When it comes to dog foot care, here are some of the things that I do with my dogs -
1. Dog Foot Care – Nail Grooming
It is important to groom a dog’s nails so that the dog is comfortable while walking and is less likely to get his long nails caught in brush and sticks.
The method that worked out well for me is to do nail-grinding instead of nail clipping.
Nail grinding allows you to slowly reduce your dog’s nails, with very little chance of hitting the quick within the nail. In fact, I hit the quick of my dog’s nails the first time I used a clipper on him, and there was a lot of screaming, running around, and blood on the floor. This has never happened with nail grinding.
Hitting the quick will cause bleeding and will be quite painful for your dog. Always have some nail styptic powder or gel available when grooming your dog’s nails to quickly stop the bleeding.
Nail grinding also allows you to slowly shape your dog’s nails so that they are nice and round and less likely to inadvertently cause damage when your dog scratches sensitive parts such as his ears or face.
Slowly introduce your dog to nail grinding sessions and make it fun and rewarding.
2. Dog Foot Care – Cracks on Foot Pads
Another foot care issue that arises, especially with my three legged dog, Shania, are cracks on her footpads. Larger dogs or three legged dogs put more weight on their feet, and may develop cracks on their footpads even from just walking on normal terrain.
Dogs may also hurt their footpads when hiking on irregular terrain, especially on rocky areas. If you are planning to take your dog on a long hike, consider getting him some dog shoes.
Shania develops cracks on her footpads from just her normal activity and from walking around the neighborhood. Recently, I started using a foot-pad cream that works pretty well – DermaPaw. I have only been using this cream for about one month, but there is already some good improvement on Shania’s foot-pads.
3. Dog Foot Care – Trimming Foot Fur
Finally, the fur between a dog’s toes can also become rather long, and this may cause the dog to slip, especially on hard, smooth surfaces.
To keep things safe for your dog, especially a three legged dog, keep his foot fur short so he has better footing while running and playing.
Practicing good dog foot care techniques is a very important part of keeping your dog happy and healthy.