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Five Paw-Care Tips for Dog Owners

July 15 2014

Have you ever thought about all your dog’s paws do for him? Not only do they let him walk and run, they serve as shock absorbers, provide insulation during cold weather, and let your dog navigate through rough terrain. As such, it’s important to keep your dog’s paws healthy. Use these tips from a Conway veterinarian:

Nail Trims

It’s important to keep your dog’s nails properly trimmed. If they get too long, they’re more likely to get caught on things or fracture painfully. Use a nail trimmer made just for dogs, and only snip off the end of the claw to blunt it. You may also carefully use scissors to trim longer hairs around the nails and toes.

Clean Between Toes

At least once a week, check your dog’s paw pads and toes. It’s very easy for small objects like pebbles or burrs to get stuck there. If possible, remove the object carefully with tweezers and dispose of it. If you can’t easily remove it, don’t force it. Instead, call your vet for a second opinion.

Moisturize Paw Pads

It’s very common for a dog’s paw pads to become dry and cracked, just like our hands might! Pick up a dog paw moisturizer at a local pet store and follow the directions on the packaging to keep your dog’s pads healthy. Never use human skin moisturizer-it’s not formulated for dogs and may actually do more harm than good.

Avoid Seasonal Hazards

In the hot summer months, asphalt can become blazing hot, leading to paw pad burns. When it’s extremely cold, freezing metal surfaces, road salt, and de-icer chemicals can irritate the paws as well. Do all you can to have your dog avoid these surfaces, and be sure to check the paws after you come back inside.

Massage Paws

It may seem silly, but a good paw massage can really help your dog’s paws feel better! It improves circulation and relaxes the muscles. It’s also a great time to check the paws for debris or wounds. Try massaging your dog’s paws after long walks or playtime in the backyard. Ask your Conway veterinarian for more paw-care tips. Some simple provisions can go a long way towards keeping these vital parts of your dog’s body in tip-top shape!

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