How to Deal with Your Dog’s Paw Infections

It is normal for your dog to lick its paws because this is a cleaning ritual, as long as it is not done in an excessive manner or the dog doesn’t appear to be in pain while doing it. Also, it is not an issue if you notice small cracks on the surface of the paws, as you inspect them. Minor scratches usually heal by themselves and do not create any kind of problems to your dog.

However, there are situations in which paws do get infected, irritated, itchy, and red, causing your dog physical discomfort and even pain. If you notice your dog munching on its paws and whining while doing so, you should immediately take a look at its paws. There are quite a few factors that can lead to paw infections.

Also, believe it or not, there are some dog breeds that are more prone to developing certain types of paw infections than others. Due to the fact that a paw infection can appear at any time during the year, when you are home, or traveling with your pet, you should learn all about it and know how to deal with such episodes in an effective manner. A paw infection can prevent the dog from walking right, not to mention that is quite uncomfortable, especially if we are talking about constant itchiness.

Factors that can trigger a paw infection

  • Yeast or fungi

Although it may seem hard to believe, yeast can grow in an exaggerated manner on your dog’s paws, causing discomfort. When it comes to yeast-related infections, the problem may be more serious than your dog’s paws. According to PetMD, a dog may show fungal infections on its paws, but you may actually have to deal with an overall skin problem. So, it would be recommended to check the dog’s skin in various parts of its body, to see if you notice any issues.

An infection with fungi will make the dog lick its paws rather often. Thus, your companion’s constant interest in licking its paws should ring a bell for you. Red nail beds are another sign of this kind of infection when you closely inspect the paws. Itchiness, redness, and even discharges can be seen in some cases. The reason yeast develops uncontrollably can be due to a food allergy, an allergy triggered by an environmental factor, or skin problem like atopic dermatitis.

  • Infections caused by bacteria

It is worth knowing that both bacteria and yeast are organisms that naturally live on the dog’s paws. But, when they multiply too much, problems emerge. When do bacteria develop beyond control? This usually happens when the dog’s immune system is compromised by a health problem, which makes it unable to keep the bacteria population in control. So, when paw infections are caused by bacteria, there could be a secondary health issue bothering your dog as well.

This type of paw infection manifests through redness, itchiness or pain, swelling, and, in more severe cases, abscess. The dog will also lick and bite its paws more frequent than it is normal. If you notice any of the previously mentioned symptoms, you should seek treatment as soon as it is possible, as this condition creates quite a lot of discomfort.

  • Tears or cuts on the paws

Just like in the case of humans, when skin is cut or torn, a breach for bacteria to enter the organism is created. This is why a cut or torn paw should be treated immediately before it turns into a breeding pool for germs and bacteria.

Dogs can be quite diplomatic when it comes to their injury, so it would be a good idea to inspect the dog’s paws after each walk or adventure in the outdoors. A sharp rock, a thorn, or debris found on the ground can injure the dog’s paws. So, not seeing blood on the floor doesn’t mean that there isn’t any cut to look after. Your dog may lick its paws and clean the blood, but the injury is still there and it can accumulate dust and harmful particles.

The wound should be properly cleaned and disinfected. Using a diluted antiseptic, such as Betadine, the kind everyone has lying around the house, is a good way to do this. Once the wound is cleaned, you will have to apply a sterile bandage over the wound. Make sure it is tight enough so that it won’t fall off as your dog moves and walks. Of course, don’t exaggerate when tightening it, as you still want blood running through your dog’s paws.

  • Grass seeds puncturing the paws

While there’s nothing better than running with your dog through the grass, the tiny seeds produced by plants from the grass family can cause more trouble than you think. Long grass or barley grass, in particular, produce seeds that can be very uncomfortable for your dog. Also, if the seeds are not removed from your dog’s paws, they can easily lead to an infection, due to their sharp ends.

Again, take a good look at your dog’s paws after each walk. This is something a dog owner should do on a daily basis, regardless of the season. Inspecting and cleaning the dog’s paws after each outdoor adventure can save you from a lot of trouble.

Recipes for baths that can soothe your pet’s paws

If your dog has itchy, inflamed, or irritated skin, you can use several natural ingredients to come up with a soothing bath for the dog’s paws. These baths are especially useful for dogs that are prone to food allergies, as they can offer a quick solution when your dog is having trouble with its diet. However, even if we are talking about natural ingredients, it is not recommended to bathe your dog’s paws if they present cuts, thorn nails, or open wounds.

  • One or two tablespoons of baking soda added to a gallon of lukewarm water can be very soothing for itchiness and inflammation. You can soak your pet’s paws in this water for a few minutes after each walk. It will reduce the dog’s need to lick and chew on its paws.
  • Add a few cups of ground, natural, and unsweetened oats to warm water in the bathtub and dissolve them a little. The level of the water should allow only for the paws to soak in, so you don’t need to fill the tub. Put the dog inside the bathtub and allow it to stand or even lie in this water for about 10 minutes. The natural oils contained by the oats will soothe cracked, dry, or inflamed paws.
  • One cup of Epsom salts for every gallon of water can help you come up with a bath that will restore your dog’s natural pH in the paws. This solution will kill harmful bacteria and will help restore the level of good bacteria. 10 minutes spent in this bath will help with itchiness and inflammation.

