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Taking Pawsome Care Of Your Dog’s Feet

May 1, 2024

Does your dog have any adorable paw tricks in his or her repertoire, such as Shake or High Five? Does Fido ever rest his paw on your leg to get your attention or to politely request pets, walks, or treats? Paw care is very important! Fido’s health and well-being both greatly depend on those paws! In this article, a local Rapid City, SD vet provides valuable information on how to properly care for those cute feet!

Do I Have To Moisturize My Dog’s Paws?

Absolutely! Keeping Fido’s cute tiny toe beans moisturized can go a long way in helping him avoid cracks and chafing. 

You may want to apply paw salve or paw wax. This can provide a protective layer between your dog’s skin and surfaces that are hot or abrasive. You can find several products for this. Or, you can create your own! Here’s a recipe from the AKC website:

List of ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of oil, such as olive, sunflower, or sweet almond oil
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of shea butter
  • Four teaspoons of beeswax.

Combine the oils, shea butter, and beeswax in a pot or double boiler over low heat. Keep stirring until everything is completely melted together. Next, carefully transfer the mixture into small tubes or tins. Allow it to cool completely until it becomes solid, and then label it. Voila!

Clipping Your Dog’s Nails

It’s important to give Fido regular pawdicures to prevent his nails from becoming too long. We can’t overstate how important this is! 

Overgrown claws can also affect your pup’s balance and gait. That is quite uncomfortable, and has the potential to contribute to or worsen bone and joint problems, such as arthritis. They can also disrupt the alignment of your pup’s toes with the ground. That can lead to a wide range 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, which you definitely don’t want!

longer nails are also more prone to tearing and ripping. That can result in infections, which can be both painful and potentially dangerous. Ask your vet for more information. 

How Can I Determine If My Pup’s Paws Are In Good Condition?

Regularly checking your canine buddy’s paws is your best bet, and just a good habit to get into. Obviously, if you notice your dog walking with a limp or showing a preference for one paw, there’s something going on. Seek immediate veterinary care if you notice this.

Aside from that, just get into the habit of looking for any signs of bumps, bruises, cuts, ticks, or blisters. Be vigilant for any foreign objects that may be present, such as ticks, thorns, foxtail grasses, or even gum. If you come across a small scrape, you may be able to take care of it at home using antiseptic. However, consult your Rapid City, SD veterinarian for anything more than a little nick.

Do I Have to Cut The Fur Around My Dog’s Toes?

It’s not a bad idea. While those little tufts are absolutely adorable, they may also collect items such as gum or ice balls, resulting in uncomfortable tangles. 

How Can I Help My Dog Become More Comfortable With Getting His Claws Clipped?

We have discussed the importance of regularly trimming your dog’s nails. However, attempting to explain this to your cute pet will likely result in an adorable head tilt and a perplexed expression. Getting your dog to cooperate might require some time, patience, gentle persuasion, and perhaps a few treats. (Okay, a lot of treats.)

Begin by gently massaging Fido’s paws. Reward him with a delicious treat when you do this. Tricks can be incredibly useful in this situation. You want Fido to believe that he’ll score something delicious in return for allowing you to handle his paws. Opt for a top-notch option, like a sausage or even bacon. (You don’t want to give your pet too much bacon, but that’s another topic.)

Initially, refrain from taking any action. Simply grasp his paws, offer him his treat, and then release him. Once he has become accustomed to this, introduce the clippers. Before making any cuts, gradually introduce the clippers to his feet, allowing him to become familiar with the clicking sound they make. Provide a reward, a gentle pat on the head, and a kind remark every time. 

Once Fido appears more relaxed, you can begin clipping. Remember that you don’t have to do all four paws at once. Rotating is fine! 

Have styptic powder readily available in case of any bleeding. 

How Do I Cut My Dog’s Nails? 

If you’ve never done this before, you may want to ask your vet to show you the correct methods. You may also consider getting clippers with sensors on them. These can help keep you from accidentally cutting your pup’s quick, which is where their nerves and blood vessels are located.

Should I Clean My Dog’s Paws After Each Walk?

It’s definitely not a bad idea! During the summer months, this can efficiently get rid of dust and pollen. That will be very helpful if your pet suffers from allergies.

During the winter season, Fido can get burns and abrasions from salt, sand, and chemical de-icers. Use pet-friendly de-icing products whenever possible, as they are easier on your pet’s furry feet.

Put some clean cloths or pet wipes and a water spray bottle close to the door, and teach Fido that he’ll be rewarded with a treat for allowing you to clean their paws.

If your furry companion is exceptionally well-behaved, you might even be able to train him to wipe down his own paws! Just keeping a bath mat or thick doormat close to the door that you and Fido enter and exit through can make this process much simpler. Ask your Rapid City, SD veterinarian for advice on training.

What Are Some Ways To Keep My Dog’s Paws Safe?

Being watchful is definitely the most effective approach. One thing we always recommend? Pay attention to the terrain while walking your canine buddy. Whenever the weather is very hot or cold, opt for walking on soft grass whenever you can. 

Avoid walking on hot surfaces during the summer months. This is especially true when your pet has been swimming. When dogs’ paws become wet, they can become quite sensitive, much like our own skin is after a long soak or bath. Fido is very prone to developing blisters rapidly if he runs around too much right after a swim.

Is It A Good Idea To Put Boots On My Dog?

Ultimately, that decision lies with Fido. If your furry companion is willing to wear them, boots can provide excellent protection for his paws. However, if your pooch won’t tolerate them, don’t force the issue.

Make An Appointment With Your Rapid City, Sd Vet

Are you seeking information on how to properly care for your furry friend’s paws? Has Fido been needing to come in for a visit to our animal clinic? Don’t hesitate to contact us, your Rapid City, SD pet hospital, at any time! 

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