- Use a paw salve or balm made especially for dogs to keep his pads from getting chapped or raw. This is especially important for dogs doing indoor agility (or outdoors on dirt or sand), since already irritated pads can tear on matting, and dogs who walk on salt or chemically treated areas.
- Keep paws clean. Wipe them off when the dog comes inside, and if they walked on freshly treated lawns, mud, or salt, wash them off.
- Keep nails trimmed. Long nails cause pain while walking, and if they get too long, they cause toe deformation. If you can’t trim your dog’s nails, take them to a groomer or get a dremel.
- Keep fur between the toes trimmed, too. That REALLY attracts snowballs, and also causes slipping on floors! I used to think I should leave that fur, but then I learned that it does the exact opposite.
- Consider Booties I know dogs often hate these, but if your dog has extremely sensitive feet, it may be worthwhile to consider putting booties on them for agility and walks outside. A friend of mine has a dog with contact allergies, and booties do seem to help him.
I hope these tips and tricks keep your dog’s paws happy and healthy!