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Why you should care for your dog's paws

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

Why you should care for your dog's paws
Caring for dog paws 101

Dogs are amazing creatures that have been a part of human society for centuries. They are loyal, intelligent, and provide us with companionship and love. In addition to all of these wonderful qualities, dogs also need our help in order to stay healthy and happy. One way we can do this is by taking care of their paw pads and nails.

The feet are an important part of your dog's body because they allow them to walk and run without hurting themselves. When dogs feet become worn down or dirty, the natural protection that their paws provide is diminished. With cracked paw pads, dogs can develop sores which can lead to infections.

Contents of this article

Keeping your dog's nails trimmed

Cutting your dog's nails can be a daunting task, but it is important that you do it in order to keep their paws healthy.

Keeping your dog's nails trimmed
Trimming dog paws should be part of your regular grooming routine

When trimming your dog's claws, you should cut them as close to the paw pads as possible. Avoid cutting into the pink fleshy part of the claw, as this can be painful for your dog. If your dog has clear or translucent nails then it should be easy to see where the kwik starts and ends. (The kwik is the part of the inside of the nails that are fleshy with nerve endings and blood vessels).

If the nails are black, it can be difficult to see where you should cut. In this case, if you are unsure about how short to trim them, consult with your vet or local pet groomer. It can be very painful for your dog if you get it wrong.

Dog claw trimmers

Start off with good quality clippers, specifically designed for dogs. Some good ones to look for are guillotine clippers or scissor-style clippers. Most nail trimmers come with a guard barrier to prevent you from trimming the nails too short.

Dog nail grinders

If your dog runs a mile at the right of the dreaded nail clippers, you might want to try a nail grinder. A grinder can be used to file down each dog nail with a small grinding attachment. Look out for extra quiet ones, because there are some that are really loud. Some people have found that the noise is enough to scare their dogs.

What to do if you cut the nails too short

if you cut the nail too short you will know about it immediately. Your dog will yelp out in pain and the nail will bleed.

You can stop the bleeding by using a styptic powder for dogs like this one by Trimmex.

First aid for your dog if you trim the nails too short
First aid for your dog if you trim the nails too short

Another way to stop the nail from bleeding is with a little bit of flour or cornstarch, dabbed onto the end of the bleeding nail.

If you do end up making this mistake, you might struggle to get your dog to trust you with a pair of nail clippers ever again. In this case, your best course of action is to take your dog to a professional groomer.

How often should you cut the claws?

You should aim to cut them every one to two months, but this might vary depending on how fast they grow.

If your dog spends a lot of time outside in dirt and dust, its claws will need more frequent trimming. Long dog walks on the rough ground can help to naturally keep them short.

You should also try to get into the habit of looking at your dog's feet and paw pads every day so that you don't miss any snags before they become problems.

The tip of the nail should not grow past the paw pads. If you notice the nails growing too long, it is best to shorten them or else they can create problems for your dog.

Cleaning the paw pads

Paw pads need to be cleaned on a regular basis in order to keep them healthy and free from dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants.

The first step in cleaning your dog's paws is to remove any excess dirt or debris. You can do this by using a soft-bristled brush or a damp cloth. If your dog has a lot of hair between its toes, you can use scissors to trim it shorter.

Once the dirt and debris have been removed, you can then clean the paws with warm soapy water. Be sure to avoid getting the soap in your dog's eyes and ears. Rinse the soapy water off of their paws and dry them with a clean, soft towel.

It's important to make sure you thoroughly dry the paws of your dog, and in between their toes, since dampness can lead to infection.

Paw oil & Balms

WAP Paw Oil

Paw oil is a lubricant that is applied to your dog's feet in order to keep them healthy and free from infection. Paw oil can be used to moisturize the paws and help protect them from the elements.

There are a few different types of oils on the market, but WAP Paw oil is one of the best. WAP oil is made with natural ingredients and it helps to soothe and defend the skin. The oil also has a refreshing peppermint scent which dogs love.

WAP Paw oil can be applied to a dog's paws before they go outside in order to add a layer of protection from the harsh weather, salt, sand, and chemicals in the environment. The oil can also be used to moisturize and soothe the paws of dogs who spend a lot of time inside on hardwood floors.

WAP oils are great for dogs with allergies or dry skin, they also make a balm stick to help with protecting your dog's feet, you can find them here.

Paw Blams

Be:Loved Paw and Nose Balm is a natural, organic balm that is made with beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, and lavender oil. The balm helps to soothe and defend the skin of dogs paws and noses.

The balm can be applied to a dog's paws before they go outside in order to add a layer of protection to them, from the cold weather, salt, sand, and chemicals in the environment.

Just a small dab of Be:Loved first aid and ache or soothing and nourishing balm on the paws and nose, can help keep them moisturized and healthy.

Dog's paw pads massage

Paw massage is a great way to keep your dog's paws healthy and free from infection. Paw massage can help to improve blood circulation and distribute the paw oil evenly.

You can give your dog a Paw massage by using your fingers to rub gently in a circular motion. Be sure to apply pressure to the pads of their paws and between their toes. You can also use pet-friendly massage oil, such as WAP Paw oil, to help lubricate their paws and make the massage more effective.

Your dog will love getting a Paw massage, and it will help keep their paws healthy and looking good.

Precautions to take in the care of your dog's paws

Just like with humans, it's important to take care of your dog's paws and to ensure they're healthy and free from infection. There are a few things you can do to help keep your dog's paws healthy:

Precautions to take when you are trimming your dogs nails
Talk to a vet if you are unsure what you are doing

Trim your dog's nails regularly.

It's best to use a clipper specifically designed for dogs, and make sure you don't cut them too short.

Clean your dog's paws often

Using warm soapy water. Be sure to get between the toes and dry them off thoroughly.

Apply Paw oil or Paw balm to their paws