You might spend time daily caring for your dog with careful brushing and teaching. However, there are many overlooked aspects to dog grooming that if ignored can end up resulting in a great deal of pain or injury for a dog. A dog's feet can be cut, irritated, or bruised, and you can help prevent these problems with some basic care tips and awareness.
Here are some tips for keeping your dog's paws in top shape.
1. Keep toenails trimmed.
The first part of good foot care is making sure that your dogs nails are properly looked after. They should not snag on rugs or cause clicking and scratching when walking normally. If you are unsure about how to clip your dog's nails properly, take your dog to a groomer and get a lesson. Many people accidentally cut a dog's nails too short, injuring the living "quick" of the nail. This can make nail cutting very painful for dogs, and it could cause a dog to be fearful of pedicures in the future.
2. Clean paws after walks, especially in winter.
Rocks, thorns, salt, and grime can get caught in between your dog's toes. These can cause sores or even deep cuts that get infected and make walking very painful. To prevent a small rock from becoming a big problem, make it a habit to clean your dog's feet after each walk, checking for minor cuts and scrapes as you do so. In winter, cleaning is more important because sand and salt used on slick surfaces can be especially irritating to your dog's feet.
3. Watch for dryness.
Have you ever had cracked heels from excessive foot dryness? A dog's feet can also become dried out, leading to cracking and overall discomfort. After cleaning your dog's feet following outside walks, you might also check for dryness. You can moisturize a dog's feet like you would moisturize your own. If you notice damage or build up of dry skin, contact your vet for a good dog moisturizer.
4. Protect from the heat.
Just like you would never walk barefoot over hot pavement in the summer, you should not allow your dog to do so either. Many people assume that a dog's feet are impervious to texture and temperature changes, but dogs can experience serious burns from hot surfaces. If you will be in a hot place (the beach, the sidewalk, or pavement), protect your dog's feet with boots. If your dog does experience burns, check for blisters and protect the feet with gauze until the blisters heal.
For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Kayla's Posh Pets Grooming & Boutique.