Basic Paw Care For Your Puppy

Posted on: 29 July 2020

When you get a new dog, you face a learning curve when it comes to meeting all their needs. Puppies need training and guidance, but you also learn the foundational pet care practices that will keep your dog healthy throughout life. In particular, you'll learn how to care for their ears, feet, and coat. Learn more about healthy paw care for your puppy.

Check for ticks and other irritants

Each day during your grooming practice, check your puppy's paws. If you've been outside, your pup can pick up thorns, get pebbles stuck between their toes, or suffer scratches from rough terrain or prickly plants. You especially want to be on the lookout for ticks that latch themselves to your dog's paws. They can hide easily in the crevasses of the foot, and they are a threat to your dog's health because ticks carry many diseases. If you haven't already, talk to your doctor about tick and flea prevention medication for your puppy. 

Wash feet after walking, especially in winter

Walking is an important part of your dog's health. They need exercise for weight management and healthy muscle and bone development. Walking in winter, however, can sometimes take special care. After each walk, clean your dog's paws with a warm, damp cloth. The salt from roads and sidewalks can dry out your puppy's paws and cause painful cracking. Sand used for icy areas can also be abrasive, causing tenderness. Washing off the debris from the road can protect from these injuries. You could also invest in a pair of booties for your puppy. Introduce them early, so that your dog has time to get used to them, and give treats when your dog wears them. 

Stay on top of nail trimming

Nail trimming is an area where dog owners can feel apprehensive, and for good reason. Cutting your dog's nails too short can cause pain and injury to the nail. If you are uncertain about how to trim correctly, you can always bring your dog to the vet to get them trimmed. Trimming helps prevent the nails from getting too long. When nails grow too long, they can push back against the soft nail bed, causing pain with every step. This pain affects foot development and will change the way your dog walks as they grow from puppyhood to adulthood. 

Be aware of areas that will harm your puppy's paws

Dog paws are not as tough as a pair of shoes. For example, if the pavement is hot from the intense summer heat, your dog's paws can get burned. Your dog's feet get gradually tougher over time, but always assess the area before setting your dog down. 

Visit a pet service near you to get more help taking care of your puppy.