How-to guide: Protect your dog’s feet like a pro

Your four-legged best friend deserves the right paw care. But which are the best practices to protect your dog’s feet?

13 November 2018

Sarah

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Dog’s feet deserve a lot of care, but how should you begin? No anatomy classes needed, you are just 4 steps away from the perfect dog feet care. Read on!

Active Dogs VS Couch Potatoes: Paw care

Active dogs deserve a lot more attention than dogs who are generally not moving much. Because they spend a lot of time outside, they are exposed to a higher number of hazards compared to lazier dogs. Often, their outdoor activities involve cold weather and snow, which makes paw care even more important!

Active dogs are in fact more likely to:

  • encounter dog fights
  • be exposed to viruses
  • run away and damage their paws

Especially if you have a very active dog, it’s generally suggested that you check his paws regularly. As many runaway dogs are known to damage their paws easily, you should equip your dog with a GPS device in order to prevent your dog from going too far and getting into trouble.

Generally, whether you own an active or a lazy dog, it’s good practice to take care of your dog’s feet on a regular basis. Dog-friendly activities in cold seasons and during winter are very fun – but they also require extra care.

So how to start? Take a closer look to your dog’s feet. Composed of pads, claws, and hair — which are exposed to the elements on a daily basis — dog’s feet need in fact special care. To help you out with that we have compiled an easy checklist you’ll need when you take care of your dog’s feet.

Four easy steps to take care of your dog’s feet:

More vulnerable than human feet, paws need protection. Here are 4 easy steps to check if your dog’s feet are healthy.

  1. Check the paw pads
  2. Check the dew claw
  3. Trim the paw hair
  4. Take care of the rest of the claw

1. Check the paw pads

 

how to protect your dog's feet in 4 steps

  • 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.
  • Cleaning the dirt off a dog’s pads is great, but sometimes it’s not enough. Apply Vaseline- choose the type which has no additives or milking grease. Vaseline can prevent the pads from becoming excessively dry.

2. Check the Dew Claw

how to protect dog feet check the dew claw

Where and what is the dew claw? This vestigial residual can be found on the side of your dog’s paw. Recognizable 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.

Good to know: Some dogs have dew claws both on their front and hind legs, while some others have them only on their front legs.

Because the dew claw is only loosely attached to your dog’s body, it can easily be subject to injuries caused by friction or movement. 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

how to protect dog feet trim the 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 to cut too much: if the hair is too short, your dog’s skin will risk getting irritated.

4. Take care of the rest of the claw

how to protect dog feet with care

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.

Recipe for a homemade dog paw care lotion

Need a homemade recipe for an effective paw care balsam? Your puppy will love this:

Ingredients for homemade dog paw care cream

  • 80 ml olive oil
  • 30 g bio shea butter
  • 15 g beeswax
  • 20 g pine resin (collected manually or ordered online)
  • 3 tsp marigold (should you not have any, you can ask in your neighbour’s garden)
  • 1 small jam glass to store the cream

How to proceed:

Mix them together in a glass. Take a water bowl and heat it up at 50 degrees for about 30 minutes. Put the glass inside the hot water and wait for a half an hour.  After that, the cream should already have a certain consistency, that will allow it to be used after cooling down.

Video on how to give your dog a foot bath

Remember: Dogs don’t wear socks or shoes, so giving your dog a foot bath every now and then will help you remove all the chemicals and allergens from the paws. And here’s how to do it:


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3 Comments
  1. Petra McCandless

    Great tips, I would also recommend massaging the paws. Either with essential oil specifically made for dogs or with the new dog massage heated stone pad. Massaging their paws is like massaging our feet they love it and will keep their paws healthy.
    This is the only place I found the heated stone pad, there might be other once having the dog oil though.
    http://dogsearhealth.com/dog-ears-massage-oil/

  2. Helly

    Thanks for sharing great tips for dogs feet. Because I don’t have any idea about dog feet. So I love this articles.
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    • Sanda

      Dear Helly,

      Thank you for your feedback! We are happy to hear that our articles are useful and appreciated! We wish you and your four-legged friend a lot of great moments together!

      Best, Sanda