Tag Archives: tips

Hot Paws! Protect Your Dog’s Feet from Getting Burned on Hot Pavement

28 Jun

 

Dog’s feet and pads are tough, right? Most people are aware that foot pads can be injured by stepping on something sharp, but what about something hot? Dangerously hot pavement and metal surfaces are hard to avoid in the heat of summer. Walking or running on hard pavement is tough on feet, too.

Pavement, metal or tar-coated asphalt get extremely hot in the summer sun. We remember to wear sandals, walk on the grass and not sit down on these surface in the heat of the day (most of the time — I know that I have been surprised a time or two).

Harder to remember is summer heat and our dog’s feet. Unlike the obvious wounds such as lacerations, foot infections (fungal, bacterial), or foreign bodies), burned pads may not be apparent to the eye, at least initially.

SIGNS OF BURNED PADS

  • limping or refusing to walk
  • licking or chewing at the feet
  • pads darker in color
  • missing part of pad
  • blisters or redness

Another Way to Injure Pads on Hot Pavement

A dog friend of mine shared a story of what had happened to their dog and brought up a good point about foot pad health.

They had been swimming/floating in the river for about an hour and a half. When it was time to go, they walked along the road, but then their Labrador Retriever refused to go on. They figured that he was just exhausted from the swim. Turns out, his foot pads were bleeding and he was in pain. The time in the water has softened his pads up quite a bit and the hot road asphalt severely burned the pads.

Burned Pad First Aid

It is important to keep the foot area cool and clean. As soon as you notice the problem (limping along on the road), flush with cool water or a cool compress if available. Get the dog to a grassy area or if possible, carry him.

At first chance, your vet should examine your dog for signs of deeper burns, blisters and possibility of infection. Your vet will determine if antibiotics or pain medication is needed.

Washing the feet with a gentle cleanser and keeping them clean is important. Bandaging can be difficult to do and to maintain (monitor and change often), but licking must be kept to a minimum. Some dogs will tolerate a sock to keep the area clean, but caution is advised for dogs that may chew and ingest the sock. Lick deterrents (bitter sprays) may help reduce the damage caused by licking.

Prevention is Best

Best advice is to be mindful of hot surfaces — asphalt and metal (i.e. boat dock, car or truck surfaces) — and walk your dog on the cool side of the street or in the grass.

Another tip is to lay down a wet towel for your dog to stand on when grassy areas are not available. Good way to keep cool while loading up the car.

Hot Weather Tips for Dogs – What You Need To Know

24 Jun

The Friday Hydrant Crew

Take these simple precautions, provided by ASPCA experts, to help prevent your pet from overheating. And if you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, get help from your veterinarian immediately.

  • Overheating (heat prostration) can kill an animal. Never leave an animal alone in a vehicle, since even with the windows open, a parked car, truck or van can quickly become a furnace. Parking in shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day. When traveling, carry a gallon thermos filled with fresh, cold water.
  • Don’t force your animal to exercise after a meal in hot,humid weather. Always exercise him or her in the cool of the early morning or evening.
  • In extremely hot weather, don’t leave your dog standing on the street, and keep walks to a minimum. He is much closer to the hot asphalt and his body can heat up quickly. His paws can burn since they are not protected by shoes.
  • Never take an animal to the beach unless you can provide a shaded spot and plenty of fresh water for her to drink. Rinse her off after she has been in salt water.
  • Always provide plenty of shade for an animal staying outside the house. A properly constructed dog house serves best. Bring your dog or cat inside during the heat of the day and let her rest in a cool part of your house. Always provide plenty of cool, clean water for your animal.
  • Please be sensitive to old and overweight animals in hot weather. Brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs (especially bulldogs, Pekingese, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus) and those with heart or lung diseases should be kept indoors in air-conditioning as much as possible.
  • Keep a current license and identification tag on your dog or cat and consider tattooing or microchipping as a means of permanent identification.
  • Avoid walking your dog in areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals, as poisonings increase during the summer when gardens, lawns and trees are sprayed. These chemicals can sicken or kill an animal. Call your veterinarian or The ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA/NAPCC) if you suspect your animal has been poisoned.
  • Be alert for coolant leaking from your vehicle. Animals are attracted to the sweet taste of coolant and ingesting just a small amount can cause an animal’s death. Consider using animal-friendly products that use propylene glycol rather than those containing ethylene glycol.
  • A clean coat can help to prevent summer skin problems, so keep your dog or cat well groomed. If he has a heavy coat, shaving your dog’s hair to a 1-inch length will help prevent overheating. Don’t shave a dog’s hair down to the skin; this robs him of protection from the sun. A cat should be brushed frequently to keep his coat tangle-free.
  • Take your companion animal to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer checkup, including a test for heartworm if your dog isn’t on year-round preventative medication. Have the doctor recommend a safe, effective flea and tick control program.
  • Never tie an animal outside on a correction collar. He can choke to death. If you must tether him, use a buckle collar with identification tags instead. (This applies in any season.)
  • Never let your animal run loose. This is how an animal can contract a fatal disease, including rabies, or be injured, killed or stolen. Be sure there are no open, unscreened windows or doors through which your animal can fall or jump.

