The problem of dog nail rubbing against paw isn’t as bad as you may imagine. Many dog owners have experienced this, including us with our Yorkie Paris. The following information will help you fix the dog nail rubbing against paw and prevent it from happening again.
Why a Dog’s Nail Rubs Against the Paw
The most common reason a dog’s nail may rub against the paw is the dog’s nails are too long. When a dog’s nails grow longer than they should be, they will start to curl and sometimes, the nail will grow into the dog’s paw.
You can learn more about what to do about that here: What to Do When Dog Nail Grows Into Paw
A second reason a dog’s nail will rub against dog paws is the disfigurement of the dog’s paw. A dog could be born with this or become injured, which leads to a change in the dog’s feet.
Dogs with a yeast infection or interdigital cysts may also suffer from the nail rubbing against the paws. The conditions can cause the nails to protrude out more, which is what makes them come in contact with the pads.
The solution for the dog nail rubbing against paw depends on what causes it.
How to Fix a Dog Nail Rubbing Against Paw
Let’s start with the most common reason a dog’s nail rubs against the paw – long nails. The solution is obvious and easy. Cut back the dog’s nails so they no longer reach the dog’s paws.
If it’s been a long time, the wick will be long and that means you won’t be able to cut your dog’s toenails short enough the first time. Each time you do a nail trim, the wick will shrink back. Cutting your dog’s toenails will take a few times to get the nail short enough not to hurt the paw.
If it’s the dew claw that’s causing the problem, you can cut that one as short as needed the first time. Dew claws don’t have wicks.
Tips for Dog Nail Trimming
Most dogs with overgrown nails are difficult to groom, which is what caused the problem. A dog can get used to nail trimming over time, but until that time, there are some tricks to make the session easier.
Nail Grinder vs. Nail Clipper
For our dogs, a nail grinder works much better than a nail clipper. Our Yorkie won’t let us get near her with clippers but is perfectly fine having her nails ground. Hera – the pitbull – is the same way.
CBD Oil for Nail Trimming
CBD for nail trimming is another great idea because it will calm your pup down enough to make trimming the nails easier. Dogs don’t usually let their owners cut their nails because of anxiety.
Take your dog for more walks on rough surfaces. Rough surfaces will grind down the dog’s toenails easier. It may take a few days, but if that is the only way to get your pup’s overgrown nails shorter, it’s the only way.
If it’s hard to get clippers through the nails, try soaking your pup’s feet in warm water. You can get rid of two birds with one stone if you trim them after a bath. Your dog gets a bath AND nail trimming.
Of course, you may need to just soak each paw if your dog hates water.
Little by Little
If your dog has black nails, it can be hard to see the wick, which means you’ll have to trim a little by little. Do about a quarter to an inch at a time, so that your pup’s nails don’t start bleeding.
Distraction Works Well
Peanut butter is a great treat for your pup and can distract him/her. Just smooth some peanut butter somewhere in front of your pup and take care of the back paws. For the front ones, you want to place the peanut butter on a wall or other hard surface that he/she faces, so the face isn’t in the way of trimming the front paw nails.
Contact a Groomer
If you just can’t get your pup’s nails cut, consider taking your dog to the groomer. You can find independent grooming businesses or pet stores around your community. Groomers have a lot of experience with nail trimming and can clip even the most difficult dog’s nails.
Foot Pad Injuries and Disfigurement
Unfortunately, solving the issue with a disfigured dog paw isn’t as easy. In this case, it’s not that the dog’s toenails are too long. It’s the paw that is making the nail protrude out farther and into the dog’s pads.
Sometimes, veterinarian care can fix the disfigurement of the paw. It may require surgery, and as always, weigh the risks vs. benefits when deciding if it’s right for you and your pup.
It’s also a good idea to try to lessen the effects of the dog nail rubbing against paw by improving the health of the dog’s paw pads. That way when the nail rubs against the paw, it doesn’t hurt the dog’s paws.
The foot pads are tough and rough. They can withstand a lot, but without proper dog paw care, issues can happen.
The following are some of the ways to take better care of your dog’s paws.
- Use booties when your dog is walking on cold or hot surfaces. Extreme temperatures can damage your dog’s feet quickly. Booties are like socks or shoes for human feet or gloves for human hands.
- Use a moisturizer or conditioner on your dog’s foot pads. This will keep the paw pads strong and resilient to anything that would otherwise cause injury.
- Inspect your dog’s feet regularly for any foreign objects that could be stuck in them. If there’s anything poking into the paw, remove it carefully with your fingernails or tweezers. Leaving foreign objects in your dog’s paw pads could lead to infection.
If you ever notice your dog is in pain when walking on a hard surface, contact your veterinarian immediately. Waiting to see if it gets better could result in infection, which can be life-threatening if it continues.
For any conditions, such as yeast infection or other foot pad injuries, schedule a vet visit. While it may not warrant an emergency vet visit, get one as soon as one is available at your local veterinarian’s office.
Overview of Dog Nail Rubbing Against Paw
We want to help our canine companions as much as possible, especially when they are uncomfortable or in pain. When a dog nail rubs against the paw, it could be causing foot pad injuries or poke the feet causing pain. The best thing you can do is face the problem head-on by trimming the nails down or visiting the vet to see what he/she recommends.
Proper care for your dog’s nails will prevent paw pad injury. Keep your dog’s nails trimmed, choose soft surfaces for walks, and inspect the toes regularly to identify any issues early.