a guide to perfectly healthy pet paws

Posted by Dr. Jules Benson on Jul 23 2009


Twenty little toes and no pedicures – how do our pets manage? With sizzling sidewalks, rocky camp sites and backyard foxtails, those sweet feet need extra love during the summer months. Lucky for your pets, expert paw care is as close as their favorite person (you, of course.) Follow along for your guide to four perfect paws.

Give Me Twenty. Spend a few minutes each day inspecting your pet’s paws. Summertime adventures make it easy for blisters, cuts, foxtails or dirt to make their way onto the paw pads. Be sure to gently remove any objects stuck on the pads with your fingers or pair of tweezers. For tiny splinters or other hard-to-remove objects, try soaking the paw in warm water to loosen the debris. Then, rinse the area, and any other scrapes with pet-safe antibacterial soap. For major paw cuts or injuries, or even minor ones that just won’t heal, make sure your pet visits the vet.

Peticure, Please! Imagine it, your pet actually enjoying nail trimming time. All you need are his favorite treats and a trimmer and you’re in business. By distracting him with the treats, you’re free to trim back nails that can catch on the carpet, or cause slipping on hardwood floors. Just make sure to take your time so you don’t nick the quick. One nick on that sensitive nail spot and there aren’t enough treats in the world to get your pet to his next nail appointment. In fact it may be worth investing in one of the latest hi-tech nail clippers that sense your pet's quick and give visual cues as to when it is safe and when it is not safe to begin clipping; Red-Yellow-Green. Green means Go!

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Lose the Dreads. Dreadlocks are not a good look for your pet. Besides, matted paw fur pick ups dirt, foxtails, bugs and other nasty hitchhikers. To help fluffy-footed dogs and cats keep their paw fur under control, just trim around the toes and pads with a rounded-tip scissors from time to time.

Give Paw Pain the Boot. Fabulous footwear is every dog’s right. Consider investing in protective boots for your outdoorsy dog. Once he breaks them in, he’ll be footloose on hot pavement, gravel driveways and all the tough terrain of summer.

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