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Pet care: Tips to take care of your dog's feet

It's crucial to keep in mind that much like your skin, feet, and hands, your pet's paws need regular care. Know from an expert the ways to keep your dog's feet healthy.

Published on Sep 11, 2022 05:28 PM IST

Dog foot care is a crucial aspect of pet maintenance. Without the right safeguards and preventative maintenance, walking on the ground can cause serious harm to your pet's paws. It's crucial to keep in mind that much like your skin, feet, and hands, your pet's paws need regular care. If you don't take care of your dog's feet, it could result in matting between their toes, burns from walking on too-hot pavement, blisters, or ripped paws. If your dog licks at the matting between their toes, it can lead to walking challenges or a range of skin conditions. Injured paw pads make walking painful and can become infections.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Chetan Vanjari, Veterinarian and Founder of Animal Ark Veterinary Clinic, suggested ways by which you can take care of your dog's feet.

1. Nail trimming

Nail growth in dogs differs individually. It depends on their rate of nail growth, daily activity, type of floor they are kept etc. So basically getting nails trimmed every 1 to 2 months is a good practice.

2. Hair trimming around paw pads

The hair between the paw pads sometimes holds foreign bodies like rocks and debris which might irritate the skin and cause wounds. It keeps interdigital space damp on rainy days causing bacterial or fungal infections.

3. Paw creams

Applying paw creams helps in avoiding hardening and cracking of foot pads.

4. Going outdoor

Going outdoors for roaming or for a hike with your pet is okay. But you need to be very careful about the terrain you choose. Sharp rocks in river beds and on a mountain can cause very deep lacerations of paws. Wounds on the paw heal very slow plus they bleed a lot if get injured. Also going out on hot sunny days on concrete roads can also cause painful burns on footpads.

5. Ticks and fleas

Gaps between digits and footpad make a good home for external parasites such as ticks and fleas. Regularly check for these parasites there. If present then need to use tick and flea preventive meds to avoid infectious diseases caused by them.

6. First-aid for paw wounds

1. Clean the wound with clean water.

2. If bleeding excessively then apply pressure on the wound to stop bleeding (if still not stopping then rush to the closest veterinary clinic)

3. Apply antiseptic solutions such eg. Savlon (chlorhexidine).

4. Do not use irritating solutions like Dettol or Hydrogen peroxide to avoid unnecessary pain and irritation of the paw.

5. Afterwards, apply an antimicrobial/ antiseptic ointment eg. Betadine

6. Apply a bandage over the paw and perform dressing every day until the wound heals.

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