Just as your feet are very important to your health and ability to walk, so are your dogs! Their feet have pads which provide cushioning and insulation. This helps protect the tissue of their feet and their bones and joints from shock. The insulation factor also helps when walking in bad weather or on rough ground.
We take care of our feet and we need to take care of our “furbabies” feet. Here are several paw care tips.
1. Trim nails – their nails should just touch the ground when walking. They should not click on the floor or get caught on rugs. Veterinaries or Groomers can trim your dog’s nails but they can also teach you how to do it yourself.
2. Trim paw hair – hair grows between their toes and can become matted, which is painful for your dog. If your dog has long hair, it might be best to keep their paw fur in check.
3. Clean paws – stones, broken glass and thorns can get stuck between the toes.
4. Moisturize – like our hands and feet become dry and cracked so can your pets. DO NOT USE HUMAN HAND CREAM! It could over soften the pads, which would cause injury. Ask your veterinarian or groomer what product to use!
5. First Aid – if there are any cuts, clean with antibacterial wash and wrap with a bandage. See your vet.
Remember that in the winter, there is rock salt and chemical ice melters on the roads and sidewalks. These products are toxic if your dog licks his paws. Rinse the dog’s paws with warm water. Vaseline can be applied to foot pads before the walk since it is a great barrier to the salt and chemicals. Or your dog could wear booties!