How to Groom a Small Dog's Feet

Easy
15 - 20 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Depending on the breed of dog you own, it may be necessary to trim and groom them on a regular basis. One of the bigger problems dogs with hairy feet face is when their owners let the hair on and under their feet grow too long. Thankfully, with a little bit of help from this guide, you can learn to groom your pup's feet in less than 20 minutes (unless you are doing a show cut). Before you start trying to groom your pup's feet, it would help if he knew the four basic commands; 'come', 'sit', 'stay', and 'down'. 

Dog's Perspective

You wouldn't think your pup really cares about the condition and length of the hair on his feet. And to be honest he probably doesn't. That is until it has become long enough to make walking difficult at best and downright dangerous at worst. Learning to groom his feet is relatively easy, it just takes a little time and patience. 

The Bath First Method

Effective
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Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Comb
Towel
Step
1
Prepare the bath
Fill a medium-size bowl with a mixture of warm water and vet-approved shampoo.
Step
2
Scrub-a-dub-dub
Gently bathe each of your pup's paws and dry them thoroughly.
Step
3
One paw at a time
Lift one paw up so that you can see the underside of it. Using a pair of small shears, trim the hair between his pads until it is just below the pads. This is a good time to examine his paws for any signs of blistering, cuts, scrapes, or impacted debris that did not come out with in the bath. If you notice any serious injury or signs of infection, take your pup to see his vet immediately.
Step
4
Turn the paw over
Turn each paw over and, working from the top, trim the hair between his toes back so that you can see his toes and all the way back to the webbing. Be very careful not to cut his toes or into the webbing.
Step
5
Trim and finish
Using either clippers or shears, trim the rest of the hair on top of his feet and around his ankles and you are all done. At least for the next month or so.
Recommend grooming method?

The Grooming Table Method

Effective
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Slicker Brush
Scissors
Nail Clipper
Nail File
Step
1
Set your pup on the table
Small dogs can be harder to work with at first. You may find using a grooming table will make the job much easier. You may also find that using a hip restraint will help keep your pup under control until he gets used to having his feet groomed.
Step
2
Start at the back
Lift a rear paw up and fold the foot back, allowing you to see the bottom of his paw. Using a small pair of safety shears, trim the hair growing between his pads until it is level of just below his pads. This is the perfect time to clean out any dirt or debris that is stuck in between his pads.
Step
3
Clip the toes
Time to take care of the toes. The easiest way to do this is using a sharp pair of shears. Using your fingers, spread out his toes and trim the hair between them. Take extra care not to cut into his toe or the webbing between them.
Step
4
Repeat for all four
Repeat the same basic process for the other three feet. Then trim the hair on top of his paws and around his ankles to achieve that perfectly groomed look.
Step
5
Trim his nails
This would also be the perfect time to clip your pup's nails, in fact, you should always check his nails and trim them when you are grooming his feet.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • If you are going to use a grooming table, be sure to use the safety harness.
  • Be sure to use sharp shears to avoid the risk of ripping the hair out of your pup's feet.
  • If you see any signs of serious injuries or infection, you need to take your pup to see his vet immediately. 
  • Exercise extreme caution when using shears around his toes, as it is very easy to cut your pup.
  • If you notice anything out of the ordinary, be sure to take your pup in to see his vet.
  • If there are any mats in the hair on your pup's feet, cut them out rather than trying to brush or comb them out. It will be far less painful for your pup.
  • Be sure to give your pup plenty of time to get used to the shears and clippers before using them. This will make the entire process go more smoothly. 

Conclusion

It is up to you to take care of your pup's every need, this includes grooming his feet. Excessively hairy feet can be painful for your pup to walk on and could lead to a nasty accident. It really doesn't take long for you to take care of this simple task, but a few minutes once a month can mean a world of difference to your pup. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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