How to Shave a Dog's Paws

Easy
10 - 15 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

There are several very good reasons why you should keep the hair on your pooch's paws shaved. For starters, doing so will make it much easier for you to spot any injuries. If you live in an area where it snows, short hair will eliminate the risk of ice building up on her paws. When you trim the hair between her pads, you reduce the risk of mats building up between them and making it painful for her to walk. No matter what time of year, there is always something that can get caught up in your pup's paws and pads if you don't keep them well groomed. 

Dog's Perspective

Keep in mind, paws are extremely sensitive and your dog is not likely to enjoy having them handled, trimmed, or shaved. You need to go slow and give her time to get used to the clippers. The more time you take, the more you talk to her, and the more relaxed you are, the easier it will be to get the job done. 

The Grooming Table Method

Effective
0 Votes
Scissors
Clipper
Step
1
Purchase a grooming table
If your dog is a small to medium breed, you will find grooming her much easier on a grooming table that puts her at a comfortable working height. If she is a bigger breed, you can work on the floor. Hook her up to the restraint on the table or a leash attached to a table leg, depending on where you're working.
Step
2
From the rear end
Lift one of her rear paws turning it back and up so that you can use the clippers or a pair of shears to trim the hair between her pads.
Step
3
Inspect for damage
While you are there, be sure to inspect her pads and in between them for impacted dirt and debris or any signs of injury.
Step
4
Shave the top
Using a set of clippers, shave the hair on top of her paws going against the way the hair grows. Then trim between the toes, taking care not to cut or nick her toes or the webbing in between.
Step
5
Repeat times three
Do the exact same thing for each of the rest of the paws. You should check her weekly for signs of injury and trim the hair on her paws as needed. But never let her go more than one month without trimming her paws.
Recommend grooming method?

The Sit In Front of You Method

Effective
0 Votes
Scissors
Nail Clipper
Clipper
Step
1
Collect your tools
The first step is to collect together the tools you need: a brush, a pair of shears, and clippers. You should also keep a few treats on hand to reward your dog for good behavior.
Step
2
Call in your customer
Call your pup over and have her sit in front of you. Tell her to stay and then give her a treat. Let her get comfortable and relaxed.
Step
3
Choose your starting paw
Starting with one front paw, lift and gently position the paw careful not to put any pressure on the joints. Doing so could cause serious injury. If you dog finds doing things this way uncomfortable, you can also have her lie down on one side and then the other.
Step
4
Top first
Using the clippers, shave the hair on top of her paw, then in between her toes. Care must be exercised at all times to avoid nicking or cutting her toes or the delicate webbing in between them.
Step
5
Bottom next
Turn the paw over and use either the clippers or a pair of sharp shears to trim the hair between her pads. This is the perfect time to give her paws a thorough examination for any signs of injury. In the event, you find serious injury, a visit to the vet may be required.
Step
6
About those nails
While you are shaving your pup's paws, it's a good time to trim her nails using either clippers or a guillotine cutter. Cut them back to the just before the quick. Be sure you have some cornstarch or quick-stop on hand in case you cut the quick and cause bleeding. Take your time, work with your dog, and in time she will let you do this without fussing.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Go slow and gentle when moving your dog's paws around, it is very easy to overextend the joints, causing serious injury.
  • Use sharp safety shears to help avoid the risk of injury.
  • Use a sharp blade on your clippers to avoid the risk of ripping the hair out of the paws.
  • Take the time to give each paw a thorough examination and, if necessary, take your pup to the vet if you find any serious injuries.
  • Be very careful using clippers or shears around her paws as it is very easy to cause injury with them.
  • Be sure to give Belle plenty of time to get used to the tools you plan to use while shaving her paws. 

Conclusion

While it might seem to be a bit daunting at first, this is a task both you and your dog must master. The last thing she wants is to be walking around in pain because her paws have matted hair between the pads or she has ice balls stuck in the hair on top of them. It only has to take a few minutes a month to get the job done, but she is sure to appreciate it. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd