5 Tips for Dog Paw Health

As a pet parent, we may not think too often about our dog’s paws, but it’s important to regularly check on them to make sure they are healthy.  Our pets are running around “barefoot” all the time and while they may look tough, any slight injury can be painful for them. There are several items you will want to keep on hand to take proper care of your dog’s paws and keep them healthy, including:

• Soft cloths
• Dog shampoo
• Hydrogen peroxide
• Moisturizers 
• Dog booties 

Here is what you need to know about your dog’s paw health to ensure that they are in top shape. 

Tip 1: Wash Your Dog’s Feet

When you walk your dog or if they’re outside playing and having fun, they can step on all kinds of yucky debris. One of the ways to avoid a serious problem with their feet is by washing their paws, especially if they’re dirty or muddy from a recent walk.

You can wash them with a damp cloth, or you may want to place them in the bathtub to soak their paws thoroughly. With clean and healthy dog paws, your pet is less likely to develop an infection from a cut in the soft pads of the feet. 

Tip 2: Trimming Toenails and the Fur on Your Dog’s Paws

If you have a dog that has lots of fur between their toes or the pads of the paws, then trimming it can prevent problems. Letting it get too long can lead to matted fur and be painful for them.

Use scissors to trim the fur, making sure to avoid cutting the skin or the pads on the paws.  If you’re worried about trimming their paw fur yourself, schedule to bring them in to Befur & After and let us handle them for you. This is included in their grooming visit and maintaining a regular grooming schedule can also help keep their paws in top shape.      

Tip 3: Applications of Hydrogen Peroxide

When your dog has a minor cut or scrape on the pads of the paws, you can clean it with an application of hydrogen peroxide. Use a cotton ball saturated with the hydrogen peroxide to have clean and healthy dog paws. The application of hydrogen peroxide will sting, so you will need to hold them securely while talking to them with a soothing voice.

You may also put an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin on the paw.  When in doubt about any paw injuries, please contact your veterinarian to confirm that stitches or medications to prevent infection aren’t required for proper healing.     

Tip 4: Moisturize a Dog’s Paws Daily

The Atlanta summers can be brutal on our pet’s paws. To prevent them from becoming too dry, cracking or even peeling, you can moisture the pads with a gentle lotion or petroleum jelly. Simply rub the moisturizer into the pads several times a day to ensure that they won’t lick it away. 

Tip 5: Paw Protection from Hot Pavement and Asphalt

Our dogs need lots of exercise for a happier and healthier life but be sure to take extra precautions in the summer.  The asphalt can heat up fast and severely burn their paw pads

Test it first! If you can’t hold the back of your hand on the pavement for 5 seconds, then it’s too hot for your dog to walk on. Take a walk in the shade, in the grass, during a different time of day or consider getting them some summer dog booties to wear on their walks.  You can find some colorful and stylish ones online!

Hot Asphalt Awareness and Paw Health Tips

Whenever there is a cut or abrasion on our pet’s paws, it may lead to an infection.  It’s important to consistently check out their feet, keep them clean and contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns. While this is something you should do daily, when you have a regular grooming schedule for your pet at Befur & After, we also thoroughly check and clean their paws and fur to keep them in top shape.     

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