Beat the summer heat on your dog’s feet: Summer foot care for dogs

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The summer can be pretty rough on your feet and let’s face it most women don’t even like to step foot out the door wearing sandals without a pedicure to show how neat their feet can be.  The dangers of summer on our feet are some of the same summer dangers that our dogs are exposed to so let’s use these tips for summer foot care to beat the summer heat for our dog’s feet.

Fit and trim

Not only do we need to make sure that our dogs eat healthy and get exercise, but we also need to make sure to take care of their coats and feet.  One of the most important ways (but often overlooked) to care for our dogs feet is to keep their nails trimmed.  For some of us we may be able to perform this service at home but I know my Westie Jack isn’t thrilled with the whole procedure and requires a little more effort (and patience) than I can give so it’s off to the groomers we go. Regularly trimmings can help your dog’s paws stay healthy and comfortable.

Prevent painful pavement paws

Do you want to walk outside on the hot pavement in your bare feet for very long?  Or how about the beaches sandy surface?  Other surfaces like gravel, or those were dropped thorns, sand spurs, or shrubs have fallen can also pose a danger to your dog’s feet.   Watch for dangers on the pavements as you take your early morning walks as well as try to provide alternatives to pavement when walking in the summer heat.  According to the ASPCA signs of burns or blisters include: “blisters, loose flaps of skin and red, ulcerated patches. For minor burns, apply antibacterial wash and cover the paw with a loose bandage. For serious burns, visit your vet immediately.”

These boots are made for walking . . .

Dog boots are not just for the cold and icy winter months.  Many breeds find them helpful in keeping their feet safe and sound from the summer heat.  Personally I don’t even walk barefoot at home finding it hard on my feet and legs so I  usually slip on house shoes for added support on hardwood and tile floors.  Maybe your dog could benefit from the same support.

Avoid nicks by ticks and other irritants

Ticks like to attach themselves to the area between the toes, after all often times a dog will step into a spot where a tick is “residing” just waiting for a new home.  Be sure to check your dog’s paws frequently for irritations as well as pieces of gravel or glass that they may have picked up.  These can usually be removed using tweezers.  Avoid skin irritation on the paws by cleaning frequently with cotton pads and alcohol or tincture of iodine.   If your dog has an irritation on their paws that doesn’t clear up after a couple of days it is best to consult your veterinarian.

Snip and trim

Pull out the scissors and trim the hair around your dog’s paws regularly to prevent matting and ingrown hair.

Moisturize

There is any number of products out there to soothe, energize, moisturize and invigorate human feet, why not treat your dog’s feet the same way.  Ask your veterinarian about a good pad moisturizer and be sure to avoid human ones as they can soften the pads too much leading to painful injuries.

Just imagine you had a problem with your feet like; a callous, broken nail or whatever and couldn’t treat it.  The same can be said for your poor puppy.  Not only does our dog have four feet instead of two so there are double the opportunities for damage but he also has 22 pads (toes) and 16 toe nails (claws) and walks “barefoot” all day.   With all of these factors it’s important to take care of your dog’s feet during the hot summer months ensuring his heath and comfort.

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