Caring for Your Dog’s Paws

If you have a dog, you know they have a way of leaving paw prints on our hearts. They also leave paw prints on our floors, but that’s beside the point! Fido’s paws are very important to his overall health, so you’ll want to keep those furry feet of his in good shape. Below, a Fayetteville, NC vet offers advice on caring for your dog’s paws.

Seasonal Hazards

Extreme weather can be quite hard on Fido’s feet! In summertime, hot tar, sand, and asphalt can hurt dogs’ sensitive paw pads. Try to stay on grass or dirt when walking your furry pal. Be extra careful after your pooch has been swimming, as immersion in water will make his skin very delicate, just as it does ours. In winter, ice, salt, sand, and chemical de-icers can all cause painful burns and abrasions. Consider getting your pooch little booties. If footwear isn’t a good option for your canine buddy, wipe his paws down with a damp cloth after walks. Using a paw balm or wax can also help protect and moisturize Fido’s paw pads.

Pawdicures

Be sure to keep Fido’s nails trimmed. Overgrown claws can be quite uncomfortable, and can even affect Fido’s gait. Over time, this can contribute to painful bone and joint conditions, such as arthritis. Many people are uneasy about clipping their dogs’ claws, out of fear of cutting too close. This is a valid concern, as cutting the quick, which is where Fido’s blood vessels and nerves end, can result in pain and bleeding for your canine friend. Getting clippers with sensors may help, as these will indicate exactly where to cut. If you’re using regular clippers, make small, shallow cuts, and inspect the trimmings. When you start to see a pale oval appear, stop there. Of course, you can always call us to schedule a quick ‘pawdicure’!

General Care

Inspect your dog’s paws regularly. Check between his toes to be sure there is nothing stuck between them, and keep those cute toe-fur tufts trimmed. If Fido gets a cut on his paw, you’ll want to see to it immediately. You can treat minor scrapes and abrasions yourself with an antiseptic rinse, but for anything more severe than a light nick, contact us immediately.

Does your dog need a manicure? Please call us, your Fayetteville, NC veterinary clinic. We are here to help!