Dog paws can be sensitive to the different surfaces that they walk on. The pads of their feet are more sensitive than other parts of their body, so they need to walk on surfaces that are soft and won’t irritate them.
As a dog owner, it’s up to you to make sure your dog is comfortable when they’re running about or when you take them for a walk.
Pea gravel is a common surface used in driveways and sidewalks, and if you have a dog that walks on it, they may feel some pain. In this article, we’ll talk about what pea gravel is, if pea gravel hurts dogs’ paws, and other things to know about dogs and pea gravel.
What is Pea Gravel?
Pea gravel is a type of small, rounded stone that is often used in landscaping. It is usually made from granite or other types of hard rock, and its size can range from about ¼ inch to 2 inches in diameter. Pea gravel is often used as a mulch around plants, as well as on pathways and walkways. It can also be used to create drainage ditches or to line the bottom of ponds.
While pea gravel is generally considered safe for dogs, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that pea gravel can be sharp, and it can hurt your dog’s paws if they walk on it. It’s important to make sure that any area where your dog will be walking on pea gravel is well-padded, either with grass or another soft material.
The second thing to keep in mind is that pea gravel can be a choking hazard for dogs. If your dog eats pea gravel, it could cause an obstruction in his digestive tract. To prevent this, make sure that any area where your dog has access to pea gravel is well-fenced off so he can’t get to it.
Does Pea Gravel Hurt Dog Paws?
Most dogs don’t have an issue running and playing on pea gravel. That said, some dogs with softer paws may have their paws irritated from it.
If your dog gets sore paws from pea gravel, take a wet cloth with a triple antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin, and clean your dog’s paws. You’ll want to discourage your dog from licking his paws, which may worsen the pain.
Otherwise, pea gravel is generally considered safe for dogs and there are many benefits to using pea gravel, including:
- Pea gravel is safe: Pea gravel is round, oval, and smooth-shaped, which means your dog will be okay rolling around and digging in it. Other kinds of gravel may have sharp stones which could hurt your furry companion.
- Pea gravel means your dog stays cleaner: When you place pea gravel on top of your grass, your dog is less likely to dig into the grass and get dirty or muddy. The pea gravel serves as a layer of protection to keep your dog a bit cleaner when they’re out playing. You also have to worry about your backyard getting damaged if your dog is out there digging it up.
- Less odor from dog poop: Pea gravel helps absorb the smell of dog poop, and it’s also easier to scoop without damaging your yard.
- Protects your lawn: Dog poop can damage your lawn, so by placing pea gravel in areas where your dog relieves themselves the most, you protect your soil from losing its fertility as a result of your dog’s bowel movements.
Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Pea Gravel?
Pea gravel can be a choking hazard for dogs and can also cause digestive issues if swallowed. If your dog ingests pea gravel first, wait to see if it passes naturally.
In many cases, the gravel will pass through your dog’s system without causing any serious problems.
However, here are some steps to take if your dog does eat pea gravel:
- Observe your dog for some time. If they appear normal, then the pea gravel might be passing through their system. If your dog starts to vomit or you don’t see the gravel in their poop, it might be time to call the vet.
- While you wait to see if your dog passes the pea gravel, place them somewhere where they can’t ingest any more of it. For example, bring them inside and let them play in a room.
- Determine how much pea gravel that your dog ate, the size of the pea gravel, and how long it’s been since they ingested it. You can use this information if you need to bring your dog to the vet if the gravel doesn’t pass in their poop.
- Call your vet and tell them what you’ve observed. The vet may likely ask you to bring your dog in for tests. Gravel can get stuck in a dog’s digestive tract, which can cause blockages. Your vet will be able to treat your dog in this case.
What Causes Dogs to Eat Pea Gravel
The most common reason that dogs eat gravel is a medical condition called Pica. Pica is the persistent chewing and consumption of non-food items that have no physical health benefit to the animal.
Your dog eating pea gravel may be related to something medical, behavioral, or psychological. They might be anxious or annoyed. They also may want to get your attention. Other times, your dog simply might be curious.
If you have a puppy, your puppy might chew or eat gravel because of teething.
Other reasons include that your dog might be in pain, it may be bored, or it may feel lonely. When in doubt, check with your vet.
What is an Alternative to Pea Gravel?
An alternative to pea gravel is crushed limestone, which is a cheaper option that is naturally deodorizing.
While pea gravel can be irritating to some dogs’ paws, generally speaking, pea gravel is a safe type of rock for your dog’s paws.