While ForeverLawn’s patented K9Grass has been installed on one half of our outdoor play area, the other half is covered with a thin layer of pea pebbles. Unfortunately, some dogs, especially puppies who are new to daycare, may experience some sensitivity on their paw pads after playing on the pebbles. To minimize any averse reactions, we suggest owners purchase a product called Musher’s Secret (https://musherssecret.net/) which can be applied both before and after your dog attends daycare. If your dog still experiences sensitivity despite treatment, we will work to incrementally increase the amount of time he spends on the the pebbles in our yard. Gradually, over time, a dog’s paw pads will thicken and toughen and the paw pad sensitivity will dissipate completely. If you notice your dog limping or licking the bottom of their paws the day after daycare, please bring this to our attention as your dog’s time on our pebbles will need to be minimized further.
Also, if you notice that your dog is vomiting or defecating pebbles (and therefore ingesting them), please bring this to our attention immediately. While it is normal for puppies to explore their environment with their mouths, if you dog is consuming a large amount of pebbles, this is problematic and potentially life-threatening. Because it is physically impossible for us to monitor all thirty to forty dogs simultaneously, and pebble eating is a behavior that is often done surreptitiously, we can not assume liability for dogs engaging in this behavior. In instances such as this you may want to enroll your dog in a daycare that does not have an outdoor area. I would also suggest a visit to your vet to rule out anemia, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency or a portosystemic shunt that may be causing the compulsive rock eating.
If you have any additional questions about our pea pebbles, your dog’s paw pads, or the condition known as pica, please do not hesitate to reach out.