She seems to be footsore after we have been out beating, even after cleaning her feet and checking for thorns etc.

GUNDOGS
Jemma Clifford
It was only recently that I came across this again in one of my own dogs and it turned out that stinging nettles were to blame for making her feet sore.

Young dogs whose pads have yet to harden are more susceptible to stings and sore feet than older individuals.

The usual reaction of a dog that has been nettled is to lick and nibble their feet, something that can make matters worse.

I usually walk youngsters on a hard surface like a pavement every day to harden off their pads but as with all these things, if your dog has unusually sensitive pads it is a good idea to take it along to the vet to rule out any underlying health condition first.

The vet might also be able to prescribe something to apply to your dog’s pads to help them along – saving your legs a little!