Your dog’s paws are pretty important to him—they serve as shock absorbers, help your dog navigate, let your dog communicate, and much more! Keep these essential organs healthy with these five simple tips from a Cambrian vet:
It’s easy for small objects like twigs, burrs, stones, and pebbles to get lodged in between your dog’s toes. Check the toes regularly and clean them out, gently removing any objects you find. If you can’t remove an object easily, never force it. Call your vet instead for a professional’s skill.
Nail trims are very important for keeping your dog’s feet healthy. Nails that get too long can easily fracture or get snagged in things. Pick up a dog-specific nail trimmer from a pet store if you don’t have one, and only snip the very tip of each claw. Don’t be afraid to ask your vet for a proper demonstration if needed.
When it’s hot outside, asphalt can heat up to unbearable temperatures, easily burning a dog’s paw pads. In the wintertime, freezing metal, road salt, and chemical de-icers can all irritate the pads as well. Take care to have your dog avoid these surfaces, and always give the paws and paw pads a quick check-up once you’ve brought your dog back indoors.
Just like human hands, a dog’s paw pads can become cracked and dry, especially in the winter. Paw pad moisturizers are made just to combat this problem. Pick one up at your local pet store or vet’s office, and ask your vet to recommend a good one. Never use moisturizer meant for humans, as it may be too strong for your pup’s paw pads.
A gentle massage of each paw doesn’t just feel good for your pooch—it can relax the muscles and improve circulation in the feet. It doubles as a good time to check for foreign objects, wounds, or debris stuck between the toes.
Stay vigilant in keeping your dog’s paws, nails, and paw pads clean and healthy. Ask your Cambrian veterinarian for more great paw-care tips.