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How to Take Care of Your Dog’s Paws

May 1, 2024

Does your canine buddy have any cute hand tricks? For example, does he know how to Shake or High Five? Does your pup put his foot on your leg when he wants to be petted, taken for walks, or given treats? Fido’s feet have become his unofficial symbol. Paw prints are often used to show that something is for or about dogs. Those paws are very important to dogs’ health and well-being! This article from a Jefferson, IA area vet talks about how to take care of your dog’s paws.

Should I Clean Fido’s Paws After Every Walk?

After you take your pup for a walk, you should give his feet a quick wipe down. This can get rid of dust and pollen in the summer. That will help a lot if your pet has allergies.

Some things, like salt, sand, and chemical de-icers, may damage Fido’s skin in the winter. If you can, choose de-icing solutions that are safe for pets. These will be better to protect your pet’s feet.

Put some clean cloths or pet wipes and a water spray bottle near to the door, and teach your pet that if he lets you wipe his feet, he’ll get a treat.

If your canine companion is exceptionally well-behaved, you may even be able to teach him to wipe his own feet! (Results may vary.)

Should I Moisturize Fido’s Paws?

Yes! Cracks and sores can be avoided by keeping Fido’s cute little toe beans moist. This will also help by putting something protective between your dog’s skin and hot or rough surfaces.

Just use a safe paw oil or paw wax. There are many different ones out there. You could also just make your own! Here is an AKC recipe:

Things needed:

•    A dog

•    1/2 tablespoon of sweet almond, olive, or sunflower oil

•    2 tablespoons of coconut oil

•    1 tablespoon shea butter

•    4 teaspoons of beeswax

Shea butter, beeswax, and oils should all be melted over low heat in a small pot or double boiler. Keep stirring until everything is mixed well. Put the mix into little tins or tubes. Done!

How Should I Take Care Of Fido’s Claws?

Fido’s nails will need to be trimmed regularly, so they don’t get too long. A lot of people don’t understand how important this is. When a dog’s nails get too long, they can become very painful. They will also make it hard for your pet’s toes to contact the ground at the right angle. That’s not good for his bones or joints!

Also, it will be harder for your canine buddy to get traction, especially if he is walking or running on wet ground. That can then make it more likely for your pet to slip and fall, which you definitely don’t want.

Another problem with claws that are too long is that they can make your pet change his stride. Over time, that can trigger or worsen bone and joint problems like arthritis.

Finally, nails that are too long are more likely to tear and rip, potentially causing infections.

How Can I Get My Dog To Tolerate Having His Claws Cut?

We’ve talked about why it’s so important to cut your dog’s nails. You might get a cute head tilt and a confused look if you try to explain this to Fido, though. Many pups are naturally leery of this. It could take some time, patience, bribery, and love to get your pooch to go along with it.

Just massage his paws at first. Then, let him go and give him a tasty treat. You want Fido to believe he’ll get something yummy for letting you handle his feet. Pick a high-quality item, such as a piece of sirloin or deli meat.

When he’s comfortable with this, add the clippers. Do not cut right away. Just make the clippers “click” over his feet a few times to get him used to the sound. Treat your pup, pat his furry head, and praise him.

Once Fido appears to have relaxed about this, you can begin clipping. Remember that you don’t have to do all four paws at the same time. Just do one at a time, and keep going around.

You may have seen reels of people distracting Fido with peanut butter and other treats. If you do this, make sure that the peanut butter you choose doesn’t have xylitol in it because dogs can’t handle it. (Also, just put it on a plate. Don’t smear it on the wall or your head.)

How Do I Cut My Dog’s Nails?

Many people are decidedly uneasy about cutting their canine pal’s claws. This is understandable. As you may know, if you cut too deep, you could hit the quick, which is where the nerves and blood vessels of your pet stop. It may help to pick up some clippers with sensors. You may also want to ask your vet to demonstrate proper techniques.

Always have styptic powder on hand in case you do slip and your pooch starts to bleed.

How Can I Prevent Paw Injuries?

Being alert is really your best bet. Keep an eye on the ground when you walk your pet. Stay on soft grass as much as possible when it’s hot or cold outside. Avoid hot surfaces in the summer. This is even more important after swimming with your pet. Just like our skin, dogs’ paws become very soft when they are wet. Sores can form very quickly on Fido’s feet if he runs around too much on tar or hard surfaces right after swimming.

In winter, you’ll need to be careful with snow, salt, sand, and ice, as well as chemical de-icing agents. Then, in spring and fall, pollens and molds can cause problems for pooches with allergies.

Should I Give My Dog Boots?

That’s really up to Fido, though. Boots can be a great way to protect your pet’s feet, but they will only be a good option if he doesn’t mind them. You don’t want to push it.

What Should You Do If You Think Fido’s Paws Are Hurting?

If you see your canine buddy limping or favoring one side, there is likely a problem. Contact your vet immediately.

Besides that, just make it a habit to check your pet’s paws for sores, cuts, ticks, blisters, and bumps. Also, watch out for things that aren’t supposed to be there, like ticks, thorns, foxtail weeds, or even gum. You can use antiseptic to treat a small cut or scrape at home, but for anything bigger, you should take your pet to your Jefferson, IA area animal clinic. Paw infections are nothing to mess with!

Should You Trim The Fur On Fido’s Toes?

You might want to. We agree, those little tufts are cute. However, they can pick up things like gum or ice balls, though, which can cause painful mats. To find out more, talk to your Jefferson, IA area vets.

Contact Your Jefferson, IA Area Pet Hospital

Do you have questions about how to take care of your dog’s feet? Is it time for Fido to come to our cat hospital? We are your Jefferson, IA area pet clinic, so feel free to call us at any time!