Does your canine buddy know how to Shake or High Five? Fido’s furry feet are not only really cute … they are also crucial to his mobility, and therefore to his overall health and well-being. With winter coming, you may want to pay your pet’s paws some extra attention. Here, an Omaha, NE vet discusses caring for your pup’s paws in cold weather.
Keeping your furry friend’s claws clipped is very important! Overgrown claws are quite uncomfortable. They can also become problematic. If Fido’s nails are too long, his toes will begin to splay out. He may then adjust his stance or change his stride a bit when walking. That puts a lot of strain on his bones and joints, which can make it easy for him to slip, fall, or even just strain himself.
Many of our canine companions absolutely hate walking on snow or ice. You can try putting booties on Fido. Just don’t force him if he isn’t feeling it.
Fido’s paw pads act as cushions and shock absorbers. They protect his bones from impacts when he jumps for that Frisbee, and also provide information about the texture and temperature of the surfaces he walks on. However, they are very delicate, and can easily get burned or blistered. In summer, hot surfaces are the main concern. In fall and winter, chemicals, salt, sand, and de-icing agents are the risk. Paw balm can help protect those cute toe beans. We also recommend choosing pet-safe de-icers.
Fallen leaves and snow can hide potential dangers, such as broken glass or other hazards. On walks, watch the terrain and pay attention to where you and Fido are stepping!
Some dogs have toe fur tufts. These are cute, but it’s best to just trim them. They can pick up foreign objects, collect ice balls, and often just get matted, which isn’t very comfortable.
Our canine friends can develop many different issues with their paws, such as arthritis, which is very common in seniors. If you notice Fido limping, licking his paws, or just having trouble getting around, contact your vet. Swelling, lesions, and/or any cuts that are deeper than a light scratch should also warrant a call to the clinic.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Omaha, NE animal clinic, anytime!