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Caring for Your Dog’s Paws

If you have a canine pal, you’re probably used to seeing his paw prints around your entryway and in your yard. Fido’s feet are very cute, but they are also crucial to his health and well-being. Your pup doesn’t necessarily need full-on spa treatments, but you will need to provide some basic foot care. In this article, a Coon Rapids, MN vet discusses caring for your dog’s paws.

Nails

Make sure to keep your canine pal’s nails trimmed back. Overgrown nails can be very painful, and can even affect your furry pal’s gait. Overtime, they can contribute or lead to bone and joint problems, such as arthritis. You may have heard that if you trim a dog’s claw too short, you’ll cut the quick, which is where Fido’s blood vessels and nerves end. While cutting the quick isn’t life-threatening, it will hurt your pup and make him bleed. To avoid cutting too far, you can get clippers equipped with sensors, which will take the guesswork out of the process. If you are using regular clippers, start by making very shallow cuts, and inspect the trimmings. When you start to see a pale oval appear in the clippings, stop. Of course, you can always call us to schedule a quick ‘pawdicure’ appointment!

Seasonal Care

In winter, snow, ice, salt, sand, and chemical de-icers can all hurt your pup’s paws. Try to avoid walking Fido on sidewalks and other surfaces that have de-icing agents on them, and wipe his paws down after walks. You may want to consider getting your furry pal protective booties. Summertime also brings some specific hazards. Hot tar, sand, and asphalt can burn or blister your canine pal’s feet. Just like human skin, Fido’s paw pads will be very delicate after being immersed in water, so be extra careful after he’s been swimming.

General

Regularly inspect Fido’s feet for cuts, scrapes, and other issues. Check between those furry little toes to be sure your canine buddy doesn’t have anything lodged in there. If your pup has tufts of fur between his toes, keep these trimmed so they don’t become tangled. Minor cuts and scrapes can be treated with antiseptic, but for anything more severe than a light abrasion, take Fido to the vet.

Do you have questions about caring for your canine friend? Contact us, your Coon Rapids, MN veterinary clinic, any time!

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