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Caring for Your Dog's Paws

March 15, 2020

Dogs’ paws are in many ways their unofficial symbol or logo. There are pawprints all over sorts of doggy products … not to mention millions of people’s hearts! Fido’s furry feet are not only super cute … they’re also very important to his health and well-being. Read on as a Bruce Crossing, MI vet offers some tips on caring for your canine pal’s paws.

Claw Care

Overgrown nails may not sound like something you’d really need to worry much about. However, if Fido’s claws get too long, they will snag and tear on things. Plus, they’ll just be uncomfortable for him. Your furry friend may adjust his gait to compensate, just as someone may walk a bit differently if they have a sore toe. Over time, this can really strain your pup’s bones and joints. This can be quite problematic, especially for dogs with arthritis or hip dysplasia. 


Check your canine buddy’s paws regularly. Look for cuts, bruises, swelling, heat, and anything else out of the ordinary. Dogs sometimes get pebbles or splinters in their feet, so watch for that too. Keep an eye out for ticks as well: they sometimes latch on to dogs’ toes.

Paw Pads

Did you know that dogs only sweat through their paw pads? Your pooch uses his feet to gauge surface temperatures. Those toe beans are very sensitive! In summer, Fido can get painful paw burns by walking or running on hot surfaces. Be extra careful after your furry buddy has been swimming: dogs’ paws are extra delicate when they’re wet. Winter has its own concerns. As one can imagine, going barefoot on snow, salt, sand, and ice isn’t much fun. Use paw balm or wax to protect your pet’s paws. (Tip: you can use petroleum jelly in a pinch.)

Toe Fur

Those tufts of fur some dogs have growing between their toes are super cute. However, it’s best to clip them. Otherwise, they often trap gum, dirt, and ice, and form painful mats. Ouch!

Dew Claws

Don’t forget about Fido’s dew claws! In some cases, these can actually grow back into the skin. They also sometimes snag and tear on things. If you see anything concerning about Fido’s dew claws, have your vet take a look. 

Please contact us, your Bruce Crossing, MI vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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