How much do you know about your dog’s paws? First, they’re made up of different pads (digital pads, metacarpal pad, and carpal pad) joined by claws and a dew claw (additional dew claws can be found). These pads are the cushion your dogs rely on when they stand, walk, run, etc. Because they help protect the bone and joints and provide insulation for harsh temperatures, how they’re cared for can improve the quality of living for your dog!
How do I care for my dog’s paws and claws?
#1 | Have a First Aid Kit Available
Put together a kit that contains an antibacterial cleanser/wash, an antibacterial cream, and bandages. There will come a time that your dog will cut their pads. When that happens, pull out the first aid kit, wash the affected area with the antibacterial wash, apply the antibacterial cream, and use the bandage to wrap up your dog’s paw!
#2 | Trim Their Claws
If your dog sounds like a tap dancer when they’re walking, that’s probably because their claws are longer than they need to be. Rule of thumb is that they should barely touch the ground when they’re walking. The solution is to get nail trimmers, but if this is your first rodeo, then consult with your trusted local veterinarian for tips and recommendations on the right tools/trimmers to use.
#3 | Keep An Eye On the In-Betweens of their Pads
The crevices of your dog’s paws are more than likely to pick things up on walks or even at home. You might find dirt, little rocks, or other little miscellaneous things that don’t need to be there. Check in between their paws on a regular basis. Use tweezers if there are things that are stuck in between their paws and use a wet cloth to wipe away dirt.
#4 | Keep their Pads Moisturized
Your dog’s pads are subject to crack and when that happens, you’ll need to moisturize! Avoid products that are meant for moisturizing us humans and seek advice from your trusted local veterinarian for dog-friendly products.
#5 | Pamper With a Paw Massage
Just like foot rubs help improve our circulation, the same thing can be said for dogs. Set aside time every so often to rub their paws to boost their circulation. Plus, it’s a nice gesture for the fur baby you love!
#6 | Trim Paw Hair
Some breeds and dogs will experience fur growth between the pads of their paws. When this happens, they can pick up more things that get stuck between their pads. On top of that, when not groomed or taken care of, they can matt and make things uncomfortable. To avoid this, comb out the fur in between their paws and use a safe trimmer to get rid of the unneeded hair.
#7 | Be Conscious About their Exercise Behaviors
If your dog doesn’t spend a lot of time outdoors, their paws might need some time to build up the strength to withstand different conditions. Ease into your exercise plan with your dog rather than diving in 100% strongly.
This is just a sampling of tips we offer at Pug Life Harness. You can find more tips and tricks and how-to’s for caring for your dog on our blog at this section. Feel free to leave a comment with tips you’re looking for!