Pawprints have long been the unofficial icon for our canine pals. Fido’s furry feet are actually crucial to his health and well-being. They help him run and jump, cushion his bones and joints, and generally make it possible for him to get around. Your dog’s paws take quite a beating, and need some TLC. Read on for some doggy paw care tips from a Galena, MD vet.
Overgrown nails may not sound like a major emergency, but they are more problematic than many people realize. If Fido’s claws are too long, they’ll interfere with his grip and gait when he walks. This will cause him to shift his weight or move differently, which puts a lot of strain on his bones and joints. Over time, that can exacerbate or contribute to bone/joint issues, such as arthritis.
One issue here is the fact that many people aren’t comfortable trimming their pets’ nails themselves. One option is to try a nail grinder. You can also get clippers that have sensors on them. These take the guesswork out of the process. Or, just schedule an appointment for a pawdicure with your vet.
When walking your canine pal, keep an eye on the ground. Steer Fido away from things like broken glass, nails, sharp rocks or shells, and anything that could be a chemical spill.
Fido’s paw pads can get dry and cracked, just as our skin can. He can also get burns, blisters, and abrasions from walking or running on hot or harsh surfaces. Using paw balm or paw wax can help protect your pet’s feet.
Things like salt, sand, and lawn/garden chemicals can do quite a number on Fido’s paws. If you know or suspect that your pup walked through chemicals or abrasive substances, such as lawn/garden products, wipe his paws down with a damp cloth before you bring him in.
Okay, to be fair, this isn’t exactly a top priority. It’s mostly just cute. However, this old classic trick can be quite useful. If you teach Fido that he gets a yummy snack for offering you his furry foot, you’ll find him becoming much more amenable to having his paws handled.
Do you have questions about your dog’s health? Contact us, your Galena, MD animal clinic, today!