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Your dog’s paws take him everywhere. Unfortunately, there are times when your pooch may not feel like going anywhere because of paw pain. If you keep your pet’s paws regularly groomed, then you can prevent unnecessary injuries. However, accidents happen and sometimes you are faced with medical problems. If a problem arises, then you should know whether you can care for your pet at home or if you need to take him to the veterinarian.
In order to provide at-home care for your pooch, your pet should be comfortable with you handling his paws. That way if some sort of injury comes up, you will be able to help him out. Some pets love for you to touch their feet, while others hate it. Start with the handling at home. Take your pet to a quiet area and just give him a mini foot massage. Be gentle, and pet his feet just like you would his head. Try to work your way up to where you are able to touch his feet anytime you are petting him. He’ll soon get comfortable with the feel, so you will be able to examine his feet if you suspect a problem.
Accidents are out of your hands, but there are ways you can prevent unnecessary injuries. A pet can suffer greatly from long or broken nails. You must keep your pet’s nails clipped. If you go to a groomer regularly, then the groomer probably provides this service for you. If you take care of grooming at home, then you should be able to recognize when your dog’s nails need clipping and how to clip them. In addition to clipping his nails, the hair around and between the pads of his paws should also be clipped. Both the nails and the hair should be groomed at least once a month.
If your pooch is limping, holding one foot off the floor, refusing to walk, or is obviously in pain, then you need to check his paws immediately. Your pet is always barefoot, so paw injuries are not uncommon. Be gentle when you check the problem; your pet is in pain and he may snap or bite at you as a way to protect himself. This is where the foot handling that you have been working on comes in handy.
If you have had your pooch in the great outdoors, then he could be suffering from an object that is lodged in his toes. Thorns, spurs, small rocks and gravel can all be culprits. Grab a pair of tweezers and gently remove the item. Once removed, cut back the hair on your pet’s paw pad to keep mats and tangles at bay. If the item cut his paw, then wash his paw with soap and water.
In the summer, your pet can suffer from burning and blistering caused by hot surfaces. A burned paw may appear raw, while a blistered pay may have a loose flap of skin (just like when a human gets a blister). Don’t remove the blister, because it will come off naturally. Plus, the skin beneath the blister is still raw. Instead, wash the paw and wrap a clean bandage around it. Change the bandage each day for a couple of days until the blister heals. Dry, cracked pads can also be painful for your pup. If his pads seem excessively dry or are cracking, then buy a tube of paw cream from the pet store. It will help soften the pads of his feet.
As tough as it seems to be, the paw pad can also be cut. If the cut is deep or bleeding profusely, then you need to see the veterinarian immediately. If the cut is small, then clean out the wound with soap and water. Wrap the paw with a bandage, and change the bandage everyday or every two days. You may need to use a special collar during this time to keep your pet from pulling off the bandage. If the wound is not showing any signs of healing within three days, then take your pooch to the veterinarian.
Your pooch depends on his paws and paw pads, so you should take care of them. Being outside can pose many hazards for your pet’s feet, so you need to be able to prevent unnecessary injury and provide care in case of an accident. Blisters and lodged objects between the toes can be treated at home. Deep cuts or non-healing wounds should be treated by the veterinarian. Use your best judgment when caring for your pet.