Dog’s feet are highly sensitive. Composed of pads, claws, and hair- which are exposed to the elements on a daily basis – dog’s feet need special care. But how should you begin? Spoiler alert: no anatomy classes needed. Learning how to check if your dog’s feet are fine is a matter of a few simple steps.
Dog’s feet: a complex body part
More vulnerable than human feet, paws need protection.
Read the 4 steps to check if your dog’s feet are healthy and learn to keep them safe.
1. Check the paw pads
Make sure the pads on your dog’s paws are kept smooth and supple. Should the pads become excessively dry, this could lead to painful cracks in the affected area.
How to check the paw pads?
Cleaning the dirt off a dog’s pads is great, but sometimes it’s not enough. To keep your dog’s feet safe, apply Vaseline- choose the type which has no-additive nor milking grease – on the pads. Vaseline can prevent the pads from becoming excessively dry.
2. Check the Dew Claw
Troubles finding the dew claw?
This vestigial residual, typical of many mammals, can be found on the side of your dog’s paw. Recognisable when the animal stands, as it is the one claw that does not touch the ground, the dew claw is not as fastened to your dog’s skin as the other claws are. Some dogs have dew claws both on their front and hind legs, while some others have them just on their front legs.
Because the dew claw is only loosely attached to your dog’s body, it can easily be subjected to injuries caused by friction or movements.
While the often discussed removal of the dew claw is still prohibited in many countries of the world, this special claw needs extra caring.
3. Trim the paw hair
The hair between the dog’s paws should be cut before it gets too long. The reason? Both hygiene and prevention. If the hair is long, it could be likely to host dangerous grass awns.
How to trim the paw hair?
Use a pair of rounded scissors to trim the hair until it is no longer visible. Be careful not cut too much: if the hair is too short, your dog’s skin will risk getting irritated.
4. What about the rest of the claw?
Not only is the dew claw worth a check, but all your dog’s nails should be kept at the right length. Paw care means you make sure to cut your dog’s nails following this how-to guide about dog nail dripping.