Does your canine ever gently place his paw on your leg to get your attention or to politely request pets, walks, or treats? Fido’s adorable paws have become his unofficial symbol: we frequently use paw prints as a sign that specific items or pieces of art are related to dogs. Those cute paws play a crucial role in maintaining your furry friend’s overall health and well-being. They are crucial to helping him get around, and cushion his bones against all those jumps and sprints. In this article, a local Dawsonville, GA vet provides valuable information on how to properly care for your dog’s paws.

Do I Need To Moisturize My Dog’s Paws?

Use a paw balm or paw wax to take care of your furry buddy’s paws. Ensuring that Fido’s adorable little paw pads stay moisturized can help prevent any discomfort from cracks or chafing. Additionally, it may serve as a protective layer between your canine’s skin and surfaces that are hot or abrasive.

There is a wide range of appropriate products available. Alternatively, you can create your own! Get two tablespoons of coconut oil, two tablespoons of olive, sunflower, or sweet almond oil, one tablespoon of shea butter, and four teaspoons of beeswax. Combine the oils, shea butter, and beeswax in a pot over low heat. Keep stirring until everything is completely melted and mixed. Next, carefully transfer the mixture into small tubes or tins. Allow it to cool, and then make a cute label for it. This can also be a cute gift for your dog’s canine pals! 

How Can I Tell If Fido’s Paws Are In Good Condition?

Regularly check your four-legged buddy’s paws. Naturally, if you notice your canine walking with a limp or showing a preference for one paw, that would indicate an underlying issue. Besides that, just make it a habit to check things over, perhaps during cuddle time or training sessions. 

Make sure to check for any signs of bumps, bruises, cuts, ticks, or blisters. Also, look 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 can treat it with antiseptic. However, consult your Dawsonville, GA veterinarian for any more serious injuries. We’d also advise reaching out if you notice your pup licking his feet: that is often a sign of pain. 

Pawdicure Basics

Fido should receive regular pawdicures to prevent his nails from getting too long. This is actually very important! Your pooch may experience quite a bit of discomfort from having overgrown claws. Additionally, they can disrupt the alignment of your canine pal’s toes with the ground. That can lead to a wide range of issues. For instance, your furry buddy may struggle to gain traction on slippery surfaces. That can lead to a higher risk of your pooch slipping and falling. You don’t want that! 

Another problem with long claws is that they can gradually lead to changes in your four-legged buddy’s stance and gait, which can contribute to or worsen bone and joint problems, such as arthritis.

Lastly, longer nails are more prone to tearing and ripping, which can result in infections.

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

We have discussed the importance of trimming your furry pal’s nails. However, getting your dog on board may require some time, patience, gentle persuasion, and perhaps a little incentive.

If you aren’t comfortable, ask your vet to showcase the correct methods. By following these guidelines, you can prevent accidentally cutting your canine buddy’s quick, which is where their nerves and blood vessels are located. You can also get clippers with sensors built in, which takes the guesswork out of the process.

Begin by gently massaging Fido’s paws. Reward him with a delicious treat, such as a hot dog bite or deli meat.

Don’t do anything at first. Simply hold his paws, offer him his reward, and release him. Once he has become accustomed to this, gradually introduce the clippers by running them over his feet. The focus now is allowing him to become familiar with the clicking sound. Treats and praise will help make it a positive experience.

Once Fido appears more relaxed, you can begin clipping. Remember that you don’t have to do all four paws at once. You can do one at a time and keep rotating. (If your furry pal tends to have a short attention span, or will only tolerate having his feet handled briefly, this approach might be more effective.)

If your pooch is resistant to having his feet played with, you can try using a little incentive. Chances are, you’ve come across some videos of people using peanut butter and other treats to divert Fido’s attention. If you get peanut butter, be sure to choose a type that doesn’t include xylitol, as it can be harmful to dogs. Also, make sure to let him lick it off a clean plate … not your head or the wall. That may make for a funny reel, but it’s really not the best course of action.

Regardless of your actions or the type of clippers you choose, it is essential to have styptic powder readily available to address any potential bleeding. 

How Do I Keep Fido’s Paws Safe?

Keeping a watchful eye is truly the most effective approach. Also, be mindful of the terrain while walking your four-legged friend. Avoid walking on hot surfaces during the summer months, especially after your pup has been swimming. When dogs’ paws are wet, they get quite sensitive, much like our own skin. Fido could develop painful blisters if he runs around too soon after being in the water. 

Should I Put Boots On Fido?

Ultimately, the decision lies with your pooch. Boots can be a fantastic option for safeguarding your four-legged friend’s paws, but only if he’s willing to wear them. Ask your vet for more information.

Should I Clean Fido’s Paws After Each Walk?

It’s definitely not a bad idea! During the summer months, this can help remove dust and pollen. That will be incredibly beneficial if your pooch suffers from allergies.

Keep pet wipes or clean cloths and a spray bottle of water near the door. Teach your canine pal that they will receive a treat in exchange for allowing you to clean their paws.

If your four-legged friend is exceptionally well-behaved, you might even be able to get him to clean their own paws! Keep a bath mat or thick doormat near the door you and Fido use to go in and out, and start by ‘helping’ your pup wipe his feet. Don’t forget to give your four-legged friend a tasty reward! Consult your Dawsonville, GA veterinarian for advice on training.

Do I Need  To Trim The Fur Around Fido’s Toes?

We know, those tiny tufts are absolutely adorable. However, they may also collect items such as gum or sap, resulting in uncomfortable tangles. Be sure to use round-end scissors.

Make An Appointment With Your Dawsonville, Ga Veterinary Clinic

Do you need any advice on how to properly care for your furry friend’s paws? Has Fido been neglecting a trip to our animal clinic? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, your Dawsonville, GA vet hospital, whenever you need!