How often do you really think about your dog’s paws? Proper paw care is an important part of ensuring your pet is happy and healthy.
There are a lot of issues that dogs can develop with their paws over time, which is why it is so important for you to remember several key things. The more you learn about this, the easier it will be to keep your pet happy and healthy.
1. Nail Trimming is Crucial
It is absolutely essential that you remember to trim your dog’s nails when they start to get too long. Neglecting this simple but very important thing can lead to all sorts of unpleasant consequences for your dog.
Some of the issues that can arise from not trimming your dog’s nails include:
- Infection: Failing to trim your dog’s nails when they need it can result in the nail bed becoming infected. This can pose a serious health risk to your pet if it is not treated immediately with antibiotics. An infected nail can also be very painful for your pet.
- Balance issues: Dogs with nails that are too long often have problems with proper balance when they are walking.
- Injury: Long untrimmed nails are far more likely to get broken and injured, which can cause your dog to experience a great deal of pain. This also increases the chance of infection. This can happen during everyday activities if the nails are long enough.
2. Examine Your Dog’s Paws on a Regular Basis
You also want to make a point of examining your dog’s paws each day or at least a few times per week. It is a good idea to be thorough, checking under the paw as well as between the toes.
Some of the things that you should keep an eye out for include:
- Cuts: A small cut on your dog’s paw can quickly become infected. Make sure your pet doesn’t have cuts anywhere on its paws.
- Corns: It is not entirely uncommon for dogs to develop corns on their paws, especially if they are very active. They might look like there is a foreign object in the paw pad until you take a closer look.
- Foreign objects: Sometimes dogs get things stuck in their paws from walking around on a daily basis. This can cause your pet a lot of pain if the object is not removed.
- Dew claw: Most dogs have an “extra” nail on their front paws, which is known as a dewclaw. Because these claws aren’t attached quite as firmly as the other ones, you should take a look at it each day. If you notice any injury or trauma to the dewclaw, it is imperative that you get your dog treatment right away.
3. Take Preventative Measures
Every dog owner needs to take certain steps to ensure that their pet’s paws stay healthy and in good condition. There is a multitude of simple but effective ways to prevent serious problems with your dog’s paws.
In some countries (Eastern Europe) government uses salt and chemical mixes during winters to make ice and snow melt. It can be very dangerous for your pet paws because of skin corrosion. Avoid walking too much in such time or use special shoes for your dog.
Keep Your House Clean
You need to make a point of keeping the floors in your home clean. This means vacuuming regularly to ensure that your dog’s paws don’t get cut or injured in any way. A messy home can be dangerous for any dog.
Protect Against Extreme Temperatures
If your dog’s paws are particularly sensitive, it might be a good idea to buy some little boots to put on them when going for walks. This will be particularly useful if you live in an area where the winters are very cold and the summers are extremely hot.
Keep in mind that if the temperature outside is 77 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of the sidewalk is going to be north of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This is something that not enough dog owners think about.
Moisturize Their Paw Pads
There are special moisturizer products that you can buy to rub on your dog’s paw pads. This will help prevent cracking and therefore open wounds that can become infected.
4. Be Careful When Cutting Your Dog’s Nails
A lot of dogs don’t respond well to having their nails cut/trimmed. This is really something that you should do with at least one other person. You should get someone to keep your dog still and calm while you do the actual work. This will make the whole process go a lot smoother.
You don’t want to be aggressive or go too fast when cutting your dog’s nails. This can result in painful injuries, so you’ll want to be very gentle.
5. Don’t Delay Treatment
If you ever notice that your dog has any injuries to its paws, you should make an appointment to see your vet right away. The sooner you seek treatment for your pet, the less likely it is that there will be any complications.
6. Keep The Pad Hair Trimmed
You’ll need to keep the hair on your dog’s paw pads trimmed down as well. The longer this hair is, the more likely it is to become tangled and cause problems. During winter snow might stuck there and make the walk impossible. Short hair on the paw pads also means that it is a lot easier to spot foreign objects, cuts and other things.
- You’ll need to make a point of keeping your dog’s nails trimmed every one to two months.
- Make sure that you are careful when trimming their nails so you don’t cause any injuries.
- Check your dog’s paws for cuts, foreign objects and signs of infection on a regular basis.
- Protect their paws from getting hurt by extreme temperatures, either hot or cold, when going for walks.
- Do not ignore any issues with your dog’s paws, as they will only continue to get worse over time.
- If you notice any cracks in their paw pads, you can apply a lotion or moisturizer to prevent further cracking.
- Only use products that are designed for dogs on your pet’s paws.