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Dog paw care

Canine Paw Care

Dog’s paw pads are prone to injury and infection due to the fact that they are exposed to things like broken glass, nails, different sharp objects, rough surfaces, and extreme weather.

Paw pads provide extra cushioning to help protect the bones and joints against injury or shock; they also provide insulation against extreme weather. Hence, a dog’s paw is susceptible to injury, irritation, allergies, and/or infections, and it requires extra care and protection. Some dog paw care tips are as follows.

  • Pedicures: Your dog’s nails should be properly trimmed to avoid nail breaking, which can be very painful for the dogs.

    Also, long nails can make walking difficult on wooden floors and tiles. Older dogs might slip due to long nails, which may lead to severe injury. Monthly checking for nail length is wise, but if a pet is slipping or having other nail issues check more frequently.
  • Snip and Trim: You should trim paw hair regularly to avoid painful matting.

    You can simply comb hair out, especially from between the toes, and trim even with the pads.
  • Cleaning: Check between your dog’s toes for imbedded objects such as foxtails, thorns, burrs, splinters, stones, gravel, broken glass, or any other foreign object, and remove it.
  • Moisturize: A dog’s pads can become dry and cracked due to absence of moisture. You should put a good moisturizing cream (recommended by your vet) on the dog’s pad to avoid such problems.
  • Deep paw massage: A good paw massage will increase blood flow into the paw and reduce pain while walking. This also reduces the chances of dog paw injury.
  • Slow and steady: If you’re about to begin a new exercise program with your dog, start off slowly. Paws may become sensitive, chaffed, or cracked, particularly when taking your dog out on hikes and runs.
  • First aid: You should always clean your dog’s injured feet with antiseptic liquid and apply antibacterial cream. If the wound is deeper, then you should also put a bandage to avoid any dog paw infection.
  • Summertime care: During summer, you should avoid walking your dog on hot pavements or sand. After you come back from walk, you should check for any blister or loose flap of skin. Wash dog’s paw with antibacterial water and cover it with light bandage. For serious burn you must go to see a veterinarian.
  • Wintertime care: During winter, paws get dry and cracked. To avoid such instances you should wash your dog’s foot with warm water after coming back from walking and moisturize. Always put doggie booties before going out, as in winter, rock salt and chemical ice melters can cause sores, infection, and blistering.
  Submitted on March 12, 2010