Dogs use their paws to walk, dig, and touch everything. They’d type with their paws if they could and tell us what they need to keep their paws clean and healthy. With the harsh cold winter days and dry hot summer, our dogs’ paws need TLC.
Here’s 7 ways to take care of your dog’s paws
- Keep their nails trimmed. A dog’s nails should touch the ground but if you hear “clack clack clack” as they walk or see their claw get snagged, then it’s time for a trim.
- After walks or playing in a dog park, check the paws for things that might be stuck between the toes like pebbles, glass, and other objects. These can cause pain and discomfort.
- Avoid long walks on hot pavement as this can cause injury to your dog’s feet. They can get blisters from the extreme heat. Try finding some shade to walk under or take them to the park where the grass is cooler.
- Moisturize those pads. Dogs can get dry feet and like us, it can hurt and crack. Don’t use human moisturizers, ask your vet what to use.
- Ask your groomer to trim the hair between the toes to avoid matting.
- Keep your yard free of debris. Splinters, glass, and other sharp objects can cut your dog’s feet. Try to make sure your home is safe for them.
- If your dog isn’t paw shy, try massaging the feet. It helps their circulation and can relax your dog.
As calloused and rough as a dog’s paws are things can poke, get stuck, and cause pain. Some owners I know wipe their dog’s feet when they come inside from walks and others have gotten their dogs used to wearing booties. Not all dogs will like wearing boots but many of them will be ok with a foot wipe down and quick checkup to make sure nothing is stuck between the toes. Try using positive reinforcement to get your dog used to the idea and routine that they must have their feet touched and looked at after a walk. Get some special treats they love that are only used for “paw time.” They will learn and you’ll have peace of mind that your pup’s paws are healthy.