All dogs love walks, but this fun past time and essential piece of exercise does mean your pooch's paws will take a beating. They may be designed to withstand the elements, but paws aren't invincible, and you will need to keep an eye on them to make sure they aren't coming to any harm.
Here are some useful tips for perfect paws.
Trim nails regularly:
You will need to trim your dog's nails regularly to make sure they don't cause your pet any discomfort. As a general rule, if you can hear them clicking on the floor, they are definitely too long. If you're anxious about doing this, have a chat with your vet who will be able to show you how to do it properly. They will also be able to advise you on which type of nail trimmers are best for your dog.
Check for lodged objects:
Your dog's paw pads offer great protection, but sometimes things can become lodged in them and cause pain and discomfort. If you find anything, remove it carefully with tweezers. Any large cuts or scrapes, however, will require a visit to the vet.
Be extra vigilant in summer and winter:
Summer and winter can be particularly hard on your pooch's paws - think of scorching tarmac and frosty pavements. Your feet wouldn't be happy tackling them without shoes, and they can prove similarly troublesome for your pet's paws.
The first step is to avoid walking on hot pavement or sand (if you can't hold your hand to it for more than about 15 seconds without feeling discomfort, it'll be too hot for your dog. The next step is vigilance - in summer, check for blisters and burns after walks (minor burns can be treated with antibacterial wash and a bandage, but take your pet to the vet for serious ones). In winter, wash your dog's paws just in case any grit or salt put down to make the pavement less slippery has worked its way in.
Give a paw-fect haircut:
Overgrown fur around the paws can lead to matting, which in turn leads to pain and an unhappy dog. Do your best to regularly comb out fur around the toes and trim it so it's in line with the foot pads. Easy!
Treat your pooch to a massage:
For the ultimate treat, give your pooch's paws a soothing rub. Massage the pad first, then move on to in between each toe. It'll get the circulation going and soothe aching paws - your dog will be delighted!
Written by: Hannah Dyball