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Paw Care Tips for Dogs

Much like our hands, a dog’s paws are quite important for daily life. As such, it’s important to make sure they stay healthy! Take note of these canine paw-care tips from your Wake Forest, NC veterinary professional:

Nail Trims

Of course, regular nail trims are the first step in keeping your dog’s paws healthy. Since nails that grow too long can fracture painfully or get snagged in carpets, it’s important to keep your canine companion’s claws trimmed properly. Use a dog-specific trimmer, and be sure to only blunt the tip of the claw. If you cut too far, you’ll clip the blood vessel that runs into the claw, causing bleeding. Keep a styptic pencil or powder on hand to stop the bleeding if this does occur.

Check Between the Toes

It’s very easy for small objects—pebbles, burrs, twigs, etc.—to get stuck between a dog’s toes when they head outdoors. Check your dog’s paws when he comes inside, and remove anything that’s stuck there. If you cannot easily remove an item or if it appears to be embedded into the skin, don’t force it. Instead, call your veterinarian for help.

Trim Paw Hair

Does your dog have longer hair around the paws? They may benefit from the occasional paw-hair trim. This way, mats will be avoided and the likelihood of objects getting tangled in the fur will be reduced.

Paw Pad Hazards

Don’t forget about your dog’s paw pads. They can be punctured by sharp objects and can be irritated by various substances your dog may step in. Include your dog’s pads when you check out the paws for any foreign objects, cuts, or punctures.

In addition, paw pads can be burnt by hot asphalt in the summer and irritated by ice or road salt in the winter. Take care to avoid these seasonal dangers—whenever possible, avoid hot asphalt, ice, ice that’s been treated with chemicals, and areas covered in road salt.

Moisturize the Paw Pads

A dog’s paw pads can also become cracked and dry, much like our hands do in the wintertime. Dog paw-pad moisturizers are made to combat this problem. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation on a good moisturizer; they’re available online and in some pet supply stores and veterinarian’s offices.

Does your pet need medication, vaccinations, or just a checkup? Your Wake Forest, NC veterinarian is here to help. Call the office today!

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