Your four-legged friend’s feet are just as vulnerable to injuries as yours are; in fact, they are even more susceptible to damage. They bear the weight of their bodies, and unlike you, they don’t wear shoes to protect them. Add to that the fact that dogs use their paws for more than just walking, but for playing, working, grooming themselves, and everything else that that they do, and it’s no wonder why they are prone to injuries.
Given how important a canine’s paws are, it’s no wonder why they need some TLC. As his pet parent, your dog looks to you to fulfill all of this needs; such as making sure that his dog bowl is filled up with a nutritious and delicious high-quality dog food, offering him a comfortable and supportive dog bed to sleep in, making sure that his dog harness is comfortable so he can safely enjoy his daily walks, and offering him plenty of interactive dog toys and puzzle toys for dogs to keep him entertained. Unfortunately, however, many pet parents often overlook their dogs’ paws. Neglecting them can lead to serious pain and discomfort, and can even reduce your furry pal’s mobility; therefore, if you want to ensure your pup is getting the best care possible, you’re going to want to be mindful of his paws and give them the care that they need.
Whether you have a Golden retriever, a Shetland Sheepdog, a West Highland White Terrier, a Beagle, a Basset Hound, or a Mastiff, paw care is vital to your dog’s overall health and well-being. But how do you care for a dog’s paws? Read on for some useful tips that you can use to keep your pooch’s feet in tip-top condition.
Regular Puppy Pedicures are a Must
There’s nothing better than hearing the pitter-patter of puppy paws scurrying across the floor to eagerly greet you when you return home; however, if you’re hearing a whole lot of clicking when your pup walks, then it’s time to give him a pedicure.
A dog’s nails should be trimmed short enough so that they gently graze the ground when they walk. If you’re pups nails are clicking loudly, then he could be in serious trouble. Long nails can affect his ability to walk, run, or do anything else comfortably. Imagine how uncomfortable you would be if your toenails were so long that they jabbed into your shoes or into the ground every time you took a step… That’s exactly how your dog feels if his nails are too long, too!
Invest in a good pair of nail clippers for dogs and ask your vet how short you should cut them. Remember that there’s a vein that runs through each nail, so if you trim them too short, you can cause a serious injury. If you’re uncomfortable trimming them yourself or you pooch won’t let you, take him to the groomer or vet.
Trim the Paw Hair
A dog’s nails aren’t the only part of his paws that need to be trimmed; the hair that grows between his pads needs to be kept trimmed, too. This is especially true for long-haired breeds, such as German shepherds, Afghan hounds, Akitas, Border Collies, Brittanys, Chihuahuas, Carin terriers, and Cavalier King Charles spaniels. If the hair between their paws gets too long, it can become matted, which can cause serious discomfort.
To prevent issues, use a narrow dog brush or comb and gently pull the hair between his pads down or out. Then, use a pair of sharp scissors (invest in a pair that featured rubber-gripped handles to avoid slipping) and trim the hair so that it is even with his pads.
Wash Between Pads
Just like the bottom’s of your shoes get filled with dirt, rocks, pebbles, and other debris, so do the pads on your dog’s paws. If that debris gets embedded, it can cut his delicate pads and potentially cause an infection; not to mention the fact that it can cause a great deal of pain.
Make sure that you inspect his paws on a regular basis and wash them down. If he isn’t due for a bath, wash down his paws with a high-quality dog shampoo to gently loosen and remove any stuck-on dirt.
Moisturize the Pads
With all that walking, digging, and playing on various surfaces, a dog’s pads can become super dried out, which can eventually lead to cracking and bleeding. To prevent issues, make sure that you are moisturizing his pads.
Avoid using a lotion for humans on a dog’s pads, however; it may be too harsh or it may make them too soft, which can cause even further problems. Instead, invest in a moisturizer that is specifically deigned for a dog’s pads.
Try out Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax – it’ll keep your dog’s paws safe during the winter, summer, and on harsh surfaces.
It might sound silly – and your pooch may not like it at first – but putting him in a pair of dog boots can protect his feet from extreme surfaces, such as excessive heat and cold, as well as areas where there may be a lot of sharp debris.
If you do invest in a pair of boots for your pooch, make sure that they fit him properly and that they are nice and secure on his feet. Slowly introduce them to him; remember, dogs aren’t used to having anything on their feet so it’s going to take him some time to get adjusted to them. However, once he does, boots can really help to avoid burns, frostbite, and serious cuts and scrapes.
Summing It Up
Proper paw care is a vital part of dog grooming. Make sure that you attend to those paws on a regular basis to avoid serious problems. If you aren’t comfortable taking care of your furry friend’s feet yourself, have a groomer or a vet take care of them. You definitely don’t want to overlook the importance of caring for your pooch’s feet.
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