Dog Paw Maintenance For Beginners

dog paw cleaningDog paws need care just like the rest of their bodies. Dog owners who take care of their dog’s paws can help prevent injuries that could cause pain and suffering for their pet. Here’s what pet owners need to know about taking care of their dog’s paws.

Trim Nails Regularly

Dogs have claws that can cause injury to themselves and others if they aren’t trimmed regularly. Dog claws can also scratch floors and other surfaces, so proper nail trimming is important. Dog owners who have their own dog trimming tools can do this on their own.

Groomers also trim dog claws. Dogs who get nervous about claw trimming time often respond better to professional groomers who know how to keep dogs calm during the process. Dog owners who have a hard time soothing their nervous pet find groomers helpful. 

Trim and Clean Hair Between the Pads

Dog hair grows between the pads of the dog’s foot. This hair can become matted, tangled and can cause problems for the dog. Long haired dogs in particular suffer from these issues. Dog owners can prevent problems by trimming the fur on the bottom of the foot. If the fur becomes matted, dog owners can also prevent problems by combing the hair, cleaning out any gunk and keeping the bottoms of the paws tidy.

Be Aware of Hazards

Outdoor and indoor hazards can cause injury to dog paws. Ice, snow, salt, extreme heat, gravel, small rocks, stinging insects and broken glass can all cause painful problems for pets. Pet owners must be aware of these problems and protect their dog from injury by guiding their dog away from these hazards.

Watch Your Dog For Signs of Paw Injury

If a dog does become injured, pet owners must be aware of the signs. Limping, itching, excessive licking on the bottom of the paws and whining are all indications that the dog is uncomfortable or in pain. Sometimes dogs will lie down and not move, or will avoid walking on certain surfaces because it’s uncomfortable. Dog owners must be sensitive to these actions so they know when to inspect their dog for a problem.

Inspect Your Dog’s Paws Frequently

Dog owners can avoid problems by inspecting their dog’s paws frequently, even if their dog isn’t displaying signs of a problem. Many dogs will not reveal that they are uncomfortable until the problem is serious. By inspecting their pet’s paws on a regular basis, dog owners can avoid serious problems that are hard to deal with when they become advanced.

Protect Your Dog’s Paws

Some dogs just have delicate paws. There are many ways that dog owners can protect their dog’s paws. 

  • Dog booties. Dog booties offer good protection for dogs that want to walk around outside without getting injured.
  • Indoor dog walking areas. Sometimes it’s better for dog owners to walk their dogs inside a mall or in another large indoor space, if it’s allowed.
  • Salves and oils. Some dogs just need a little moisturizer on their paws to prevent them from cracking.

Following these tips many dog owners can protect their dog from painful injuries.

Know When to Seek Veterinary Attention

Sometimes a dog’s paws need more attention and help than a dog owner can give on their own. If your dog seems to be in serious pain or if your dog’s paw injury won’t go away, talk to your pet’s veterinarian.