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Fido Paw Tips

Care and maintenance of Fido's paws is easily and often overlooked. Most dogs don't usually exhibit obvious signs of problems until they start limping or leave blood spots on your floors. A little preventive paw care will go a long way towards preventing future problems.

There are important differences between dog's paws and people's feet. First, since dogs don't have sweat glands, they shed excess heat through panting and through their paws. At need, you can help Fido cool down by running cold water over their feet. Second, dogs don't and usually shouldn't wear shoes. This is especially important with the onset of summer.

Summertime sidewalks, asphalt pavement and parking lots can just as easily burn Fido's paws as they can burn your own bare feet. When possible, provide some relief by allowing/encouraging your dog to walk on grass. Keep an eagle eye out for broken glass and other sharp objects. Watch out for fire ant hills, low flying bees and other nuisance insects like underground wasp colonies. Remember, Fido's feet are naked. Avoid walking your dog anywhere you'd be reluctant to walk barefoot yourself.

When playing 'fetch' anywhere other than on grass, the heat of the pavement combined with Fido's own momentum during sharp turns can easily cause tears and abrasions. It's a good idea to check your dog's paws for redness and scuffing of their paw pads after 'fetch' playtime. It's also good to simply check for redness or excess scuffing weekly as a matter of course. Make gently rubbing Fido's paws part of your daily 'affection' activity. This will make future checking for potential paw problems that much easier.

Don't forget the pesticides/weed killers often used in lawn and grounds maintenance. When using these chemicals, always read and follow directions. You want to be especially aware of instructions regarding pet and child exposure prevention. Along those lines, dog's will often lick their paws to clean them when resting. This is one of the non obvious ways pets can sometimes be poisoned. This is especially true for dogs with food allergy issues because they're more likely to be licking their paws in general. Avoiding newly treated areas is always good for you and good for your dog.

If you see limping or blood spots, be careful when inspecting Fido's paws. Pain can make any pet irritable, reactive and likely to bite. If you have any doubts regarding the condition of Fido's paws, contact your Vet!

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