Chihuahuas’ paws are made of special parts that not only help them walk. But also protect their joints and bones with padding. The paws also keep the feet from getting too hot or cold, so your dog can walk on both hot and hard surfaces. They also protect the structures in the deep feet. To keep your Chihuahua healthy, you must take care of his or her paws.
Chihuahua’s Paw Anatomy
The paws of a chihuahua are similar to our feet and hands. But they have thicker skin and more padding, which is made of fat. The four digital pads are like our fingers, and the one at the bottom that looks like an upside-down V is like our palms. The carpal pad is in the back, between the wrist and the ankle. The claws are another feature.
Most of the time, you can see a dog’s track in mud or snow because its claws leave marks. Most of the time, wild dogs like foxes and coyotes don’t have them because running wears them down. Your chihuahua’s paws are prone to a lot of damage just from walking on various surfaces.
The inside of each of your dog’s front legs has a dewclaw, and some breeds have them on all four. They are similar to our thumbs.
Signs of Issues
When it comes to skin conditions or injuries, your chihuahua’s paws are probably just as sensitive as yours. The way your pet acts will tell you right away if something is wrong.
Some warning signs are:
- Leaning on one leg or favoring it
- Getting swollen or red
- Too much licking
Don’t be surprised if your chihuahua puppy won’t let you touch his paws. If it’s clear that something is wrong, you should call your vet. In some cases, a thorough exam may need to be done with the help of mild sedation.
When it comes to their feet, chihuahuas are just like people. Because of injuries or other problems, it’s hard for them to do almost anything. Paws that have been hurt usually take longer to heal, especially if your pet is obsessed with them and licks them all the time. That can also make your dog more likely to get another bacterial infection. How your dog’s paws look depends on the surfaces he or she walks on.
If you walk your pet on the pavement a lot, their paws will likely be rougher. In the same way, a chihuahua that runs around in the backyard for exercise may have pads that are not as hard. If that’s the case, we recommend making the change slowly to avoid blisters and other problems.
8 Ways To Take Care of Your Chihuahua’s Paw Pads
1. Make It a Game.
Ask your chihuahua to shake hands with you or give you their paw. Then, of course, give them a treat. This will help the chihuahua think of the two things in a good way. We recommend that you teach your dog to do this trick with either of its front paws.
2. Nail Trimming
Cutting your Chihuahua’s nails is an essential part of grooming him or her. Keeping his or her nails short can keep him or her from getting hurt on the paws or walking funny, which can lead to other, more serious health problems.
You should cut your Chihuahua’s nails in a quiet, comfortable place where the dog can sit on your lap or in his bed. Then carefully press down with your dog’s paw on your hand. Find the “quick” of the nail. It’s a pink area with blood vessels and nerve endings. If you cut this area, it might hurt and bleed.
Cut the tip of the nail carefully, making sure to avoid the quick. Use the nail clipper vertically so that the nail is cut from the bottom to the top instead of across.
If your Chihuahua bleeds, put a little pressure on the tip of the claw or dip the claw in a little cornstarch until the bleeding stops.
3. Clean Your Chihuahua’s Nail
Dogs often get hurt by foreign objects that get stuck in the space between their paws. Check between your Chihuahua’s toes for any kind of debris while you’re giving him a bath. Some dogs get hurt when the hair between their toes gets tangled, which is very painful. Carefully cut the hair in this area, and then use a hairdryer to dry it well between the toes. You can also have your pet groomer shave between the toes to get all the hair out.
4. Moisturize the Pads
When a dog’s paws are dry, they can crack and even bleed. The paws of a dog are like the feet of a person, and they need the same care. Use a lotion made just for dogs to keep your dog’s paws moist. There are a lot of other great choices. People’s lotions should not be used on a dog’s paws because they can make the paws too soft, which could be bad for their health. While you put on the moisturizer, give your Chihuahua a little massage to make this a relaxing time to bond.
5. Avoid cuts or scraped
Dogs’ paws come in contact with a lot of things that could hurt them, like stones, glass, metal, and other sharp things. Keep your yard as clean as you can to keep people from getting hurt. Also, when you take your Chihuahua outside, keep an eye out for anything that could be dangerous.
If you and your Chihuahua are going to do something new, like go hiking or walk in a new park, you should do it slowly at first. Your Chihuahua’s paws may become sensitive if they aren’t used to walking in certain places. Spending more time doing any given activity will help the footpads get used to this place.
6. Paw Care During Summer
Even your chihuahua’s paws can get hurt by hot weather. If the sidewalk, sand, or other surface is too hot for your bare feet, it’s also too hot for your dog’s feet. If they need to walk, try walking in the evening when it’s cooler, or walk on the grass and carry your chi if you’re walking on a hot surface. Your dog’s paws will be safe and healthy if you use wax to protect them.
7. Paw Care During Winter
When it’s cold, your chihuahua’s skin dries out, which can lead to chapped and cracked foot pads. Salt and other ice-melting chemicals used on sidewalks in the winter can also hurt and irritate your Chihuahua’s feet. In the winter, you should also wipe your dog’s paws after a walk outside with a wet washcloth or a baby wipe. This will get rid of any chemical residues that could hurt your pet’s paws or make it sick.
8. Dog Booties
Dog booties are a great way to protect your chihuahua’s paws, but not all dogs will wear them, and it can be hard to find ones small enough for chihuahuas.
As part of grooming, you should take care of your dog’s paws. You can stop problems from getting worse before they hurt your dog. We can’t stress how important it is to touch your pet’s feet and ears enough. If your dog is used to it, it will be faster and easier for you and your vet. Think of it as a time for you and your dog to get to know each other and build trust.
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