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Caring for Your Dog’s Paws

You’ve likely heard the old adage about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. Have you ever imagined walking a mile in your pet’s paws? Fido’s furry feet are crucial to his health and well-being, so it’s important to take good care of them. As your Marion, IA vet, I discuss dog paw care below.

Nail Clipping

Keep your pet’s claws trimmed. If Fido’s nails are too long, they may catch on things and tear, which can lead to painful infections. Overgrown nails are also uncomfortable for dogs to walk on. Your pup may change his gait a bit to compensate, which is very bad for his bones and joints. This can cause or contribute to several bone/joint issues, such as arthritis. Of course, clipping your dog’s nails may be trickier than it sounds. You don’t want to cut into the quick, which is where your pup’s blood vessels and nails end. One way to avoid this is by using clippers that have sensors that indicate where to cut. You can also ask your vet to demonstrate proper techniques. Or, call me to schedule a quick nail trim for your pooch. No matter which option you choose, don’t forget to give your furry friend a treat after his pawdicure!

Pawsitive Thoughts

Some dogs don’t like having their feet handled. It can be hard to do anything with Fido’s feet if he won’t let you touch them. Teach your pet that he’ll get a treat for letting you touch his paws. He may have a miraculous change of heart!

Paw Pads

Fido’s paw pads are very delicate. In summer, your pet can burn his feet on hot or harsh surfaces. Be extra careful after your pooch has been swimming, as dogs’ paws are extra delicate when they’re wet. Winter can also cause problems: snow, salt, sand, ice, and de-icing agents are very rough on your dog’s feet. Choose pet-safe de-icing products. It’s also a good idea to use paw balm or wax to protect your pup’s feet.

Toe Gunk

Many of our canine companions have tufts of fur growing between their toes. These are cute, but you may want to clip them, as they can collect gunk, like ice balls or gum, and form painful mats.

Is your dog due for an exam? Contact me, your Marion, IA vet, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs.

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