking through grass, mud, sand, or water, your dog needs to make sure he turns around in order to walk properly.
If he steps too far, his paws will sink into the surface and he may lose balance.
If your dog has trouble turning around, you should try to teach him better footwork.
Start by teaching him to walk on all fours.
As he masters this skill, gradually increase the distance between his front paws until he can walk normally on two legs.
He will need some practice but once he gets the hang of it, it won’t be long before he walks just like any other dog!
Another reason your dog might have his feet pointed outward is if he lives in an area where there is a lot of snow and/or ice.
His paws will get cold quickly, so he will instinctively want to move his feet away from the ground.
If you notice that your dog is constantly moving his feet outward, it could be a sign that he is uncomfortable and needs to spend time indoors during colder months.
The Different Causes of This Condition
There are many reasons why your dog’s feet might point outward.
Let us look at some of the most common causes of this condition.
Dogs can get this condition due to various reasons.
Some of these reasons include:
Familial factors – if you have a close relative who has this condition then there is a good chance that you also have it.
If your mother or father had this condition, then you are likely to have it too.
Obesity – if your dog is overweight, then he may find it difficult to walk properly without getting tired easily.
As a result, his feet may start pointing outward.
Old age – as your dog gets older, his joints may become stiffer and this could make him less mobile than he was before.
As a result, his feet may be unable to move in a natural way.
In addition, over time, the muscles around his joints may lose strength which makes it even harder for him to walk properly.
Poor muscle tone – dogs with poor muscle tone tend to carry excess weight on their bodies and this puts strain on the muscles.
As a result, their legs may not be able to support their body weight properly so they end up having their feet pointed outward.
Hereditary conditions – if you have a close relative who has this condition then there is a chance that you also have it.
It is important to note that not all dogs with this condition have a family history.
Genetic factors – if you have a close relative who has this condition then there is a chance that you also have it.
It is possible that you inherited a recessive gene from your relatives.
A recessive gene is one that is passed down through generations but does not show itself until it comes into contact with another similar gene.
When to Worry About Your Dog’s Feet
You might be wondering why your dog has his or her feet pointed outwards.
There are many reasons why this may happen.
It could be due to physical problems like arthritis, an injury, or even poor circulation.
It can also be caused by emotional stress.
If you notice that your dog’s feet are constantly pointing outward, try not to get upset.
Try to remain calm and be patient as there is almost always a medical reason for this behavior.
Arthritis is a disease that affects the joints.
When your dog suffers from arthritis, his or her paws will often point outwards.
While they may still walk around normally, the pain associated with walking on their paws makes them want to point their feet in another direction.
If you notice that your dog’s paws are pointing outward, you should seek veterinary care immediately.
You can find information about treating arthritis online at sites such as www.vetmedinfo.com/arthritis.
2. An Injury
Your dog may have been injured and needs help.
If your dog is limping and seems to be favoring one leg over the other, he or she may have sustained some kind of injury.
If you suspect that your dog has suffered an injury, take him or her to the vet right away.
He or she will need X-rays to determine the extent of the damage. Sometimes, surgery is required to repair the problem.
3. Poor Circulation
If you notice that your dog’s feet are pointing outward, it means that he or she has poor circulation.
Some breeds are prone to this condition because of their size.
However, most dogs who suffer from poor circulation do so because of something else.
Poor circulation can lead to a number of conditions including heart disease or stroke.
If you suspect that your dog has poor circulation, take him or her to the veterinarian immediately.
They will perform tests to determine what is causing the poor circulation and then treat the issue accordingly.
How to Diagnose This Condition
Let’s first look at some signs and symptoms of this condition in dogs:
Dogs with this condition have an uncomfortable feeling in their paws as they walk around.
They may also be unable to stand up straight when they walk.
Dogs with this condition can sometimes lift their front legs high up off the ground when they walk.
Dogs with this condition may rub their feet on hard surfaces or carpeting to relieve discomfort.
Some dogs with this condition may become stiff after walking.
Dogs with this condition may exhibit behaviors such as licking or chewing their feet.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to consult your vet right away so he or she can examine your dog and make a diagnosis.
A veterinarian will perform a physical exam of your dog to determine whether or not your pet has this condition. Here are some factors that the doctor will consider during the exam:
Your dog’s age.
Whether your dog is healthy or ill.
The size of your dog’s foot pads.
Any abnormalities in your dog’s gait.
Any abnormal behavior patterns exhibited by your dog while walking.
Any unusual odor from your dog’s paws.
Any swelling or inflammation in your dog’s paws.
Any tenderness in your dog’s paws.
Any redness or discoloration in your dog’s paws.
Any lumps on your dog’s paws.
Based on all of these factors, your vet will then be able to make a diagnosis of this condition.
The Treatment Options for Dogs with This Condition
Dogs feet tend to point outward because they are naturally designed to move around on four legs.
As such, their toes are bent at an angle and their paws have a “claw” shape.
When walking, your dog’s feet push up against each other and create space between the pads of their feet which allows them to walk without dragging along the ground.
However, if your dog has developed any conditions that make his or her feet less flexible, then this can lead to the toes being pushed outward.
There are several reasons why your dog’s feet might be pointed outward.
Heredity – if you have a family history of similar problems, it is possible that your dog may inherit these issues from you.
Poor Nutrition – it is important to ensure that your dog gets all of the essential nutrients including vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats from food and supplements.
Injury – if your dog suffers from a serious injury, it can affect the way his or her foot moves.
It is also possible for your dog to develop arthritis following a joint injury.
Illness – if your dog develops a long-term health condition such as diabetes, he or she may find it difficult to keep their feet healthy.
Treatment – certain medications can cause your dog’s feet to become more rigid.
If you think your dog’s feet are pointing outward, there are a number of ways that you can help him or her to correct this issue.
If your dog’s feet are pointing inward, then the best option is to see your vet who will likely recommend some home remedies and exercises to strengthen the muscles of his or her feet.
1. Home Remedies
Some of the most effective home remedies that you can use to treat this problem include:
Cleaning your dog’s feet regularly with warm water and soap.
Massaging your dog’s feet with olive oil twice daily.
Putting hot water bottles under your dog’s paws to soften his or her feet.
2. Walking Your Dog Regularly
As mentioned above, walking your dog regularly will help improve the flexibility of his or her feet.
You should start by taking your dog for short walks every day.
After two weeks of regular exercise, increase the length of time that you spend walking your dog.
Eventually, you should be able to take him or her for longer walks.
Some owners choose to take their dogs on daily walks so that they get enough exercise.
You should also ensure that your dog has access to plenty of fresh clean water during walks.
3. Use Supplements
Supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin are often recommended by vets to help to maintain the structure of your dog’s joints.
They are also used to relieve pain associated with arthritis.
How can I Prevent This Condition in Dogs?
Dogs who have this condition should be given sufficient exercise so that they can build up their muscle strength around their joints.
This will help strengthen the joint capsule, which will support the ligaments and tendons in the area.
Dogs who have this condition need to be exercised regularly to help strengthen the muscles around their joints.
They also need to be provided with enough space to stretch out their legs as much as possible.
Your dog’s hair needs to be trimmed regularly.
If you notice any signs of baldness or thinning hair on their body, then you should take them to the vet immediately.
Your vet will recommend a suitable treatment plan for your dog.