As dog owners, we sometimes take for granted the durability of our pet’s paws and nails. Regardless of weather or terrain, the hardy paws of dogs allow them to continually explore their environment, generally without complaint. But even the toughest canine can sometimes have problems with their feet, so it’s important to proactively maintain your pet’s paw health and help strengthen their nails for future adventures. As experts in animal health, here are some top tips from ZamiPet, makers of dog brittle nails supplements.
Regularly Check & Trim
One of the first things you can do to maintain the health and integrity of your dog's nails is to check them regularly. Every time you take your dog for a walk, there is potential for them to pick up foreign bodies between their toes and around the nails such as grass seeds, prickles and twigs. Regular inspection is the best way to help prevent soreness or potential infection, and if you’re practiced and confident enough, you can use this opportunity to trim and file the nails to keep them from chipping or flaking. As with humans, nails needs to be trimmed regularly, but it’s important not to trim the nails too short as cutting too close to the quick can cause bleeding. Frequently walking your dog on concrete footpaths is also a good way to naturally wear down the nails. Another good tip is to reward your dog when grooming their paws, so they can learn to relax when their feet are being handled.
See Your Vet for Advice
Often poor nail health in dogs can be a symptom of poor health in general, and a sign you should seek professional advice. Consulting your vet will ensure you receive guidance on the best available treatments, which may include medication and/or nail supplements or vitamins for dogs to bolster your pet’s diet.
Pet food manufacturers have become increasingly focussed on ensuring their products are nutritionally balanced and packed with good quality ingredients. But when it comes to nail health, you need to pay attention to the label when buying dog food and check for key ingredients that support and strengthen nails. Sometimes even with the best pet food brands, you will still need to seek out supplements to strengthen your dog's nails, so you should look for dog supplements that contain Biotin, Selenium, Omega-3, Magnesium, Vitamin E and Zinc.
Protect the Pads, Too
Proper care of paws will significantly support your dog’s comfort and wellbeing. Despite appearances, your dog’s feet are vulnerable to mishaps and injury, especially the footpads, which are exposed to varying conditions including extreme heat and cold, rough terrain and ground debris. Footpads are susceptible to drying out and cracking, predisposing them to further injury and infection. Consider a high-quality supplement containing Omega-3 and 6, Biotin and Vitamin E if your dog’s footpads have become dry or cracked. You can also try foot protection such as booties, or consult your vet for further advice and support.