Pet Care: Tips for Caring for Your Dog’s Feet

Caring for the dog’s feet is a crucial aspect of pet grooming. Without the right guards and preventative maintenance, walking on the floor can cause serious damage to your pet’s paws. It’s important to keep in mind that just like your skin, feet and hands, your pet’s paws need regular care. If you don’t take care of your dog’s feet, it could lead to mats between his toes, burns from walking on too hot sidewalks, blisters or torn paws. If your dog licks the mat between his toes, it can lead to walking problems or a range of skin conditions. Injured paw pads make walking painful and can become infections. (Also read: Pet Care: Ways to Maintain Oral Hygiene in Pets)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Chetan Vanjari, veterinarian and founder of Animal Ark Veterinary Clinic, suggested ways to take care of your dog’s feet.

  1. Nail trimming

Nail growth in dogs differs individually. It depends on their nail growth rate, daily activity, type of soil they are kept on, etc. So basically getting your nails trimmed every 1-2 months is a good practice.

2. Cut the hair around the pads

The hairs between the pads sometimes contain foreign objects like stones and debris that can irritate the skin and cause injury. It keeps the interdigital space moist on rainy days causing bacterial or fungal infections.

3. Paw Creams

Applying paw creams helps prevent hardening and cracking of the foot pads.

4. Go outside

Going outside for a walk or hike with your pet is okay. But you have to be very careful about the terrain you choose. Sharp rocks in riverbeds and on a mountain can cause very deep leg lacerations. Leg wounds heal very slowly and bleed a lot if injured. Additionally, going out on hot, sunny days on concrete roads can also cause painful pad burns.

5. Ticks and fleas

The spaces between the fingers and the foot pad are a good home for external parasites such as ticks and fleas. Regularly check for the presence of these pests there. If they are present, then preventive medication against ticks and fleas should be used to avoid infectious diseases caused by them.

6. First aid for leg injuries

1. Clean the wound with clean water.

2. If there is excessive bleeding, apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding (if it still does not stop, rush to the nearest veterinary clinic)

3. Apply antiseptic solutions such as e.g. Savlon (chlorhexidine).

4. Do not use irritating solutions like Dettol or Hydrogen Peroxide to avoid unnecessary paw pain and irritation.

5. Then apply an antimicrobial/antiseptic ointment, eg. Betadine

6. Apply a dressing to the paw and perform dressing daily until the wound heals.

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