Courtesy of
ASPCA National Shelter Outreach
424 East 92nd Street
New York, NY 10128-6804
212-876-7700
www.aspca.org

How To Trim Your Dogs Nails

5 Mar

Dog nail trimming instructionsTrimming your dog’s nails is not just a part of grooming, but is important for your dog’s health and comfort.  Untrimmed nails can cause a multitude of problems including broken nails that are painful and bleed.  A good indication that your dogs’ nails are too long is that  ‘click-click-click’ sound when walking on uncarpeted areas; that’s when it’s definitely time to trim those nails!

You may be hesitant to trim your dog’s nails because you are afraid of cutting the quick of the nail, which may cause pain or bleeding. Once you learn how to do it, clipping your dog’s nails is almost as easy as clipping your own.

When you are trimming your dog’s nails, you are only cutting away the excess. Recognize where the nerves and blood vessels begin is what you need to know to make nail trimming a painless process for both you and your dog.

How to trim dog nails

Assemble what you will need – a high quality pair of trimmers and some styptic powder, such as Kwik-Stop, CutStop Styptic Pads, or other product to stop bleeding if you nick the quick.

  • You may want to sit on the floor with your dog, hold your dog in your lap.  Hold your dog’s paw firmly and push on his pads to extend the nail. Locate where the quick ends. With clear or light nails, it is easy to see the pink color where the quick ends.
  • Using a nail trimmer for dogs, cut the nail below the quick on a 45-degree angle, with the cutting end of the nail clipper toward the end of the nail. You will be cutting off the finer point. In dogs, especially those with dark nails, make several small nips with the clippers instead of one larger one. Trim very thin slices off the end of the nail until you see a black dot appear towards the center of the nail when you look at it head on. This is the start of the quick that you want to avoid. The good news is that, the more diligent you are about trimming, the more the quick will regress into the nail, allowing you to cut shorter each time.
  • In some cases, if the nails are brittle, the cut may tend to splinter the nail. In these cases, file the nail in a sweeping motion starting from the back of the nail and following the curve to the tip. Several strokes will remove any burrs and leave the nail smooth
  • If your dog will tolerate it, do all four feet this way. If he will not, take a break. And do not forget the dewclaws. On most breeds, if they have not been removed, dewclaws are 1-4″ above the feet on the inner side of the legs. If not trimmed, dewclaws can grow so long they curl up and grow into the soft tissue , like a painful ingrown toe nail.
  • If you accidentally cut the quick, wipe off the blood and apply Kwik-Stop or styptic powder to stop the bleeding. It is not serious and will heal in a very short time.
  • Remember, it is better to trim a small amount on a regular basis than to try and remove large portions. Try to trim dog nails weekly, even if long walks keep them naturally short. The ‘quick,’ a blood vessel that runs down the middle of your dog’s nail, grows as the nail grows, so if you wait a long time between cuttings, the quick will be closer to the end of the nail. This means more likelihood of bleeding during trimming.
  • Trim nails so that when the dog steps down, nails do not touch the floor.
  • Invest in a good pair of nail trimmers in an appropriate size for your dog. They can last a lifetime.
  • Make trimming time fun and not a struggle. Trimming your dog’s nails does not have to be a chore or unpleasant. If your dog is not used to having his nails trimmed, start slowly and gradually work up to simply holding his toes firmly for 15-30 seconds. Do not let him mouth or bite at you. It can take daily handling for a week or more to get some dogs used to this. When your dog tolerates having his feet held, clip just one nail, and if he is good, praise him and give him a tiny treat. Wait, and then at another time, do another nail. Continue until all nails have been trimmed. Slowly, you will be able to cut several nails in one sitting, and finally all the nails in one session.
  • With black nails, trim dogs nails slightly frequently since you cannot see the quick. Make small trims each time to make the blood vessel retract slowly.

Logan’s pretty nails. I take his pawdicure’s to the next level!

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