One of the most important steps to success in being able to clean your puppy’s paw pads without calling in a small army to help is to start practicing early on.
It is not at all uncommon for dogs to dislike anyone playing with their feet. That’s why it is vital that you teach your puppy from the beginning that it is okay to check out their paw pads.
Take the time to touch their feet several times a day. Make a game out of it if you have to. Get the puppy used to the fact that you are going to look closely at his or her feet.
Repetition will help get the puppy used to the process. Use treats to positively reinforce the idea that your touching of the paw pads is a good thing and not one to be feared. The more you do this while the puppy is young, the less hassle you will have when the dog ages into a larger and older dog that is more difficult to handle.
Once the puppy is used to your touching of his or her footpads, take the time to inspect each paw daily. Evening is a good time to have the puppy lay on the floor or his or her bed. Spread the pads gently to insure that no foreign objects are hidden between the pads.
Keep in mind that a puppy’s footpads take a lot of shock and impact during their daily exercise and play routines. Although the footpads are the toughest piece of skin on a puppy’s body, they are still quite prone to injury because of their exposure to things like concrete, pavement, rocks, briars, ice and snow and sharp debris.
It is important to wash your puppy’s paw pads regularly, especially during winter months when he or she is more likely to pick up salt, snow melting chemicals, antifreeze and other debris such as wood splinters that can be very hazardous to a dog’s health.
Washing the paw pads benefits you as well as the puppy. Your house will stay a lot cleaner if you remove the mud, dirt, ice and snow that can accumulate between a puppy’s paw pads.
Use a gentle soap and warm water to wash the footpads. You can use a washcloth soaked in the soapy water to gently wash between each pad. Be sure to finish the job with a clean warm water rinse.
Some puppies are content to allow you to swish their paws around in a basin of soapy water. The swishing action serves to move the water between the pads and this will aid in helping to thoroughly cleanse the feet.
The task of cleaning a puppy’s paw pads does not require any special tools, but there are commercial footbaths available for canine use if you feel the need to own one. The Internet is a good source of information if your local pet store does not carry such an item.