As a proud dog owner, you must do everything it takes to keep your dog healthy, including practicing proper paw care. Caring for your dog’s feet is crucial whether you work with a professional groomer or groom your dog at home.
Dogs are prone to foot injuries, especially when their nails get too long. Practice good paw care by taking the time to examine your dog’s feet every day and trim the nails as needed.
Taking care of your dog’s feet becomes even more important as your dog ages. Proper paw care helps older dogs and will give you an early indication of any problems.
Paw care: Examine feet and remove debris
Choose a quiet place to examine your dog’s feet, paying attention to the space between the toes and the soft pad. You might discover that your dog has small stones, sticks, and other debris.
Remove debris gently, using either your fingers or tweezers. Trim any long hair on your dog’s paws to reduce the risk of debris accumulation and injuries.
Trim your dog’s nails as needed
When trimming your dog’s nails, remember that if your dog’s nails are too long, that can increase the risk of injuries and even affect the foot’s anatomy.
Puppies present an even higher risk of deformities.
When is it time to trim? If you can hear clicking while walking, it’s time for nail clipping.
Don’t let nail trimming become stressful
Before trying to trim your dog’s nails, get the dog used to having his paws touched. Play with the feet, offer a relaxing massage and try to make the whole experience fun.
You can associate nail trimming with bathing, as the nails will be softer then and, thus, easier to cut.
Initially, you help your dog get used to nail trimming by offering treats.
The most important thing is to teach your puppy or adult dog that this experience is pleasant and not something to be feared.
You can also trim several nails and take a break, allowing your pet to regroup and relax.
Buy high-quality nail clippers
If you are going to cut your dog’s nails, you have to use nail clippers of the absolute best quality. They should be sharp because a dull blade can increase the risk of injuries and make your dog afraid.
If you trim the nail too short and your dog’s foot starts bleeding, apply pressure and use special powders or cornstarch to stop it as fast as possible.
Make your dog comfortable
Your dog must be in a comfortable position during nail trimming. Depending on the size of your dog, you can hold your pup in your lap. Use a grooming table for larger dogs.
Hold the paw gently but firmly. You can also try applying a little pressure on the pad, revealing the nail and making trimming more effective.
Moisturize dry, cracked paws
If you have noticed that your dog’s paws are rough or cracked, you should consider using a quality dog paw balm, ointment, or paw soother.
Keeping your dog’s paws smooth helps prevent fungal infections, itchiness, and pain.
Look for a balm with soothing, natural ingredients like beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter.
Dry off wet paws
Excess moisture can cause your pet’s paws to become irritated, increasing the risk of fungal or bacterial infections, which cause itchiness.
If your dog romps in the snow, roams through wet grass, or takes a swim, you need to have a clean towel handy to dry those paws.
Always watch for signs of infection and take your pet to the vet for regular check-ups. If necessary, you can opt for special boots during the cold season to protect your dog’s paws.
Practice proper paw care
Following proper paw care can keep your dog’s feet and nails healthy.
Regular inspections will help you identify any red flags, not only of infection but also potential injuries.
Pay attention to your dog and help him protect his feet to ensure he stays happy and healthy.