Don’t know how to care for your dog’s paws? If that’s the case, you’re so lucky because you have just visited the right place.
Just like the human feet, the paws of your dog need to be pampered and more importantly, taken care of. Actually, their paws are made of digital pads and a metacarpal pad. These pads do tons of work by absorbing shock, giving adequate protection on rough surfaces, as well as insulating from cold and heat.
With this in mind, keeping your dog’s paws in good condition is crucial to keep your pet healthy. Take note it is your responsibility as the owner to ensure your dog will be able to walk properly.
To help in keeping your dog’s paws in good condition, here are some tips that you may want to take into consideration.
8 Tips on How to Care for The Paws of Your Dog
1. Trim Nails
The nails of your dog should touch the ground barely. If you notice lots of clicking most especially if your dog is walking on a hard surface, it is a sign that you need to trim its nails.
In the actual fact, nails that are extremely long can easily get snagged and it may cause serious injuries. In addition to that, they will cause your pet to limp, making it uncomfortable, as the owner you don’t want any of these to happen.
When it comes to how often you should trim the nails of your dog, it will greatly depend on your pet. It is worth mentioning that there are some dog breeds that don’t have to be trimmed much at all. That said, it is best to ask your vet to avoid any problem.
If paws become too dry, they can crack, or in some instances, they bleed. For this reason, consider moisturizing. But as a piece of advice, don’t use moisturizers or even lotions that are specially designed for people. Why? Because they will soften the paw pads and may possibly result in further injuries. So, ask your vet once again for the recommendation.
If you already have the right lotion and moisturizer, make sure to apply it as directed. It is also the best time to pamper your pet. As a matter of fact, one of the best ways to bond with your dog is a paw massage. What’s more, doing so may aid your pet feel more comfortable with you, especially when trimming its nails or examining its pads.
3. Apply First Aid
It is not unusual for your dog to experience cuts or other wounds from stepping on objects like debris or glass accidentally.
So to ensure that your dog’s paws are safe, check them on a regular basis. If you notice a wound that is not more than ½-inch, you can clean it using an antibacterial wash then covered it with a bootie designed by a dog. But if the cut is too deep, make sure to visit a vet for more professional treatment.
4. Practice Prevention
One of the easiest ways that you can do if you want to care for the paws of your dog is to practice prevention.
In order to lessen the risk of accidents or injuries, make sure to keep your yard and home clear of pointy and sharp pieces. Not only that, be mindful to avoid hazard shattered glasses and other objects when you are walking your four-legged friend. Nevertheless, if you would not like to walk on it shoeless, neither will your pet.
5. When Starting an Exercise Program, Choose the Correct Time
Keep in mind that if your pet spent most of its time indoor and wants to start an exercise program, you need to start gradually.
In fact, an indoor dog’s paws will not be able to build up a tolerance on heat, cold, or rough surfaces. Thus, it is crucial to begin the exercise program by going on a short walk and lengthening the distance little by little.
6. Wintertime Care
Winter is not only hard to the skin of a human but for dogs as well. Cold, on the other hand, may cause cracking and chapping.
Another important thing that you need to keep in mind is that during winter and cold months, the vast majority of people are using de-icers, salt, as well as other items in order to melt the ice on the sidewalks. In case you didn’t know, such items can be dangerous to dogs who are used to licking their paws. What’s more, they cause burns on your dog’s feet.
To avoid this from happening, make sure to wipe or wash their paws using water, particularly when coming home for a short walk to get rid of the chemicals that your dog obtained while walking on the street.
7. Clean in Between Your Dog’s Paws
Objects may be stuck in the pads of your dog. That is why it is very important that you check between toes for small bits of shattered objects and pebbles on a regular basis. Don’t worry because you easily remove them using a tweezer.
8. Watch Out for Licking and Chewing
If your dog is chewing or licking at its paw pads, then it is a visible sign that there is an irritant there that must be cleaned immediately before it can cause major damage to the pads.
Further, if the licking and chewing become excessive, then it could be an indication of allergic reactions that will need the assistance of vets.
Some breeds that are more prone to allergies are poodles, west highland white terriers, bichon frise, and beagles.
On the other hand, such actions may also be a symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, so watch out.
3 Paw Problems in Dogs
The following are the most common paw problems in dogs.
1. Fungal and Bacterial Infections
These are common causes of a paw problem since they are usually living on the paw pads. If your pet chews and licks its paws, and see redness and discoloration of the nails, probably, it has an infection.
Injuries, including lacerations, tears, cuts, and bruises on the paws of your dog are common. This is because your pet tends to play and run around terrains. What’s more, your pet may also injure itself.
While the vast majority of such injured aren’t serious, you still need to clean them right away to avoid infections.
3. Nail Problems
The most sensitive part of a dog’s paws is the toenails. In fact, even long toenails could bring a negative consequence, such as wreaking pain when your pet walks.
Also, with long nails, your furry friend may also experience fractured nails and toenails. Usually, this happens when your dog catches its toenail on something that will lead to limping.
Nevertheless, nails that are injured can be recognized with ease on a closer inspection.
Knowing how to care for your dog’s paws is very important. As a matter of fact, this will not only save your dog but you as well since you don’t have to visit a vet for expensive treatment, especially if the damage is too serious.