Dog paws need a little TLC to stay safe from pain and infection. Your pup’s feet are resilient but can become easily irritated from environmental factors. If your dog is licking her paws more than usual, it could be a sign that she’s uncomfortable. Check her nails, between her toes and her paw pads to make sure there are no hidden objects or cuts. Regular grooming with quality products can keep your best buddy healthy and on-the-go.
Clip Her Nails As Needed
Your pup’s nails should be reasonably short, meaning they shouldn’t touch the ground when she stands on a level surface. Walking will naturally file your pup’s nails, so you may not need to trim them very often. Some dog breeds have faster nail growth than others, so make sure you are examining the length of your pet’s nails regularly. In some cases, her nails can begin to curl under and scratch her paw pads, leaving her open to infection.
If you notice your pet’s nails clicking on tile or snagging on the carpet, it may be time for a trim. Overgrown nails affect your pup’s posture, negatively affecting her joints and muscles. When your dog’s nails touch the ground, she believes she is going up an incline and changes her posture accordingly. However, this adjustment puts more weight on the hind legs and can overload the joints, increasing the risk for joint-related conditions like hip dysplasia and arthritis.
Tips For Clipping Your Pet's Nails:
- Clip your pet’s nails at a 45-degree angle rather than straight across. Since the nail naturally grows at an angle, it is important to maintain the shape.
- Identify the quick before you cut your dog’s nails. The quick is the living area that supplies the nail with blood and other essential nutrients. In white nails, the quick appears pink and more distinguished. If you cut the quick, there may be some blood. Keep some corn starch handy to quickly stop any bleeding that may occur. If your dog has dark-colored nails and you can’t see the quick, trim her nails with caution as it can be more difficult to determine the proper length.
- Remember, the quick grows in conjunction with the nail, so you may have to clip a little at a time to help the quick recede.
- Don’t forget to trim the dewclaw, which is often overlooked because of its location further up the leg. When it grows too long, it can snag and possibly break, hurting your pup. Sometimes it grows so long that it can circle around and grow back into your dog’s skin.
Your pup can easily experience anxiety during grooming procedures so always make sure she’s comfortable. If she starts displaying signs of nervousness like drooling, panting or whining, it may be best to take a break or see a professional for your grooming needs.
Check Between Her Paws Daily
Dog paws can hold sand, salt, glass, pebbles and more. Check between your pup’s toes after walks to make sure she hasn’t picked up any foreign objects that can irritate her. Most items can be easily removed with tweezers. It’s also a good idea to get the habit of rinsing your dog’s paws with fresh water after trips to the beach and long hikes outside. Hair can grow long and become matted between your pet’s footpads, attracting dirt and sandspurs, so trimming in between her pads can decrease the debris that she picks up along the way.
Moisturize Her Paws
Dry, cracked paws can be irritating for your four-legged companion, resulting in pain when walking or standing up. Moisturizing dog paws can soothe rough patches and heal cracks. Don’t use human moisturizers on your pup’s feet, as they can soften the pads and lead to injury. Also, the ingredients in human moisturizers can be toxic to pets if they lick their paws. Instead, try Perfect Paws CBD Paw Butter with CBD, which is formulated specifically for dogs. This calming blend of natural oils like jojoba oil, sweet almond oil and shea butter relieves itchy dog paws, while ingredients like beeswax add an extra layer of protection against harsh weather and terrain. Simply massage a thin layer of the cream into your pet’s paw and between the toes to nourish your dog’s skin and encourage good blood flow.
Consider The Weather and Terrain
No one likes to walk on hot asphalt, especially your pup. Going on walks in the summer heat can damage your pet’s paw pads and possibly leave her with serious burns. Use your palm to test the pavement before walking your dog and make sure the temperature is safe for her feet. If you’re planning a beach outing, be careful when taking your pup on sand. The fine grains trap heat and can leave tiny cuts on your dog’s footpads.
Conversely, extremely cold weather can dry out your pet’s paws. Snow and ice leave her susceptible for frostbite, so stick to shorter walks in winter. Afterwards, rinsing her paws with warm water helps get rid of ice, salt and de-icing chemicals that may be left behind.
Love hiking with your best buddy? Be careful of rough, rocky terrain that can scrape and cut dog paws. If you’re starting a new exercise program with your animal companion, take it slow. Your pup may not be used to the stress on her paws for long periods of time, so help her work her way up to the end goal. Invest in a good pair of booties that can protect her precious paws from a range of conditions and make grooming easier. Learn more about CBD grooming products that can keep your pup’s skin healthy.