Pet owners need to be aware of the condition of their dog’s feet. Just as we humans get sore feet, dogs can suffer too.
However, a little inexpensive care can go a long way in keeping your dog’s feet healthy.
Trimming the hair on the dog’s paws is one way to help keep the feet healthy. While many people think that trimming hair on a dog’s feet is just for those who have show dogs, think again. The main reason for grooming feet is to keep them healthy and fit.
It is important to realize that dogs’ feet vary. While some breeds tend to have long hair that grows on top of the foot, between the toes and in between the paw pads, others may have short hair that never has to be trimmed. Your grooming practice will be based on your dog’s need.
It is best to keep the fur on the dog’s paws neatly trimmed. Dogs that live in houses that have hardwood flooring can definitely benefit from routine grooming of the hair. Long hair that grows between the paw pads can actually attribute to the dog’s slipping and sliding on any hardwood flooring surfaces.
It is especially important to trim hair during the winter months when snow and ice are prevalent. The fur between toes and paw pads provides an ideal environment for the buildup of ice and snow.
Owners have two choices when it comes to hair trimming around the feet. One is to have the veterinarian or dog groomer do it. The other is to do it yourself.
One should note that not all dogs will take kindly to having their feet messed with. That’s why it is a good idea to get the dog used to your poking and probing around his or her feet at a very early age.
One of the most important things to remember is that you should attempt foot grooming when your dog is calm and relaxed. A dog that is stressed is not going to sit still for you while you probe his or her feet.
Take time to allow the dog to smell the scissors. The sight of a pair of scissors is enough to send some dogs running. Make sure the scissors are sharp. Dull scissors cause pulling of the hair and this is something that your dog may not take kindly to.
Start by pulling all of the hair on the paw upwards through the dog’s toes. Hold the hair between the fingers of one hand and carefully snip the unwanted fur. Be very careful not to get too close to the skin.
Once you take the first snip of hair, allow the dog to smell it. Believe it or not, but a lot of dogs quickly learn that your grooming efforts feel good and benefit them.
Work your way around the paw and pay close attention to the hair between the pads of the paw. Use a small pair of scissors so that you have better control.
If the dog is feisty when you are trying to clip the hair, you may want to call in a second person to help. It is important that the dog remains still and calm during the trimming process. One unexpected movement of the dog’s feet could result in an injury.