When it’s time to see the veterinarian

While it is true that many paw issues can be managed at home, you need to know when it’s time to seek the assistance of a veterinarian. For example, in the case of bacterial or yeast infections, the vet may need to take a sample from the dog’s paws in order to recommend the best treatment. So, there are a couple of signs that tell you it’s time to take your companion to be seen by the vet.

  • The paw presents bleeding that doesn’t seem to stop or oozing is noticeable;
  • Sores on the surface of the paws are also not a good sign;
  • When the base of the nails present a sort of crust-like formation;
  • When the paws present calluses of significant sizes. These calluses can make the toes of the paw to move in the wrong direction, causing tenderness and discomfort;
  • Cracks in the paws that are deep, causing bleeds and oozes.

It is not pleasant to see that your best friend is in pain or has to deal with constant itching, but it is worth knowing that most paw infection can be easily treated with a bit of care. However, the best way to avoid health problems when it comes to your companion is to get a puppy with a great genetic condition, from a reliable dog breeder. Charlotte Dog Club is dedicated to connecting future dog owner with the healthiest and happiest puppies, provided by responsible dog breeders only. Visit the website and find the ideal puppy for you and your family.

Dog Grooming Basics

Dog Grooming Basics

Bath time can be fun as long as you are prepared to get wet alongside your pet. Keeping your puppy clean with regular brushing and the occasional wash is an important part of the bonding process, as well as a necessary hygiene measure.

Don’t leave it too long, the sooner it starts the more readily he will accept it.

Puppies that have been raised by an attentive mother enjoy being stroked and massaged. As well as being a pleasant way to spend some time, it gives you the chance to feel for any lumps and bumps, as well looking for sores that might lurk beneath his coat.

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The frequency and thoroughness of the process depends in large part by the length and type of coat you are dealing with. Some require more care than others, but whatever length and thickness of coat, a quick daily brush is a useful habit to get into. While there are owners who are happy to trim stray hairs and even attempt cutting, professional groomers are on hand for more tricky tasks. Costs vary, so shop around.

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A combined bristle and pin brush will deal with most short-haired varieties. While a wire slicker brush is best suited to removing dead hairs from dense short coats. Mitts are handy for an all over rub, while a good comb should untangle most long coats, avoiding unnecessary haircuts. The occasional use of a specialist flea comb will pick out any unwanted insects.

Nail clipping is probably best left to the experts. Your local vet practice or groomer will have the right equipment to make sure the job is done in complete safety.

Nail Clip

A good bath is unavoidable if your dog becomes particularly dirty, or has a condition such as flea infestation or flaky skin. Wherever you chose to bath him, remember that once wet, your dog will naturally shake vigorously to remove excess water. You can always try to beat him to it by having a towel handy, but chances are that you and anyone else in the room are likely to get wet too.

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With puppies in particular, make sure the water is tepid and support his body with one hand so he feels safe throughout.

 

Use a specialist dog shampoo designed to clean the hair and skin while leaving natural oils intact. Apart for exceptional circumstances, bathing with soaps should be restricted to a couple of times a year. More frequent than that and you could be stripping away his natural waterproof and leaving unduly dry skin behind. When washing, avoid eyes, ears and mouth and make sure you rinse thoroughly, removing all traces of shampoo or soap. If using a hair dryer to finish off, check the setting is cool.

Should I Bath and Groom my Puppy?

Should I Bath and Groom my Puppy?

Owning a puppy isn’t all fun and games, although it is most of the time…

Sometimes you have to be the adult and reign in your puppy for some puppy grooming time. This is true whether he spent the afternoon rolling in something smelly or if he spends most of his time indoors with you.

You definitely want to start your puppy off early with grooming so he becomes accustomed to your manhandlings. Here’s a list of what’s involved in keeping your puppy groomed…

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Nail clipping.

Clip your puppy’s nails on a regular basis. This is not something they like, so be sure to start it young so they can learn to tolerate it. As for yourself, learn how to properly cut the nails so you don’t injure your puppy by cutting the quick. There are nail clipping tools on the market that safely take the guess work out of it.

 

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Bathing.

A dirty, stinky dog is something only his owner can love. Do everyone else a favor and keep him clean by bathing him. Puppies aren’t sure what to make of it at first, but can learn to look forward to the back scratching , hair drying, and bonding aspects of it. Be sure to use special dog soap/shampoo products, not people products. Dog soap is specially formulated for your dog’s fur and skin.

 

Bathing also gives you the opportunity to check your puppy all over for any lumps, sores, or swollen areas. If you find anything unusual you can call your vet.

If you want to go the extra mile and pamper your puppy; specialty products are all around. You want styling mousse, blow dry cream, pixie dust, or volumizing cream? You can easily find any of these online.

 

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Ear check.

Don’t wait for your puppy’s next vet appointment, check his ears now and then. Sometimes you’ll spot drainage from an infection or something strange that has no business being there. If your dog’s ears flap over, you might be surprised at what you find when you lift them up.

