Keep your pooch putting his best paw forward! It can be as easy as 1-2-3 to maintain your pup’s paw health in between grooming salon visits.
Keep the Nails Trimmed: Save the clickity-clack for your date-night heels. This tip-tap sound should not be heard as your dog trots down the street. As a rule, your dog’s nails should not touch the ground as they walk. When and how often to trim will depend on your dog’s age, breed and lifestyle; some dogs may need a weekly trim while others can go months without touching the clippers. You should examine your dog’s nails weekly to ensure they do not extend beyond the pad or touch the ground when standing. If claws are allowed to get too long, they can put pressure on the toes and paws, causing pain and ultimately putting strain on your dog’s legs. Long nails are also at risk of splitting and become infected, necessitating veterinary care. Have questions about your pet’s nail trimming needs? Contact our grooming salon and they will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Brambles, ticks, bits of glass and burs can make their way between your pup’s paw pads, causing pain, discomfort and possibly infection. Most of these items can be picked out with the help of tweezers and maybe a magnifying glass. Regularly checking between your dog’s toes and around their paw pads can reduce the risk of serious injury and infection. After long hikes, trips to the beach and romps in the river are always good times to give your pup’s paws a little extra attention. For our other summer weather grooming tips, click here.
Mind the Pads:
Just like the soles of your feet, your dog’s paw pads can become sensitive, chafed and/or cracked from overuse on rough surfaces or exposure to hot or cold temperatures. In our article from last month on summer weather perils for your pet, we discussed the dangers of hot surfaces, but winter weather can wreck havoc on your pet’s paws too. Cold, dry weather can make them more susceptible to cracking, and exposure to road salt and other ice-melting chemicals can irritate skin. It is always a good idea to wash your pup’s paws frequently when they come in from the outdoors, while giving them a look over to inspect for wounds, burns, blisters or irritation. Additionally, remember that if it is uncomfortable for you to go barefoot on a surface, it is possible your dog is uncomfortable as well.
Keeping this three-item check list for paw health in mind will go a long way to keeping your dog strolling along on the right paw.