Because pets use their feet to walk, dig, climb, and grip (depending on the species) it is important to keep their feet and nails healthy and well groomed.
Dogs need their nails trimmed every 3-6 weeks. Because a dog’s foot is designed to have them walk on the pad, if their nails are too long it can cause the dog to continually flex their wrists and ankles to walk.
Long nails are also more likely to catch on things and break. When this happens it is quite painful for the dog and can take a long time to heal. If your dog breaks a nail and it is bleeding it is best to contact your veterinarian for assistance.
The fur that grows on a dog’s foot should be trimmed. When the fur gets too long it covers their pad and they lose traction. It is like trying to walk on a slippery floor with socks on! In the winter, long hair on the foot can collect snow and make it harder for dogs to stay warm outdoors.
Although cats don’t require nail trims like dogs do, many people like to clip their cat’s nails in order to help prevent scratching of furniture and carpeting.
Even if you don’t clip your cat’s nails it is important to look at their feet on a regular basis to monitor for cuts, nail problems, or any other abnormalities.
The fur on the bottom of cat’s paws (especially those with long fur) can be trimmed to keep litter from accumulating there.
Pockets pets such as guinea pigs and ferrets also require foot and nail care. Watch for any abnormalities and keep nails trimmed short.
During the cold, snowy winter months, it is also a good idea to purchase some foot protection for pets that go outdoors. Musher’s Secret is a great product that can be applied directly to the bottom of your pet’s food to help prevent the accumulation of snow and create a barrier between their paw and the snow, ice, and salt. Boots in many sizes and styles are also available for keeping paws warm and protected.
As you can see almost all our our pets need some form of foot and nail care. Most of these things can be done at home, or here at the clinic. We are happy to provide nail trims for any animal. We can to teach you how to do it at home if you would prefer.
Pets need their feet to do just about everything. Make sure the stay happy and healthy with regular pedicures!