Health & Hygiene

How to Look After Your Dog’s Paws

Written by Melissa Keen

Your dog’s paws are more sensitive than you think! Just like hands, the skin on a dog’s paws is delicate and can require some looking after.

Dogs also have nails and fur that needs attending to in order to maintain them.

Here are some ways you can keep your pet’s paws healthy.

Dog’s Paw Pads

A dog’s paws have both metacarpal pads and digital pads. Keeping their pads healthy is vital as their pads consist of a protecting a layer of fat covered in rough skin that allows them to walk and run on different types of terrain. The pads also providing insulation to cope with different temperatures.

To keep pads healthy, avoid walks in the freezing cold. Dogs can get cold paws which can result in frostbite. Salted pavements can also burn their paws.

Dog’s pads can also crack when dry. You can buy paw salves to keep their pads moisturised. It may be worth investing in dog shoes if you live in an area with extreme climates.

Nails

Dogs need a regular mani and pedi, just like humans. A dog’s nails continue to grow and usually get filed down naturally by walking, but they will need doing manually every so often too.

If you can hear your dog’s nails clicking on the floor when they walk, it’s time for a trim. If you’re not sure how to do it yourself, take them to the vet or groomers and ask to be shown how to do it properly.

Always be careful when trimming their nails – a dog’s claws have a “quick” inside (the dark part) which carries the blood supply.

Paw Fur

It’s important to keep the fur around the paw nicely trimmed. This is for multiple reasons; firstly, the fur can easily become matted and sore. Secondly, lots of debris can get caught up in the fur. Thirdly, long fur can hide sores or injuries.

Follow these simple tips to keep your dog’s paws happy and healthy.

About the author

Melissa Keen