How to take care of your dog’s paws

Your dog’s paws do a lot of work, acting as shock absorbers to relieve stress from joints and bones, letting your dog move with ease, and even regulating body temperature. Therefore, paw care should be an essential part of any grooming routine.

First and foremost, it is important to regularly check your dog’s paws for any outside debris, such as small rocks, pieces of glass, thorns and more. These can be removed with tweezers. Paws should also be cleaned regularly, especially after outdoor trips, using a simple cloth soaked in warm water.

Your dog’s nails should be trimmed so that they do not touch the ground when the dog is standing. The hair between your dog’s paw pads should also be gently brushed out and trimmed while grooming so that they are level with the paw pads, as this hair can become matted and hurtful.

Paws can get too dry, which can lead to cracking or bleeding, which is why moisturization is also important. If your dog’s paws are getting dry, use a canine specific moisturizer to gently massage their paw pads.

In extreme weather, paws are at higher risk. If it is too hot, your dog’s paws can become burnt and blistered. To check if a pavement is too hot, put your hand against it for 5 to 10 seconds. If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for the dog. Walk your dog on grass or other softer, cooler surfaces.

Similarly, if it is too cold, paws can be exposed to frostbite. It may seem strange, but dog booties are very useful for walking your dog outside in cold weather. They protect paws from snow, ice, and de-icing chemicals like calcium chloride that can cause blistering. Booties should be worn comfortably by the dog so that its movement is not hindered. If booties are unavailable, apply balms like Vaseline or a special paw balm to the paw pads.

If your dog is chewing or licking his paws excessively, consult a vet.

If your dog gets a superficial cut on his paw, you should clean it with an antibacterial solution, then apply antibacterial cream and bandage it. If the cut is deeper, go to a vet.

Wet paws can lead to infections, so make sure that after cleaning or after your dog comes back inside that you dry his paws.

Overall, dog paw care should be regular and vigilant, with extra precautions taken during weather extremes and after outdoor trips.

Table of Contents