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How To Take Care of Your Dog’s Paws

May 1, 2024

Can your canine companion perform any adorable paw tricks, such as Shake or High Five? Does Fido ever place his paw on your leg to get your attention or politely request pets, walks, or treats? Fido’s adorable paw prints have become his unofficial symbol. We frequently use them to indicate that certain items or pieces of art are related to dogs. The importance of those paws cannot be overstated! They are crucial to your canine’s overall health and well-being. Learn some helpful tips on how to properly care for your dog’s paws in this article from a local Ashburn, VA veterinarian.

How Do I Protect Fido’s Feet On Walks?

Be mindful of the terrain when taking your pet for a walk. When the weather is chilly or scorching, it’s best to walk on soft grass whenever possible. Avoid walking on hot surfaces during the summer. This is especially true when your canine has been swimming. When dogs’ paws become wet, they can become quite sensitive, similar to how our skin wrinkles after a bath. Fido is prone to developing blisters rapidly following water exposure.

Should I Put Boots On My Dog?

Ultimately, the decision lies with Fido. Boots can be a fantastic option for safeguarding your pet’s paws, but only if they’re willing to wear them. 

How Can I Determine If My Pup’s Paws Are In Good Condition?

Doing regular paw inspections on your canine pal is a good idea. This can be seamlessly integrated into your cuddle time or training sessions. check for any signs of bumps, bruises, cuts, ticks, or blisters. Also, watch out for any foreign objects, like ticks, thorns, foxtail grasses, or even gum. If you come across a small scrape, you can easily take care of it at home using antiseptic. However, consult your veterinarian for any more serious injuries.

Is It Good To Clean My Dog’s Paws After Each Walk?

It’s not a bad idea to clean your dog’s feet down after a stroll. During the summer months, this can effectively eliminate dust and pollen. This will be incredibly useful if your pooch suffers from allergies.

During the winter season, Fido may get burns and abrasions from substances such as salt, sand, and chemical de-icers. Consider using pet-friendly de-icing products, as they are more gentle on your furry friend’s feet.

A convenient method is to have pet wipes or clean cloths and a spray bottle of water readily available near the door. Help your pooch understand that he will be rewarded with a treat for allowing you to clean his paws.

If your furry friend is well-behaved, you might even be able to train him to clean his own paws! Ask your Ashburn, VA veterinarian for some helpful training tips.

Do I Need To Apply Moisturizer To Fido’s Feet?

Absolutely! Moisturizing your furry friend’s adorable paw pads can help prevent discomfort from cracks and chafing. Additionally, it can provide protection by creating a barrier between your dog’s skin and hot or harsh surfaces.

Use paw balm or paw wax. There are many appropriate options available. Alternatively, you can create your own! Here’s a recipe from the AKC website:

List of ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of your preferred oil – olive, sunflower, or sweet almond
  • 1 tablespoon of shea butter
  • 4 teaspoons of beeswax

Combine the oils, shea butter, and beeswax. Using a small pot or double boiler, heat the mixture over low heat. Keep stirring until everything is completely melted and mixed together. Next, carefully transfer the mixture into small tubes or tins. Allow it to cool completely and then label it. 

How can I properly care for Fido’s Feet?

It’s important to regularly trim Fido’s nails to prevent them from becoming too long. This is actually more important than many people understand. Your furry friend may experience discomfort from having overgrown claws. They can also affect how his toes make contact with the ground. Fido may struggle to gain traction, particularly when walking or running on slippery surfaces. That can lead to a higher risk of your pooch slipping and falling, which is certainly undesirable.

One more problem with excessively long claws is that they can gradually affect your pet’s balance and walking pattern. That can potentially worsen bone and joint conditions, like arthritis.

Lastly, longer nails are more prone to tearing and ripping. That can result in infections, which of course can be both painful and potentially dangerous.

What Should I Do To Make My Dog Feel Better About Having His Nails Trimmed?

We’ve discussed the importance of trimming your dog’s nails. However, attempting to explain this to him will likely result in an adorable head tilt and a perplexed expression. Getting your dog on board may require some time, patience, gentle persuasion, and perhaps a little incentive.

Begin by gently massaging his paws. Reward him with a delicious treat when you perform this action. Opt for a top-notch option, such as a succulent piece of steak or some delectable deli meat.

Once he has become accustomed to this, introduce the clippers. Take a moment before making any cuts. Pass the clippers over his feet and let them make a clicking sound to help him become familiar with it. Provide a reward, a gentle pat on the head, a compliment, and, of course, another treat. Continue to repeat this.

Once Fido appears to have become more relaxed, you can begin the clipping process. Remember that you don’t have to do all four paws at once. Do one at a time and switch between them regularly. If your dog has a short attention span, this method might be more effective.

If your pooch is resistant to having his feet played with, you can try using a little incentive. You may have come across some videos of people using peanut butter and other treats to divert their dogs’ attention. This could potentially be effective, but there are a few things to consider. When opting for peanut butter, it’s important to select a variety that doesn’t include xylitol, as it can be harmful to dogs. Also, use a plate … not your head or the wall. 

If you’re nervous about cutting too far, asking your vet to show you the correct methods would be helpful. Or, get clippers with sensors. That can help keep  you from accidentally cutting your canine pal’s quick, which is where their nerves and blood vessels are located. It’s important to have styptic powder readily available in case of bleeding, regardless of the clippers or techniques you use. 

Should I Clip The Fur Around My Canine Buddy’s Toes?

It’s definitely not a bad idea! We understand, those small tufts are adorable. On the other hand, they may also collect items such as gum or ice balls, resulting in uncomfortable tangles. Consult your  Ashburn, VA veterinarian for additional details.

Book An Appointment At Our Ashburn, VA Pet Clinic

Need help with taking care of your furry friend’s paws? Does Fido need to come in for a check-up at our animal clinic? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, your Ashburn, VA pet hospital, for all of your four-legged pal’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!