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paw care

Paw Care: How To Care For Your Dog’s Paws

Would you walk across a hot parking lot or a snow covered field without proper protection your feet? Probably not! As vulnerable as a human foot, paws need protection, they need to be taken care of and pampered. Here are a few paw care tips to keep those little feet clean and protected.

Keep the nails trimmed

Long nails will make your dog’s toes spread when he walks, allowing more room for dirt, stones snow and ice between the toes. This can be very uncomfortable for your dog when he/she is walking and playing. Unclipped nails actually also affect your dog’s weight distribution, pushing his weight onto the back of his feet. If your dog’s nails are clicking or getting snagged on the floor, it’s time for a pedicure. When the nails barely skim the ground, they have the perfect length. Ask your veterinarian for advice about what types of nail trimmers are best for your dog and how to use them properly. Most vets even offer to cut the nails if you are too anxious to do it yourself or  if your dog is unwilling to have it done.

Cracked pads

Pads do crack and bleed if they get too dry. Buy a good pad moisturizers specifically designed for a dog’s dried out paws and use as directed (if you don’t know what that is, you can always contact your vet). While rubbing in the lotion give the dog a paw massage by rubbing between the pads and up in between each toe. And most importantly, avoid human hand moisturizer, as this can soften the pads and lead to injury.

Trim the hair around the paws regularly. Mud won't clump to the feet when the hair is kept short Click To Tweet

Cleaning and massage

Foreign objects can get stuck in your dog’s pads. Check regularly between toes for stones, small bits of broken glass and other objects and clean the paws after walks. Items between the toes can usually be removed with a pair of tweezers. And don’t forget to trim the hair around your pup’s paws regularly. The longer hair, the more dirt can get stuck. Just like people, dogs sometimes need a massage to reduce stress and relieve tension and pain. A good paw massage will relax your dog and promote better circulation. Start by rubbing between the pads on the bottom of the paw, and then rub between each toe.

Summertime paw care

Dogs paws feel heat as much as human’s do on the bottom of their feet. Keep this in mind while out walking during the heat of the summer. To avoid blistering and burning, avoid walking on hot surfaces (such as parking lots or sand) If blistering or burning occurs, wash with an antibacterial soap and loosely wrap with gauze. If the burnings get worse, contact your vet for professional help.

Wintertime paw care

Winter is hard on everyone’s skin, even your dog’s! Bitter cold can cause paw pads to dry out. Rock salt and chemicals used as ice-melter on roads and sidewalks are very tough for a dog’s paws, and nice winter walks can become downright dangerous if your dog licks off the chemicals from ice-melting agents. After outdoor winter walks it’s important that you wash your dog’s paws in warm water to rinse away salt and chemicals. It’s also a good idea to apply Vaseline to the foot pads before each walk as this will keep salt from getting on the pads. And for extra protection, give your dog a pair of doggie booties.

Salt and ice-melting chemicals can irritate your pet's paws and can be poisonous if ingested. Click To Tweet


If you want to know how to protect your dog’s paws from the cold winter weather, here’s a few tips for you:

How to protect dog paws from winter and snow




Sarah is a Certified Fitness Trainer, pet lover and the happy owner of a 2-year-old Japanese Spitz named Bailey. Sarah spends a lot of time outdoors, running, hiking and biking. She loves inspiring Tractives all over the world with weekly pet tricks and tips.

One thought on “Paw Care: How To Care For Your Dog’s Paws

  1. 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.

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