Furry Friends Inc. Doggie Daycare & Boarding Facility uses a combination of mulch and pea stone in its outdoor play areas. Pea stones are small, round stones without sharp or rough edges. Pea stone is an excellent surface for dog play areas because it is easier on the dog's joints than concrete. Urine will sink through the stone to the ground underneath while fecal matter stays on top where it's easy to spot and clean up. This enables us to keep the outdoor area clean and free of waste, therefore your dog is not running and stepping in waste while playing.
The vast majority of dogs who come to Furry Friends Inc. have no issues running or playing on the pea stone. Some dogs have experienced some irritation, especially those who haven't built up tough pads due to their youth or lack of exposure to certain surfaces. While running and playing some of the pea stone will get between the paw pads causing redness, swelling and irritation. The dog then licks their paws to relieve the irritation, which in turn will exacerbate the soreness.
If you find that your dog has developed some irritation after a day at Furry Friends Inc. the best thing to do is clean their paws thoroughly several times with a wet cloth and then apply a triple antibiotic ointment with pain relief (Neosporin). Also using a tiny bit of Hydrogen Peroxide with a lot of water to wash their feet works the best, and also Benadryl will relieve the itchiness and need for licking. As always consult a veterinarian or please contact us here at Furry Friends Inc. with any questions or concerns.
Due to this unexpected condition in some dogs, we have covered the two large pens with more mulch, to help lessen the risk of irritation to the dogs. As a preventative measure applying a paw wax or balm to your dog's feet will provide a protective barrier to ensure your dog is not bothered by the stones.
The few dogs that have been affected by the pea gravel in the last while have returned to play and as a precautionary measure we have washed their feet several times during their stay with us and there has been no recurrence of the irritation.
Thank you, Furry Friends Inc.