A dog’s paw has almost similar anatomy as our feet. This means they too can get injured, bleed, blister, or even crack, causing the dog to wince in pain.
Unlike popular belief (and misconception) that a dog can handle anything, their paws are made of ligaments, tendons, bone, skin, and connective tissues that make it vulnerable to injuries as well. That said, it is important to take proper care of your dog, and especially the areas most people will overlook – paws included.
We discussed paw care with happiestdog.com, who offer a Paw and Snout Premium Protection Balm. This paw balm is renowned for the protection it can offer a dog’s paws from environmental conditions and even treats hyperkeratosis of the snout and paw.
In short, Happiest Dog know a lot about paw care and here are a few tips and ways they suggested to take care of your beloved dog’s paws.
Whether you already have a pet or are looking to get one, the first rule of thumb is to ensure your pet is cared for properly and regularly. Routine pet care helps ensure your dog is perfectly healthy, and that any injuries are caught and treated on time.
Nail maintenance comes first in paw care. This entails ensuring the nails are in the correct length – just barely touching the ground. Overgrown nails can be a hazard for the dog, and especially for physically active ones. One of the tell-tale signs of long nails is if you hear clicking sounds on the floor as the dog walks.
Have the nails clipped to the right length to prevent injuries, among other mishaps. You also need to be careful not to cut them too short. Clipping them too short can expose nerve endings, making it hard/painful for the dog to walk or exercise.
According to Happiest Dog, although dogs will instinctively wear down their nails while exercising, you still need to help manage the length of the nails as well. That said, make it a habit of checking and clipping them once every two weeks for the best results. Have you never done it before? Check with your local vet for help, and ask him/her to show you how it should be done.
There are times when the dog’s paws will smell/produce an unpleasant odor. This mostly happens if the paws come into contact with water/moisture and don’t dry out properly on time. The dampness creates the perfect environment for yeast and fungus to grow.
This problem can also occur when/if you walk your dog frequently, but don’t wash it as much. Vets recommend washing and drying the paws and toes thoroughly to prevent this. An anti-fungal shampoo would come in handy in preventing and eliminating any yeast growth as well. It might also be worth using Happiest Dog Paw and Snout Balm after all of this to ensure long term care of the paw pads.
1.Trim Nails and Fur:
As mentioned before, your dog’s nails shouldn’t make clicking sounds when he/she walks. They also shouldn’t be snagging on carpet fibers and other fabrics.
Most dogs will, however, try to ‘shape’ their nails naturally by rubbing them on the concrete and other hard surfaces. Trimming the dog’s overgrown nails and fur at least twice per month should, however, leave the dog clean, comfortable, and healthy.
The turf and surfaces the dog walks on should be safe too. Some surfaces can cause blisters, cracking, or even injure the dog in one way or another. That said, you need to ensure he/she doesn’t walk on surfaces that might hurt him/her.
These include ice, sharp gravel, hot asphalt, and a thorny flowerbed as well. One way to prevent injuries is by only allowing your dog to walk on surfaces you too can, barefooted.
Always check the paws of your pet for slivers, splits, cracks, blisters, and cuts, among other injuries. Some of these can cause great discomfort and even become infected if left untreated. Severe injuries on the foot (paw) can make it almost impossible for the dog to walk. Have the pet checked by a vet if the injury seems serious.
Dogs, just like humans, love to be massaged too. A good massage helps improve blood flow and circulation around the paws and other parts of the body. That said, spare a few minutes of your time to massage his/her paw – start with the central pad, then to each toe pulling and massaging them gently. You can also use the massage session to bond with your dog too.
5. Paw and Snout Balm
Paw and snout balm can be a great addition to your dog’s paw care regime. Made from unrefined fair trade shea butter it’s full of vitamin A , E and F. Aside from all of this goodness, Happiest Dog Paw and Snout Balm is perfect for wounds and shabby paws and snouts and also protects from extreme weather, while restoring the natural, protective layer on the paw pads. It’s harmless to humans and dogs if eaten and is also an anti-inflammatory. It should be part of all paw care regimes as it can really help improve a dog’s life.
Cleaning a dog’s paws is a very important part of caring for your dog’s health. Dog paw balm can only do so much in this regard and you should follow the advice below we got from Happiest Dog.
1. How Often Should I Clean My Dog’s Paws?
While you should bath your dog at least once every three months, there are no guidelines on when you should clean his/her paws. Checking the paws at least once a week or after taking him/her for a walk can, however, help you determine if they need to be cleaned or not. Regular cleanings are recommended for active dogs, and especially if you go hunting, hiking, and other outdoor activities with your dog. Dogs that spend most of their time indoors don’t require that much attention/cleaning.
2. How to Prepare Your Dog for Paw Cleaning?
Don’t just start lathering your dog’s paws before checking for foreign objects and injuries. Check to see if there’s grass, thorns, and other debris stuck between toenails and paw pads. Remove (carefully) anything that doesn’t belong in the paws before cleaning. Chances are you will find shells, small pebbles, or even broken pieces of glass in the fur, or between the toes.
The next step will be to trim any excess hair from the paws. Excess hair may get intertwined with the nails and even attract moisture, increasing the chances of infection and stinky paws. Trim the hair such that it is flush with the pads.
3. Cleaning the Dog’s Feet
Bathing a dog, as well as paw cleaning, is relatively simple. Once certain nothing is in the paws and the hair is the right length, wet the feet with a little water, lather with a mild shampoo (preferably dog shampoo), then rinse the shampoo off.
Use a hand towel to dry the paws completely. Wet paws will not only leave footprints on your carpets and floor but also increase the risk of yeast infection between toes.
If you have just been from a walk, you can then use a damp washcloth to clean his/her paws. You could also use moist wipes (dog-friendly) to clean the paws as well. You can use this chance to see if the nails are overgrown too. If so, use the specialized nail clipper for dogs to trim them short. You could also ask your vet or a professional groomer to help with the same.
Making it your responsibility to wash your dog, and clean his/her paws, gives you an excellent opportunity to bond with him/her. Dogs are fond of those who groom them, hence become their best friends in the long run.
4. Seasonal Care
One of the big benefits of Happiest Dog’s Paws and Snout Premium Protection Balm is that it protects from weather factors that can cause problems for a dog. However, you can also aid the dog paw balm through your own actions.
5. During the Summer Season
As mentioned earlier, dogs feel the summer heat the same way we do. This is why you will see them avoid paved walkways and asphalt for covered areas, such as a grassy path. Pavements, blacktops, and sand can get extremely hot during the summer.
Such will burn and cause ulcerated patches, blisters, and red marks on your pet’s paws hence should be avoided at all costs. Avoid walking your dog during the hot parts of the day. Use an antibacterial soap to wash their paws if they seem burned/blistered.
6. In the Winter Season
The cold, harsh winter season can be as rough on your dog’s feet as the summer heat. The cold elements cause cracking and chapping of the paws, hence should be avoided where and when possible.
In addition to this, the roads and paths might be covered in chemical ice melts and rock salt. These elements are quite harsh on the dog’s skin and can cause blistered, infections, and sores.
Use clean water to wash your dog’s paws if exposed to these, and avoid walking him or her in such conditions