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Does your dog sometimes put his paw on your leg? This is definitely one of Fido’s cutest habits! Those furry feet are actually crucial to your pet’s health and well-being. Your canine pal’s paws let him bounce with excitement when you come home from work, race after a stick or tennis ball when playing fetch, and generally help him get around. (They also help him track mud onto the floor, but that’s another topic!) Taking care of your pet’s paws isn’t difficult or time-consuming, but it is very important. Below, an Oconomowoc, WI veterinarian offers some doggy paw care tips.
Every season brings some very specific hazards for pet parents to be aware of. In summer, walking on hot surfaces can burn your pup’s delicate paw pads. If Fido likes swimming, be extra careful after he gets out of the water, as his feet will be extra sensitive after being immersed in water. In winter, snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical de-icing agents can hurt your pooch’s feet. If your dog has allergies, you’ll also want to be careful during peak pollen times, as your canine pal can pick up pollen just by walking in grass. We advise wiping those furry feet down with a damp cloth daily, and using paw balm or wax to protect them.
Make sure to keep Fido’s claws trimmed. If his nails get too long, they can affect his gait, and make it harder for him to walk or gain traction on slippery surfaces. Over time, overgrown nails can even lead or contribute to painful conditions, such as arthritis. If you’re nervous about giving your pooch a ‘peticure,’ consider getting clippers that are equipped with sensors. These are much easier to use, as they indicate exactly where to cut. You can also just call us to schedule a quick manicure!
Inspect Fido’s paws regularly for signs of swelling or injury. Look between those furry little toes, and check for ticks or foreign objects. If you notice a minor cut or scrape, you can treat it yourself with antiseptic. Call your vet for anything more than a little scratch. You don’t want to take any chances of your pet getting a paw infection!
Does Fido need shots or an exam? Call us, your Oconomowoc, WI animal clinic! We are here to serve all your pet’s veterinary care needs.