Caring for Your Dog’s Paws

Fido’s paw pads help cushion and protect his bones, and help him get traction on various surfaces, but, just like our feet, they can easily be damaged. Paw problems can be quite painful, even debilitating, in dogs, so you’ll want to make sure to keep your furry pal’s feet in good shape. In this article, your Shawnee veterinarian discusses some paw care tips.

Nails

Overgrown nails can affect your dog’s gait and make it difficult for him to get traction.. Make sure not to let Fido’s nails get too long. If you aren’t comfortable clipping his nails yourself, schedule a quick manicure session at your vet clinic, or have your groomer clip his nails at the salon. If you do clip your dog’s nails at home, be careful not to cut too close to the quick. Start by making shallow cuts, and check each trimming. When you see an oval appear in the center, stop there.

Paw Pads

In summertime, keep Fido off hot asphalt and sand. If you take your pooch swimming, keep him on soft surfaces after he gets out of the water, because his paw pads will be extremely delicate after immersion. In wintertime, avoid walking your canine buddy on hard ice, and keep him off sidewalks that have been treated with de-icing agents. Salt, sand, and chemical de-icers can damage his paws. Wipe your dog’s feet down after each walk, and keep his toe fur trimmed. Check Fido’s feet frequently for any signs of injury or irritation, and to make sure there is nothing lodged between those cute furry toes.

Healing Sore Paws

Cuts, scrapes, and chafing are some common ailments that can affect your dog’s paws. Minor cuts and abrasions can be treated with a diluted antiseptic or antibacterial wash prescribed by your veterinarian. Your vet may advise you to put Fido in boots while his paw is healing, to keep the wound clean and stop him from chewing it.

Chewing

Nail bed infections, itchiness, and allergic reactions can all cause dogs to chew their paws, but sometimes paw chewing is a nervous habit, rather like fingernail chewing in humans. If your dog chews his paws, have your vet examine him to determine whether or not there is a medical reason for his chewing.

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