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How to Take Care of Your Dog’s Paws
May 1, 2024

Is your canine friend familiar with any adorable paw tricks, such as Shake or High Five? Does Fido ever gently place his paw on your leg to get your attention or to politely request pets, walks, or treats? Fido’s furry feet have become his unofficial symbol: we frequently use paw prints to indicate that certain items or pieces of art are related to dogs. Your four-legged pal’s health and well-being greatly depend on those paws. Discover valuable tips on properly caring for your furry friend’s paws in this informative article from a local Fernley, NV veterinarian.

Should I Moisturize My Dog’s Paws?

Absolutely! Moisturizing your furry friend’s adorable paw pads will add a protective layer between their skin and hot or abrasive surfaces, and help prevent cracks or chafing.

Paw balm or paw wax is your best bet, though you can use petroleum jelly or coconut oil if you need to. There are many different products available online and in stores. Alternatively, you can create your own! 

Here’s a recipe from the AKC website:

Mix 2 tablespoons of your preferred oil—olive, sunflower, or sweet almond oil—with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of shea butter, and 4 teaspoons of beeswax.

Combine the oils, shea butter, and beeswax, and heat until melted in a small pot on low heat. After everything is completely melted and mixed together, carefully transfer the mixture into small tubes or tins. Allow it to cool completely and then label it. Voila! 

This can also be a great gift for Fido’s friends. It would be helpful to include a list of ingredients in case any of the dogs or their owners have allergies. (You can even use it on your feet!)

How Can I Properly Care For My Dog’s Paws?

Fido should receive regular pawdicures to prevent his nails from becoming too long. This is more important than many people realize. Your furry friend may experience quite a bit of discomfort from having overgrown claws. Additionally, they can affect how your pup’s toes make contact with the ground. That can lead to a variety of issues. Fido may struggle to gain traction, particularly when walking or running on slippery surfaces. That can lead to a higher risk of him slipping and falling.

Another problem that can arise from excessively long claws is that they can gradually change your four-legged pal’s weight distribution and walking pattern, which can be quite uncomfortable. In addition, it can potentially contribute to or worsen bone and joint problems, such as arthritis.

Lastly, longer nails are more prone to being ripped and torn, which can result in infections that are both painful and potentially dangerous.

Should I Clean My Dog’s Paws Every Time We Go For A Walk?

It’s a good idea to clean your canine pal’s paws after taking him for a walk. During the summer months, this can effectively eliminate dust and pollen. That will be incredibly useful if your pet suffers from allergies. A convenient method is to have pet wipes, clean cloths, and a spray bottle of water near the door. 

Of course, you’ll have to get Fido on board with the idea. Help your pup understand that he will be rewarded with a treat for allowing you to clean his paws. If your furry companion is well-behaved, you might even be able to train him to clean his own paws! Having a bath mat or thick doormat near the door you and Fido use would be helpful in both cleaning his paws and reducing muddy pawprints. Don’t forget to give your furry friend a tasty reward!

Are you traveling to a colder area in winter? Fido may get burns and abrasions caused by substances such as salt, sand, and chemical de-icers. Wipedowns can also help with that.

Ask your vet for specific advice.

How Do I Cut Fido’s Nails?

Some pups are not really into getting pawdicures. Getting your dog to cooperate requires time, patience, gentle persuasion, and a little incentive. (By incentive, we mean treats, of course.) 

Begin by gently massaging Fido’s paws. Reward him with a delicious treat to help him form a pawsitive association.

Initially, refrain from taking any action. Hold his paws gently, then reward him with a treat before releasing him. Once he has become accustomed to this, introduce the clippers. Take a moment before making any cuts. Pass the clippers over his feet and let them make a clicking sound to help him become accustomed to it. Provide a reward, a gentle pat on the head, and a compliment. Repeat as needed.

Once Fido appears to have become more relaxed, you can begin the clipping process. Remember that you don’t have to do all four paws at once.

If you’re nervous about the clipping part, consider getting clippers with sensors, or even using a grinder. Ask your vet to show you the correct methods. It’s important to avoid cutting your furry buddy’s quick, which is where their nerves and blood vessels are located. It’s important to have styptic powder readily available in case of bleeding, regardless of the clippers or actions taken.

How Do You Keep Dog’s Paws Healthy?

Just being attentive is truly your most effective strategy. Watch the terrain when you take your four-legged pal for a walk. When the weather is chilly or scorching, it’s best to walk on soft grass whenever possible. Avoid walking Fido on hot surfaces during the summer. This is especially true after your furry buddy has been swimming. When dogs’ paws become wet, they can become quite sensitive, much like our own skin. Fido is prone to developing blisters soon after being in the water.

Keep in mind that pavement can stay hot long after the sun goes down! 

Do I Need To Get Fido Doggy Boots?

You can! Boots can be a fantastic option for safeguarding your furry friend’s paws, if he’s willing to wear them.

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

Doing regular paw inspections on your furry buddy is your best bet. check for any signs of bumps, bruises, cuts, ticks, or blisters. Be sure to watch out for any foreign objects in those furry feet, like ticks, thorns, foxtail grasses, or even gum. If you come across a small scrape, you can easily take care of it at home using antiseptic. However, it’s important to consult your veterinarian for any injuries that require more attention.

My Dog Hates Having His Feet Touched?

You may need to do some desensitization training. Just have Fido give you his paw. Then, give him a yummy snack and let go. You may find your canine buddy having a miraculous change of opinion after a few rounds of this! 

Do I Need To Cut The Fur Around My Dog’s Toes?

You should consider it. We understand, those tiny tufts are adorable. On the other hand, they may also collect items such as gum or ice balls, resulting in uncomfortable tangles. Consult your Fernley, NV veterinarian for further details.

Make An Appointment At Your Fernley, NV Pet Hospital

Need help with taking care of your furry friend’s paws? Has Fido been to our animal clinic recently? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, your Fernley, NV  pet hospital, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs!