How to Cut Hair Between a Dog's Toes

Easy
15 - 20 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

If you have a dog who tends to have long hair growing between his toes, it is very important for you to keep it trimmed. If you let this hair grow too long, it will make it harder for your pup to walk and can make walking quite painful. Fortunately, cutting the hair between your dog's toes is not that hard and, unless you have a fidget-rocket for a pup, should only take a few minutes. Of course, if your pup has already mastered basic obedience commands, things will go much easier for both of you.

Dog's Perspective

The last thing your pup wants to do is walk around on paws that hurt each time he takes a step. Think of it in terms of walking around all day with your sock rolled up under your toes. If you allow the hair between your pup's toes to grow too long, it can cause his joints to be out of alignment and result in permanent damage to his bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons. 

The Sit in Front of Me Method

Effective
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Slicker Brush
Scissors
Comb
Step
1
Pull together the necessary tools
To trim the hair between his toes, you need a few tools. These include a pair of sharp safety shears, a brush, and a comb. Put them all in a spot where they are close at hand while you are trimming the hair.
Step
2
Sit by me
Call your pup over and give him the "sit" command, then give him a treat and a few minutes to calm down if needed.
Step
3
Paws up
Starting with a front paw, gently lift it up to a height that makes it easy for you to work.
Step
4
Trim time
Using a sharp pair of safety shears, trim the hair on his toes as close as you can to his skin without cutting him.
Step
5
Repeat
Repeat the process for each of your dog's feet. When it comes to the rear paws, it may be more comfortable for both of you to have your dog lie down before trimming.
Step
6
While you are at it
While you are trimming your pup's toe hair is a good time to go ahead and trim the hair between his pads as well. By doing both, your pup's paws will look well-groomed and be far more comfortable for him to walk on.
Recommend grooming method?

The On the Table Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Nail Clipper
Comb
Step
1
On the table
Put your pup on his grooming table and secure him in the safety harness. This is to protect him from falling off the table if he starts to fuss.
Step
2
At the back
Start with a rear paw and lift it up, turning it gently so that you can reach his toes and pads. Use a small pair of sharp safety shears to trim the hair from between his pads.
Step
3
To the toes
Using a finger, spread his toes so that you can reach all around them with the shears and then carefully trim the hair back to skin level. Work from the tips of his toes to the webbing until the hair is neatly trimmed.
Step
4
Clean out time
While you are at it, check his pads and the areas between them for debris, dirt, cuts, nicks, and any other signs of injury. If necessary, take him to see his vet.
Step
5
Rinse and repeat
The only thing left, is to do this for the other three feet. This is also a good time to trim his nails back.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • With some breeds, it is easier to trim their rear paws while they are lying down.
  • Be sure to use sharp shears, as dull ones can rip the hair out of his skin.
  • If you notice any signs of serious damage to his pads, be sure to take him in to see his vet.
  • Be very careful when trimming in these areas as the skin is very thin and can be easily cut.
  • If notice anything out of the ordinary with your pup's feet or legs, be sure to take him to see his vet.
  • If you find any mats in the hair be sure to cut them out--pulling them out can be very painful. 

Conclusion

It is up to you to take care of your pup's needs, this includes trimming the hair around and between his toes or pads. It doesn't take long but will make a huge difference to your pooch as he will be able to continue walking without pain. Leaving it to grow excessively long can result in discomfort and even painful permanent injury. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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