Fido’s pawprints have become his unofficial sigil: they appear on his bowls, blankets, and many other products. He also knows some really cute paw tricks, such as Shake and Gimme Paw. Those furry feet do need quite a bit of attention, though. A local Wichita, KS vet offers some advice on caring for your pup’s paws in this article.
Fido’s toe beans act as shock absorbers, cushioning his bones and joints. They also help give him information about the surfaces he’s walking on. Keep them in shape by using paw balm or wax to moisturize and protect them. In summer, keep your pooch off hot surfaces, such as tar and asphalt. You’ll also need to be careful after your dog has gone swimming, as that skin will be extra delicate after being submerged in water.
Overgrown claws may not sound like a big deal, but they are a bigger concern than you may think. They interfere with the angle of Fido’s toes against the ground. This in turn interferes with his gait and stance, and can keep him from getting good traction, which therefore increases the chances of dangerous slips and falls. Keep those nails trimmed! If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, ask your vet to demonstrate proper techniques. You may also find it easier to use a grinder or a clipper with a sensor.
Don’t forget about Fido’s dew claws! These are sort of Man’s Best Friend’s version of thumbs: dogs use them to hold bones they are gnawing on.
If your dog has tufts of fur growing between his toes, you may need to trim that back: they can collect gunk, such as gum, and can get painfully matted.
As a pet owner, it’s important to be aware of the risk of toxins and chemicals. For pups with allergies, even picking up pollen can cause issues. It’s not a bad idea to get into the habit of wiping Fido’s feet down before bringing him in. This will also help keep him from tracking dirt and mud in.
Many pooches don’t really like having their feet handled. If Fido is shy about his pawdicures, teach him that he’ll get a yummy treat for giving you his feet. Offer something yummy, like steak. Your canine companion may suddenly become much more amenable to it!
Do you have questions about your dog’s paws? Contact us, your Wichita, KS pet clinic, today!