Pet Paw Care Tips that Will Earn You a High Five
A list reflecting some of the reasons why you love your pet might include that cute nose, those floppy ears, the endlessly wagging tail, and of course, those irresistible paws! Some pet owners might argue with that last one, but the fact is: those amazing paws are as fit for rugged terrain as they are for high-fiving you on the sofa after a long day. In short, they are important to your pet’s overall health and well-being.
Pet paw care is a major focus as we move into summer.
Do your feet ever hurt after walking around on rough surfaces without memory foam inserts or reinforced soles? While animals are specially equipped to handle life without shoes, it doesn’t mean they don’t benefit from some help once in awhile.
Seasonal attention is important, with an emphasis on extra special pet paw care during winter and summer months.
Tip Top Shape
Before we begin outdoor workouts, such as running or hiking, we make sure our shoes are in good shape. Pet paw care demands similar attention and involves the following components:
- Nails – Your pet’s nails should never grow to excessive lengths. Long nails can make your pet walk differently, affecting the bones and joints. The summer heat can cause nails to dry up, leading to cracked or broken nails. Also, long nails can get caught in things, such as sidewalk cracks, wooden deck slats, and other places. To avoid bleeding, pain, and mobility difficulties, we are happy to trim your pet’s nails and give you tips for trimming success at home.
- Dew claws – Inspecting the dew claw (about ¼ of the way up the leg) will help reduce overgrowth and infection.
- Paw pads – Hot asphalt, gravel, sand, and other heat-absorbent surfaces can cause cuts, flaps, and blisters on the paw pads. Sometimes, sutures and/or splints are needed to help a dog heal from a small abrasion that developed into a full-fledged injury before getting treated.
- Tag alongs – Your pet’s paws come into contact with various unknown items, and it’s common for some of them to get stuck on the pads or in between the toes. Thorns, burrs, foxtails, and grasses can become lodged in the foot and cause major pain, infection, or irritation. While routinely checking for these stowaways, look for mats and other problems.
Addressing Pet Paw Care
There are many things you can do to help your pet with his or her paws.
- When inspecting your pet’s feet, look for any swelling or other signs of injury.
- Keep your pet hydrated.
- Ask us about nutritional support for healthy nails, such as omega-3 fatty acids or zinc supplements.
- Schedule your pet’s walks before it gets too hot or after the sun has set.
- Remember, if it’s too hot for you to stand barefoot outside, it’s too hot for your pet.
- Watch your pet’s behavior closely. Sometimes, irritation can cause feet licking or chewing, but this can also signify pet allergies.
If we can help you with additional questions or concerns about pet paw care, we always welcome your call.