Doggy Paw Care Tips

Did you know that your dog’s paws greatly affect his health and well-being? Those furry feet not only help Fido get around, they also serve as cushions for his bones. Don’t overlook the importance of proper paw care! This article provides some ‘pawesome’ advice on how to take care of your four-legged pal’s paws from a local Pendleton, IN veterinarian.


Cutting Fido’s Nails

Fido will require frequent pawdicures in order to prevent overgrown nails. This is very important! Your canine friend may experience significant discomfort from overgrown claws. 

That isn’t the only issue, though. Long nails also change your furry buddy’s toes’ natural angle to the ground, which may lead to a variety of issues. Your dog will find it more difficult to gain momentum, particularly if he is sprinting or walking on slick terrain. Plus, overgrown claws can also make your pet change the way he holds his weight and/or stride, which puts a lot of stress on his bones and joints and can aggravate or contribute to several issues, including arthritis.

Finally, long nails are also more likely to get torn, which can result in uncomfortable and dangerous infections.


What Is The Best Way To Get My Dog To Accept Having His Claws Clipped?

Giving your four-legged buddy regular nail trims is absolutely crucial. Of course, if you try to explain this to Fido, you’ll probably just get a cutesy head tilt and a puzzled expression. You’ll need to get your dog on board, which will take some time, patience, bribery, and coaxing.

Step One: Gently rub your pet’s paws, then release him and give him a delicious treat. Make sure the treat is something your furry pal considers a premium item, such as a slice of steak or some deli meat. 

Step Two: Introduce the clippers. Don’t try cutting just yet. Make sure the clippers “click” as you run them over his feet to help him get acclimated to the sound. Give a treat, a pat on the head, and a word of praise. 

Step Three: Once Fido appears to be quite composed about all of this paw handling, you can begin cutting his claws. Remember that you do not need to do all four paws at the same time. You can just do one at a time, and keep going around.

If your furry buddy is particularly resistant to having his feet played with, you may need to entice him a bit further. It’s likely that you’ve watched videos of people bribing Fido with peanut butter and other treats. If you use peanut butter, be sure to pick one without xylitol, as it might be harmful to dogs. (We would also recommend using a plate, rather than smearing the peanut butter on your head or shower wall. That may make for a cute TikTok reel, but it’s best to err on the side of caution here.) 


How Do I Cut My Dog’s Nails?


Many people are nervous about this, and understandably so. If you cut too far, you may cut the quick, which is where the blood vessels and nerves end. That can be painful for your furry pal, and can even cause infections. 


Consider getting clippers that have sensors on them. These will show you exactly where you should cut.


Regardless of the method or type of clippers you employ, always have styptic powder on standby in case there is any bleeding. 


You may want to have your veterinarian show you the right methods. Or, just book an appointment at our pet hospital! 


Should My Dog Wear Boots?


Really, Fido has the final say on this one. Boots might be an excellent way to protect your canine’s feet if he would tolerate them. However, you don’t want to push it. Not all of our furry pals will tolerate fancy footwear!


How Can I Tell If Fido’s Feet Are Alright?

It’s a good idea to give your furry buddy regular (and casual) paw examinations. Obviously, there is a problem if your dog is limping or constantly licking one paw. Contact your vet right away if you see that.


Apart from that, simply make it a practice to check for cuts, blisters, ticks, bruises, and bumps. Look out for foreign things like gum, thorns, foxtail grasses, and ticks. You can use antiseptic to treat a small cut or scrape at home, but for anything bigger, you should take your canine to his doctor.


Of course, be sure to offer your canine pal a yummy treat and a pat on the head for obliging!


Should I Apply Moisturizer to My Dog’s Paw Pads?


Absolutely! Paw balm or paw wax can help prevent cracks and chafing by keeping Fido’s adorable little toe beans hydrated. This will also help by creating a shield between your dog’s skin and hot or rough surfaces. 


There are plenty of great products available. You can also use coconut oil, olive oil, or even Vaseline. Or, if you want to make your own, try this: Mix two tablespoons of delicious almond, sunflower, or olive oil and two tablespoons of coconut oil with one tablespoon of shea butter and four teaspoons of beeswax. Melt everything over low heat in a small pot or double boiler. Stir constantly until everything is melted together. Then, just transfer the mixture into little tins or tubes. 


Does My Dog’s Toe Fur Need to Be Cut?


We would generally recommend it. Yes, those tiny tufts are adorable. However, they may also pick up objects like ice balls or gum, which can cause uncomfortable mats. For more details, ask your veterinarian.


How Can I Protect My Dog’s Paws On Walks?


Your best option is really just to be vigilant! 


Here are a few things to keep in mind:


  • Be mindful of the terrain when you take your furry friend for walks. Try to walk on soft grass whenever possible, especially if it’s hot out or if there is snow or ice on the ground. Watch for things like needles, broken glass, and other hazards.
  • Avoid scorching surfaces in summer. This is especially important after your canine has gone swimming. Dogs’ paws become extremely sensitive when they get wet, much like human skin does. Fido is especially prone to getting blisters after being in the water.
  • It’s not a bad idea to clean your dog’s feet after a stroll. This can get rid of pollen and dust, which is especially beneficial if your pet has allergies. It’s also important in winter. Fido can get excruciating burns and abrasions from wintertime materials such as sand, salt, and chemical de-icers. You might even be able to teach your canine friend to clean his own feet! (Results may vary.) 
  • Choose de-icing products that are safe for pets, as they tend to be kinder to your canine’s feet.
  • Keep a bath mat or thick doormat at the door that you and Fido enter and exit through can help. (Bonus: this will also reduce muddy pawprints.)  


Book A Visit At Your Pendleton, IN Pet Clinic

Do you have any queries regarding taking care of the feet of your four-legged friend? Is it time for Fido to come see us at the vet? Feel free to get in touch with us here at your Pendleton, IN pet hospital, at any time!  

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