Caring for your dog's paws is an important part of their grooming and overall health. Your dog's paws are an essential part of their anatomy and failure to care for them properly can lead to unnecessary issues. This guide walks you through the various aspects of caring for their paws so that you can ensure healthy happy pet.
Steps to Care for Your Dog Paws
Trim Your Dog Nails
Your dog's nails should be clipped regularly to keep them from getting snagged and causing them discomfort and even pain. If the sound of your pup's nails can be heard clicking on the floor, it is time for a trim. Keep long-nailed pooches from limping by trimming them to prevent potential injuries caused by raggedy claws.
How often to trim your dog nails depends on the breed, age, and condition of the nails. On average, most dogs need them done every 3-4 weeks. If they frequently play outside or go for long walks on pavement, you may be able to wait the full month. If nails get too long and out of control, it may take the vet or groomer time to get them back into the condition where they should be.
Do Regular Paw Checks
Dogs love going out for walks, and it is always good to make sure your dog is comfortable and safe. Making sure your dog’s paws are in decent shape before you walk or play outside is a good habit to adopt. Also, dogs who play outside a lot can easily get injured, so it is best to sit with your dog and check their paws once they are done playing or walking to ensure there are no skin abrasions or pieces of dirt trapped underneath their pads. Wiping them down with a damp cloth using Health Extension dog shampoo works great to clean your pups’ paws preventing irritation as well.
If you find any injuries or cracks, check with your vet to ensure proper care as injuries on the paws can become infected easily. For minor issues you can apply a balm or salve specially made for pets. Make sure to not use human products as they can be toxic for dogs.
Keep In Mind the Summer Challenges
Summer can have different challenges including hot pavement and harsh temperatures. Be mindful of asphalt, concrete, and sand temperatures getting too hot. Always check the temperature of the ground when warm outside by simply placing your hand on the ground, if it is warm enough to make your palm uncomfortable, then it is hot enough to burn up your dog's paws.
Dogs typically have tougher paw pads compared to human hands, but they are not resistant against the scorching heat of pavement. If summer is too hot, limit your dog’s daily activities and provide shady areas or places by the water where they can cool off. A pair of dog summer shoes are a terrific addition to protecting your dog's paws in extreme heat conditions.
Provide Winter Paw Protection
Winter is a rough time to be outside with your dog. Frostbite can be a concern as well as paw pad and foot injuries from sharp objects hidden in the snow and icy streets. Additionally, the salt used to melt ice on the street, is extremely dangerous for your dog. Besides their paws dogs may lick to clean themselves and that can also lead to them becoming sick by ingesting the salt. Seek veterinary help if you suspect salt ingestion illness in your pup.
Dog paws are very delicate parts of their body, and it is important to take precautions to ensure good paw care for them. Have your dog’s nails trimmed as soon as you begin to hear the clicking sound while walking on hard surfaces. Harsh weather is a continuous danger for your dog’s paws be it winter or summer it is important to take diligent care of them.
Preventing injuries altogether is best. Protecting your dogs’ paws and feet with dog booties will limit injuries and illness during harsh weather conditions. Using doggie wax to shield their pads can be helpful for you pups comfort with small cracks and callused pads.