Whether your dog is a salon regular or you are her at-home groomer, paw care is a daily must-do. Your dog’s pads and nails are sensitive and require babying (just like she does!) with a simple, four-step routine.
What’s the weather like? Before you head out for a walk, ask yourself if you’d be comfy barefoot. If not, your pup wouldn’t be either. To determine if it’s too hot or cold: Place the back of your hand on the pavement for five seconds. If you’re good-to-go, so is she. If you experience discomfort, time for booties.
Every night, examine your dog’s feet. It’s perfect for when you’re snuggled up together in the evening. (If your dog stresses about having her feet touched, give her lots of treats!) Look for split nails, cuts on her pads, or overgrown hair between her toes.
Problem-solve: If she has a nail snag, file it. If her pads are rough, slather them in coconut oil to soak in overnight. If the hair between her toes is overgrown, snip it (eyebrow scissors work wonderfully). For more serious issues, like if her nail is split to the quick, or any bleeding injury, contact your vet.
It’s perfectly fine to leave nail trims to pro groomers, but… If your dog tears a nail or you miss an appointment, it’s a good skill to have. Ask your groomer or vet tech for a demo on your dog, then practice with them looking over your shoulder. You’ll be prepared if it’s needed; or, it may work out so well you find yourself giving your pup regular trims!
Four steps in only a few minutes! Your pup will be grateful for the pampered paws, and you’ll prevent serious paw problems!
Maggie Marton is a freelance writer based in Indianapolis. When not hiking with her two pit mixes, Emmett and Cooper, or playing with Newt the Cat, Maggie writes about them (and the pet industry) at ohmydogblog.com and maggiemarton.com.
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