Caring for Fido’s Feet

Our canine companions are loyal and loving friends, who have a special way of leaving pawprints on our hearts. (Fido also leaves pawprints on our floors, but that’s another topic.) In fact, those furry feet are crucial to your pet’s health and well-being! Here, an Ellicott City, MD vet discusses taking care of your dog’s paws.

Nail Trims

Clipping your canine pal’s nails is very important! When dogs’ claws get too long, they can become quite uncomfortable. Fido may change his stride to compensate. This will put a lot of stress on his bones and joints, which can cause or exacerbate bone/joint issues like arthritis. Long nails can also snag and tear on things very easily. Of course, many people are uneasy about cutting their pets’ claws themselves. As you might have heard, if you cut too much, you may hit the quick. This can be painful for Fido, and can also cause bleeding. Consider getting a clipper that is equipped with sensors. This makes the process much easier, by showing you where to cut. You may also want to ask your vet to demonstrate. Or, call us to schedule a pawdicure for your furry friend.

Toe Fur

Many dogs have little tufts of fur growing between their toes. These are pretty cute, but it’s best to clip them. Otherwise, they can collect gunk, like gum, and form painful mats. Ouch!

Paw Pads

Your dog’s paw pads are very sensitive to heat and cold. In summer, you’ll need to keep Fido off hot surfaces, such as tar or asphalt, so he doesn’t get painful paw burns. In winter, snow, salt, sand, and ice can all do a number on your pet’s feet. You can use paw balm or wax to protect your pup’s paws. Petroleum jelly will also work in a pinch. We also recommend using pet-safe de-icing agents.

Pawsitive Thoughts

Does your pup hate having his feet touched? A bit of training may remedy this. Teach Fido that he’ll get a yummy treat whenever he gives you his furry foot.


Get into the habit of checking your canine friend’s feet. This is easy to do while you’re just relaxing with your furry best buddy! Look for scratches and cuts, as well as ticks.

Please contact us, your Ellicott City, MD vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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