Owners of dogs with short coats may not need to worry about the hair between the paw pads getting too long. However, if the hair between your dog's pads grows long enough to stick out past the pads, you'll need to trim it.
Many pet owners don't bother learning how to remove hair from dog paws because it seems trivial, but it's actually very important not to let hair in paw pads get too long and this turns into a problem.
The fur on your dog's paws tend to collect debris, and is likely to get matted. Mats pull the fur tight, causing pressure on the dog's skin that results in pain. Also, if a dog has anything built up in that long paw hair, they will have to step on it every time they walk.
How to Remove Hair from Dog Paws
Learning how to remove hair from dog paws is actually simple. You'll need to go slowly and be careful because working so closely to your dog's paws means the dog will be sensitive, and there's a chance you may cut the pads of a dog's feet.
1. Choose the Right Tool
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As you can see in my video above, you can either use scissors or a small pair of clippers to remove the hair from your pup's paws. Personally, I prefer to use clippers because they are much safer than scissors.
Most groomers will also advise against scissors. Since you're cutting so close to the skin and the pads of your dog's feet, there's a chance you'll accidentally cut into your dog when using a pair of scissors, especially if it's a large pair. It's not impossible to cut a dog with clippers either, but it is much less likely.
2. Get the Dog Used to the Touch of Their Feet
If your dog is uncomfortable with you touching their feet, then instead gradually get your pooch used to that feeling.
For example, touch a dog's feet without using any grooming tools. Try to do it when your pup is tired and resting. Reward the dog with treats and praise for allowing you to hold and massage the paws.
For dogs that are especially nervous and anxious, you need to calm them down first before start cutting hair from paws. If your pet is particularly scared of the clipper noise, you can use semi silent clippers that are more quiet.
3. Get Your Dog Used to the Grooming Tool
Once your dog is comfortable with you touching their paw pads and feet, you'll then need to begin getting your pet used to the grooming tool that you'll be using.
Let the dog first sniff the tool and have it around for a while to demonstrate that it poses no threat. Then pick it up, and pretend to use it around the dog's paws, gently touching them.
Again, reward the dog with praise and pet treats when they are calm, and allow you to groom them without issues. This is essential for not only when learning how to remove hair from dog paws, but many other grooming tasks as well.
4. Now Remove the Hair from a Dog's Paws
Hold your dog's paw firmly in one hand and use pet hair clippers (or scissors, if you insist) with the other hand. As I demonstrate in my video, you'll need to gently spread the paw toes apart, and then clip the hair in between.
Continue clipping paw hair until it is level with a dog's pads, or just slightly below the pads. This will prevent any matting or build up that could occur. Do not cut all the hair away though, because it serves as protection of the skin between the paw pads.
Tip: Not only should you trim the hair between a dog's pads, but also the hair between the toes and any long hair on the top of the paws.
You can use a soft-bristled comb to help get the hair to stand up enough to trim it if you need to.
Follow Up With Other Actions to Keep Your Dog’s Paws Healthy
Besides knowing how to remove hair from dog paws, you should also take a few other steps to keep the paws nice and healthy. Start by getting in the habit of checking your dog’s paws frequently. As you do, complete a visual inspection and pay attention to how your dog reacts to your touch and how the paw feels.
You also want to make sure to cut your dog’s nails regularly. Finally, make sure to protect the sensitive pads of your pooch. This includes making sure to put booties or something else on the feet if the pavement is extremely hot or cold.
Common Questions About How to Remove Hair From Dog Paws
The following should clear up any lingering doubts you have about how to remove hair from dog paws.
Should I Cut the Fur on My Dog’s Paws?
If there is hair extending between your dog’s pads and bunching between the toes, you should trim it. Having too much hair in this area can be uncomfortable for your dog. It may also make it hard for him to get enough traction, causing him to slide.
Can I Rub Coconut Oil on My Dog’s Paws?
Yes. Coconut oil can protect your dog’s paws from irritation and soreness. It moisturizes the paws while also creating a protective barrier.
How Do You Shave a Dog’s Paws and Legs?
To shave your dog’s paws and legs, start by putting the paw in your hand. Start using the clippers by the dog’s armpit and work down towards the toes. Always make sure to keep the clippers a safe distance from the skin.
Why Do Dogs Not Like It When You Touch Their Paws?
Dogs may not like the feeling of you touching their paws because of feeling vulnerable or awkward. This is particularly true for the sensitive areas between the paw pads. You can help reduce this problem by starting to touch your dog’s paws while still a puppy.
Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?
Your dog may lick its paws because it is bored or anxious. Or, your dog might be telling you about a problem, such as skin issues, parasites, allergies, or injuries.