dog lovers carefully tend to their dogs' feet

How to Take Care of Your Dog’s Feet – Practical Tips

Taking care of your dog’s feet is an essential part of keeping him healthy and happy. Most people opt to have their dog groomer take care of everything, but you yourself can groom their feet without too many complications. Ideally, a dog’s feet should be checked every three to four weeks. The hair in between the paws should be trimmed so that there’s less chance for outside debris to attach. Nails should be clipped around this time, too. Many dog owners are apprehensive about clipping their dog’s nails. It’s nothing to fear, though. Clipping your dog’s nails can be easy if you know what to do.

First, you need to purchase nail trimming tools. You can find most of these at your local pet store. Large scissor-type nail clippers can be used on smaller dogs, and guillotine-type nail clippers can be used for medium to large dogs. Some pet stores, such as Petco, even have packages that include nail files and styptic powder. It would be a good idea to purchase at least the clippers and the powder, if nothing else. The styptic powder is what helps stop the bleeding if you clip the quick in the dogs toe nail. The nail file is a good idea to have just in case the quick is close to the edge of the toenail. It also helps to file the clipped nail so that they don’t scratch your floor, themselves, or you if they jump up to give affection. Remember, three to four months is the average time between nail clippings, but if you hear your dog’s nails on the floor, it might be an indication that another clipping is due.

Many people are afraid or nervous when clipping their dog’s nails because they don’t want to hurt their dog. There’s no need to worry about this. The dog generally feels no pain. Think of clipping your own nails. Do you feel pain when you clip them normally? More often than not, you don’t. A dog will feel pain, however, if you clip the quick. Think of the quick as the skin under your fingernail. It hurts when you clip your skin while doing your nails just as it hurts them to cut the quick.

puppy care by K9 Kingdom in Pittsburgh, PAThe quick can be seen as a dark pink, red, or even black spot in clear toenails but is nearly invisible on darker colored nails. You should clip slightly above the quick, and if you’re unsure of where that’s at in the darker colored nails, just remove small amounts daily. If you look directly at the nail and see a dark spot, that’s the quick. Avoid cutting it then.

Don’t forget to clip the dew claw, that fifth claw that some dogs have on the side. If left alone, the dew claw can grow and eventually curl under. Most often, this creates an ingrown nail which can be very painful for them. The same goes for their regular nails. That’s why it’s important to keep up with the grooming of their feet. If their nails are let go for too long, it causes them pain in the nail, which can eventually lead to pain in the foot, leg, and spread throughout the body. Simply getting up and moving around will no longer be enjoyable but agonizing for them. So, be sure to clip all of the claws, and clip small amounts regularly rather than taking off a large amount if you’re nervous.

If you happen to clip the quick, don’t panic. Grab the styptic powder that you got at the pet store and stick it directly on the nail. This will stop the bleeding in no time since it’s a coagulant. Be sure to remove any extra powder as it can eventually create a cap that can be broken off later, reopening the seal it created on the quick. Recheck the seal periodically since the powder can be rubbed off or the seal broken. If the quick is very close to the top of the nail, regular filing for about three weeks should help push the quick back, allowing you some area to cut the nail. Dogs that go for walks on concrete and pavement have this happen naturally, and may not require as many clippings or filings as usual. So if your dog is adamant about not having his nails filed, take him for daily walks on the road or sidewalk.

Regular clippings, and possibly filings, will help ensure your dog stays happy and healthy. If you still feel you cannot do this on your own, your local groomer, such as K9 Kingdom which serves dog lovers in Pittsburgh, PA, will be able to take care of it for you.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: