Unlike humans, dogs have tough pads on their feet for protection. While very tough, they aren't infallible. Just like human feet, dog paws are susceptible to a variety of issues. Because of this, it's important to care for your dog's feet. So how can you help keep your dog's feet healthy and happy? Here are three tips:
1. Keep The Hair Trimmed
Dogs with longer hair usually grow hair on their paw pads. While this might be cute, it can pose problems for your canine's paws. The hair can collect debris, which can hurt the paws. It can also begin to knot, which can make walking uncomfortable.
Luckily, dealing with paw hair is easy. All you need to do is trim it regularly. Use a fine tooth comb to straighten out the hair and then trim with sharp scissors. Make sure you keep the scissors parallel to the paw pad to prevent accidents. If your four-legged friend grows long hair on the top of the paw pads, trim it as well – just use the same method that you used for the paw pads.
2. Keep Nails Short
It is also important to keep a dog's nails short. While long nails might not seem like an issue, it can cause issues. Long nails can cause your dog pain when standing, walking, or running. Long nails can also cause a dogs paw to curve and become deformed.
Fortunately, you can prevent any issues by having your dog's nails trimmed regularly. If you feel comfortable doing it yourself, that is acceptable. Otherwise, talk to your vet or groomer about keeping trimming your dog's nails.
3. Tend To Injuries
While a dog's paw pads are tough, they can still become injured. Walking, running, and playing can result in a variety of injuries on the pads. Cuts, scrapes, and even puncture wounds are all common. Because of this, it is important for you to examine the paw pads of your dog regularly.
If you notice any injuries, tend to them quickly. You can do this by quickly washing the paw pad in warm water. When finished washing, dry the area, and apply an antibiotic ointment. Finally, wrap the paw in a bandage to keep it safe until you can get to a veterinarian, such as at Seattle Emergency Veterinary Hospital.
The paw pads of a dog may be tough, but they still need regular care. Luckily, that isn't difficult. Regular vet visits, along with these tips, can help ensure that the paw pads of your dog stay healthy and pain-free.