 

 

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Brushing.

Brushing gets the oils flowing for a healthy coat. Brushing also heads off some of the shedding that some breeds are known for. Do yourself a favor and do the brushing outside.

 

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Trimming.

Trimming isn’t for the novice, but if you insist on doing it instead of using a trained professional, read some good books and/or watch some videos. Also, get a good quality trimmer and make sure the guard is securely fastened. It might help to have a picture handy of what you want your dog to look like and study it hard before you begin.

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Final details.

Some dogs like the attention they receive when they’re wearing a cute bow or dapper neckerchief. Don’t forget to compliment them – they’ll be waiting for it.

Should I Brush My Puppies Teeth?

Should I Brush My Puppies Teeth?

Good dental hygiene isn’t just for humans

it’s important for dogs too. I’ve compiled the most common questions and answers about dog teeth brushing in this article.

Why do it?

Brushing takes care of plaque and tartar. It can also help prevent infections and periodontal disease. If you’re not sure why you should prevent plaque and tartar, just ask your dentist or your vet. Good oral hygiene is an important part of good health.

How do I brush my dog’s teeth?

Start when your dog is a puppy so she can get used to it. Begin with a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger and gently rub the gums and teeth. That way your puppy can get used to having your finger in her mouth.

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Another way is to start with toothpaste on your finger and have your puppy lick it off. Dog toothpaste is flavored so your pup should like it. If she doesn’t, try a different flavor. Next introduce the toothpaste on the toothbrush and let her lick that. When she is used to it, start gently brushing a few teeth at first, then all of them on the outside of her mouth only. You can give her a treat when she’s done.

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What do I use for a toothbrush and toothpaste?

There are toothbrushes made for dogs that are different from your own toothbrush. They have softer bristles and are angled to fit in a dog’s mouth. There are several active ingredients in pet toothpastes that are meant especially for dogs. Don’t use people toothpaste on your puppy because it may not have what she needs, may have ingredients she doesn’t need or shouldn’t have, and may upset her stomach.

How often should I brush my dog’s teeth?

Your dog’s teeth should be brushed daily. Make it a routine; brush your dog’s teeth in the morning right after you brush yours. Eventually you’ll find your dog waiting her turn when she sees you brushing your teeth.

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What do I do if my dog won’t let me brush her teeth?

If your dog would rather bite you than let you in her mouth, there are several options.

1. Put an additive in her water that fights plaque and gum disease.
2. Treat your dog to chews that are coated with enzymes that prevent bacteria and work on plaque. Ask your vet’s office what they recommend. There are also special dental toys for the puppy to chew on.
3. Try tooth wipes made for doggie teeth.
4. Have your vet do the cleaning under anesthesia. This is the most costly option.

Although your puppy may be young, it’s never too early to start with a good oral hygiene plan. Speak with your vet about the best time to start, and then use the information above to get a successful tooth brushing routine going.

Dog Grooming Basics

Dog Grooming Basics

Bath time can be fun as long as you are prepared to get wet alongside your pet. Keeping your puppy clean with regular brushing and the occasional wash is an important part of the bonding process, as well as a necessary hygiene measure.

Don’t leave it too long, the sooner it starts the more readily he will accept it.

Puppies that have been raised by an attentive mother enjoy being stroked and massaged. As well as being a pleasant way to spend some time, it gives you the chance to feel for any lumps and bumps, as well looking for sores that might lurk beneath his coat.

Bassett-Hound-240x300-240x253

 

The frequency and thoroughness of the process depends in large part by the length and type of coat you are dealing with. Some require more care than others, but whatever length and thickness of coat, a quick daily brush is a useful habit to get into. While there are owners who are happy to trim stray hairs and even attempt cutting, professional groomers are on hand for more tricky tasks. Costs vary, so shop around.

A combined bristle and pin brush will deal with most short-haired varieties. While a wire slicker brush is best suited to removing dead hairs from dense short coats. Mitts are handy for an all over rub, while a good comb should untangle most long coats, avoiding unnecessary haircuts. The occasional use of a specialist flea comb will pick out any unwanted insects.

Nail clipping is probably best left to the experts. Your local vet practice or groomer will have the right equipment to make sure the job is done in complete safety.

Nail Clip

A good bath is unavoidable if your dog becomes particularly dirty, or has a condition such as flea infestation or flaky skin. Wherever you chose to bath him, remember that once wet, your dog will naturally shake vigorously to remove excess water. You can always try to beat him to it by having a towel handy, but chances are that you and anyone else in the room are likely to get wet too.

With puppies in particular, make sure the water is tepid and support his body with one hand so he feels safe throughout.

Use a specialist dog shampoo designed to clean the hair and skin while leaving natural oils intact. Apart for exceptional circumstances, bathing with soaps should be restricted to a couple of times a year. More frequent than that and you could be stripping away his natural waterproof and leaving unduly dry skin behind. When washing, avoid eyes, ears and mouth and make sure you rinse thoroughly, removing all traces of shampoo or soap. If using a hair dryer to finish off, check the setting is cool.