Taking Care of Your Dog's Paws
By Michaela
Thu, Dec 03, 2020 at 4:08PM

Taking Care of Your Dog's Paws

Maintaining a dog's paws is just as important as maintaining a good coat and oral hygiene routine. Paws determine the quality of life of pooches since they can house a plethora of bacteria if not taken care of.

Pampering dog's paws are important since they are often neglected because of being assumed to be tough. However, dog paws are just as vulnerable as our own feet. Given below are some ways to take care of your dog's paws.

Trimming and Grooming

Just like humans, dogs require their nails to be cut and moisturized now and then.

Maintain the Right Nail Shape and Size

Dog nails are not meant to touch the ground. If you can hear your dog's nails clicking on the ground, you should get them trimmed by a vet.

It is important to get nails trimmed by a vet because if your dog has naturally dark nails, there is no way for you to tell where the paw pad begins. Accidental paw pad cuts are extremely painful and bloody. Since most dogs do not like getting their nails cut, a vet can help get your dog under control while they get their nails in shape.

Hair Grooming Between the Toes

The hair between the toes needs to be properly groomed because it can trap splinters, pebbles, or debris. Tow hair is also prone to catching bacteria from wet surfaces that your dog might have walked on or from other dirty surfaces.

Maintaining Paw Pads

Dog's paw pads become rough to facilitate walking on rough surfaces. You should not prevent this hardening by letting your dog walk only on soft surfaces. However, you must take care of hardened paw pads as well.

Avoid Cracking

Due to being extremely tough, paw pads tend to break and bleed when they get too dry. To prevent this, you can apply specialized dog paw pad moisturizers. Avoids using lotions made for humans as they can be too soft for a dog's pads.

Check for Abnormalities

In case you spot swelling or unnatural darkening on your dog's pads, make an appointment with a vet. Dogs' paws can swell for several reasons, including allergies, infections, insect bites, or injuries. Most paw pad swellings are painful and should be treated properly.

Seasonal Paw Care

Just as human skin, a dog's skin needs different care with changing seasons.

Summertime Care

Though roughened, paw pads can burn if your dog walks on surfaces that are too hot. Avoid burning and blistering by avoiding walking on surfaces that are exposed to sunlight throughout the day. In case your dog has burnt paws, perform first aid by washing the affected area with antibacterial soap and wrapping the paw in a gauze.

Wintertime Care

As mentioned above, the dog's paws are prone to cracking when they become too dry. Winter is the prime time for dry skin, and therefore moisturizing paw pads can help your dog avoid winter-worn paws.

Injury Management

Since paws take most of the beating, they are easily scaped and cut. However, you can do certain things to ensure that the problem is controlled.

First Aid for Minor Injuries

If your dog seems to have cuts, blisters, scrapes, or any other open injury, you can perform simple first-aid to help. The first thing you need to do is clean the affected area with an antibacterial wash. You should then put some antibacterial lotion on the wound before wrapping the paw in a gauze.

Anxiety-Induced Paw Chewing

If your dog is prone to getting anxious, the emotion can manifest in paw chewing. This chewing can injure the paw pads. Another reason why dogs chew their paws is to naturally heal allergies. However, this can further spread the infection to their mouth. Make sure that your dog is trained to not chew paws.

Look Out for Hyperkeratosis

If you see hair growing from the paw pads and not only in between the toes, you must immediately contact a vet. Hyperkeratosis is not necessarily serious, but it can cause severe pain if not treated early on. You can also find specialized anti-hyperkeratosis paw balms to alleviate pain.

Endnotes

From treading over harsh surfaces to carrying full body weight, paws become a crucial element of the dog's body. Therefore, as a dog parent, you must make sure that you take care of your furry friend's feet perfectly.


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