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Taking Care Of Your Dog’s Paws
May 1, 2024

Fido’s furry feet have become his unofficial symbol: we frequently use paw prints to indicate that certain items or pieces of art are related to Man’s Best Friend. Those cute paws are vital to maintaining your pet’s health and well-being. They let Fido run and play, protect your pup’s bones and joints, and provide him with information about the surrounding terrain. In this article, a local Oradell, NJ vet offers valuable information on properly caring for your dog’s paws.

Should I Clean Fido’s Paws?

It’s a good idea to wipe down your dog’s paws after taking him for a walk. During the summer months, this can get rid of dust and pollen. That will be incredibly beneficial if your pet suffers from allergies.

In winter, Fido may get burns and abrasions from walking on substances such as salt, sand, and chemical ice melters. If you can, choose de-icing products that are safe for pets. These will be gentler on your pup’s paws.

Keep pet wipes or clean cloths and a spray bottle of water near the door. You may need to do some training to help your pooch understand that he’ll be rewarded with a treat for allowing you to clean his paws.

If your furry friend is exceptionally well-behaved, you might even be able to train him to clean his own paws! Put a bath mat or thick doormat near the door you and Fido use to go in and out. Don’t forget to reward your furry friend with a tasty treat! Consult your Oradell, NJ veterinarian for advice on training.

Do I Need To Use Lotion On My Dog?

Keeping Fido’s adorable little paw pads moisturized can help prevent cracks and chafing. Additionally, it can provide a protective layer between your canine pal’s skin and hot or abrasive surfaces.

Just be sure to use a vet-approved paw balm or paw wax. You can also use olive oil, coconut oil, or even Vaseline. Or, try a homemade version. The AKC offers this recipe: Mix two tablespoons of olive, sunflower, or sweet almond oil with two tablespoons of coconut oil, a tablespoon of shea butter, and four teaspoons of beeswax. Put everything in a small pot on low heat. 

Once the ingredients are completely melted and mixed, pour the mixture into small tubes or tins and let it cool until it becomes solid. These can also make great gifts for Fido’s furry friends. (Note: When using these as gifts, it’s always a good idea to include a list of ingredients, just in case any of the dogs or their owners have allergies.)

Do I Have To Clip Fido’s Nails?

Definitely! It’s important to give Fido regular pawdicures to prevent his nails from becoming too long. Overgrown claws are quite uncomfortable for Fido! Additionally, they can disrupt the alignment of your pet’s toes with the ground. That can lead to a wide range of issues. For one thing, your dog may struggle to gain traction, particularly when walking or running on slippery surfaces. That can lead to a higher risk of your canine buddy slipping and falling, which you definitely don’t want.

Long nails also affect your pet’s weight distribution and walking stride, which can contribute to or worsen bone and joint problems, such as arthritis. They are also prone to tearing and ripping.

How Do I Get My Dog Comfortable With Nail Trims?

We have discussed the importance of trimming your canine pal’s nails. However, attempting to explain this to your furry bestie will likely result in an adorable head tilt and a perplexed expression. Getting your dog on board may require some time, patience, gentle persuasion, and perhaps a little incentive.

Begin by gently massaging his paws. Snacks can be incredibly useful in this situation. You want Fido to believe that he’ll receive a delicious treat for allowing you to handle his paws. Opt for a top-notch option, like a meatball or piece of hamburger.

Initially, refrain from taking any action. Simply grasp his paws, offer him his reward, and then release him. Once he has become accustomed to this, introduce the clippers. Take a moment before making any cuts. Gradually run the clippers over his feet, allowing him to become accustomed to the clicking sound. Provide a delightful reward, a gentle caress, and a kind remark. 

Once Fido appears more relaxed, you can begin clipping. you don’t have to do all four paws at once. You can rotate, just doing one paw at a time. 

If your canine buddy isn’t happy about having his feet played with, try using a little bribery. Chances are, you’ve seen some videos of people using peanut butter and other treats to divert Fido’s attention from his pawdicures. There are a few things to consider with this approach. When opting for peanut butter, it’s important to select a variety that doesn’t contain xylitol, as it can be harmful to dogs. Also, don’t have your pet lick it off a shower wall or your head. A clean plate will do just fine.

You may also want to ask your vet to showcase the correct methods. It’s important to avoid accidentally cutting your canine companion’s quick, which is where their nerves and blood vessels are located. Regardless of the type of clippers you choose, have styptic powder readily available to address any potential bleeding.

How Can I Keep Fido’s Paws Healthy?

Keeping a watchful eye is truly your most effective strategy. It’s also important to be mindful of the terrain while walking Fido. Keep your canine buddy on soft grass whenever you can. 

Avoid walking on hot surfaces during the summer. This is especially true when your pet has been swimming. When dogs’ paws become wet, they can become quite sensitive, much like our own skin. Fido is prone to developing blisters soon after being in the water.

In winter, you’ll need to be wary about snow, salt, sand, and ice melters.

Should I Put Boots On Fido?

We’re going to leave that one up to Fido. Boots can be a wonderful option for safeguarding your furry friend’s feet, but only if he’s willing to give them a try. 

How Do I Monitor My Dog’s Paw Health?

We always advise regularly checking Fido’s paws. Look for bumps, bruises, cuts, ticks, blisters, and foreign objects, such as ticks, thorns, foxtail grasses, or even gum. 

If you come across a small scrape, you can easily take care of it at home using antiseptic. However, it’s always best to consult your Oradell, NJ veterinarian for any more serious injuries. You’d of course also need to contact your vet if you notice limping and/or visible wounds or swelling. 

Should I Trim My Dog’s Toe Fur? 

While those tiny tufts are absolutely adorable, they may also collect items such as gum or ice balls, resulting in uncomfortable tangles. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Book An Appointment To Your Oradell, NJ Animal Hospital

Do you need any advice on how to properly care for your furry friend’s paws? Has Fido been needing to come in for a visit to our animal clinic? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, your Oradell, NJ pet hospital, at any time!