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Five Ways to Keep Your Dog’s Paws Healthy

Your dog’s paw pads keep his feet cushioned when walking and help protect his leg bones and joints from harm. As such, it’s important to keep the paws and paw pads healthy! Try these tips from your Southport veterinary professional.

Check the Paws

The first way to ensure your dog’s paw health stays in top shape is to check the paws regularly, especially after your dog comes in from the outdoors or after walks or play sessions. Foreign objects can easily become lodged between your dog’s toes or in the paw pads, causing inflammation and pain if left there. Check your dog’s paws for small stones and pebbles, bits of glass, or any other debris and remove it if possible. If you can’t seem to get the object out, don’t force it—call your veterinarian.

Groom Paws

Your dog’s paws need regular grooming just like the rest of his coat. Trim the paw hair regularly, paying special attention to hair between the toes. This will avoid painful hair mats and make it harder for objects to become lodged in the pads or toes.

Some dog owners moisturize their dog’s pads with a dog-safe moisturizing lotion. This can be helpful to combat dry, cracked paw pads. You can also massage your dog’s paws every once in a while to promote relaxation and blood flow.

Clip Nails

Untrimmed and broken nails are some of the leading causes of paw pain in dogs. Keep your dog’s nails trimmed to a healthy length. Use a dog nail trimmer and don’t snip too far and hit the quick, which will cause bleeding. Consult your Southport veterinarian for more tips on clipping your dog’s nails.

First Aid

If your dog has stepped on broken glass or other sharp objects, his paws and paw pads could be lacerated painfully. For small wounds, you can apply first aid yourself: clean the wound with an antibacterial solution and wrap it with a bandage before calling your veterinarian to make sure your dog doesn’t need further treatment. For severe wounds or cuts that are bleeding excessively, take your dog to the vet right away.

Seasonal Concerns

In the summer, pavement is hot—don’t let your dog walk on scorching pavement. In the winter, salt, deicers, and other chemicals can harm your dog’s paws. Be sure to clean off your dog’s feet whenever you come inside.

 

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