Dog paw care

Dog Paw pads

It is very easy to overlook the care and maintenance of your pooch’s paws, but that doesn’t mean that you should. After all, dogs walk around completely barefoot, so if there is a problem, they are guaranteed to feel it. The summer is an especially crucial time for pet parents to ensure that their dogs’ pads aren’t injured on a hiking path or burnt by scorching hot cement. But caring for your pooch’s paws is still a year round activity, so make a habit of tending to them now.

Here are some things to be on the lookout for.

During times of extreme weather, hot or cold, your pup’s paws are more prone to cracking. During the summer, cement sidewalks and asphalt can reach pretty high temperatures. To prevent burning, try not to walk your dog during the peak temperatures of the day, and if possible, let them walk on grass. There are also many products that can soothe and heal dry pads.

Also, pups that are walked on more natural terrain should frequently be checked to make sure that bits of gravel, glass, or debris are not wedged in between their pads. If you are planning on taking your pooch on a hiking trail with you, give their paws a chance to adjust to the rocky path. Don’t expect them to successfully move from the couch to a risky trail full of sharp rocks with no preparation. They would benefit from shorter hikes on less severe trails before embarking on the more advanced ones. And remember, even city sidewalks can be littered with shards of glass or pebbles that can potentially be major irritations to your pooches’ paws.

The fact is, those precious paws can become seriously infected from a wedged-in piece of gravel or shard of glass, as well as from the cracking that results from heat or dryness. So make sure you are doing your part to ensure your pup is looking forward to joining you on your daily walks, and not secretly dreading them.

The easiest method of prevention is to get to know the pads of your dog’s paws.  Feel them out and gently check between them for any bothersome pebbles or debris. Your pup might not find this especially enjoyable at first, so it’s best to be armed with a few distracting treats until they adapt to the routine. Be sure to check them after they have romped around outdoors.

Additionally, it is important to make sure that your dog’s claws are trimmed to the proper length (just before reaching the “quick”) in order to prevent catching or their loss of grip on hard surfaces. It’s best to check the length of your dog’s claws about once a month to see if they need a trim. Some dogs’ nails grow faster than others, though, so find a schedule that works best for your pooch.

Some products can potentially help your pup avoid paw-related injuries–including  booties, balms, and even wax. Simple prevention should be adequate enough to keep your pooch safe from a nasty wound or infection, but if need be, seeing your canine stroll around in little booties might just be the highlight of your day.

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