How to Trim a Dog's Paw Pads

Easy
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Keeping the fur trimmed between your dog's paw pads not only helps give you a view of any potential injuries your dog may have between these paw pads, but it also gives your dog less fur to chew on when he licks and chews at his paws. Paw injuries are very common, so keeping this area clean and neatly trimmed will aid in keeping your dog's paw pads healthy. Keeping this fur trimmed short can help keep your dog’s paw clean of debris and excessive mud, dirt, and snow stuck in between his paw pads.

Dog's Perspective

This is a tender area. No matter how tough the pads appear, your dog may be wary of you touching the space between his pads, especially with scissors or a trimmer. He may be apprehensive of the sound and feel of clippers, but you can calm him with a soft voice and proper training.

The Resting Position Method

Effective
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Scissors
Clipper
Step
1
Lie down
Have your dog lie down. Talk with him and comfort him. You can also give him a treat or have a partner pet him and distract him from his paws as you trim the fur between his paw pads.
Step
2
Bend leg
Bend your dog’s leg at the paw to gain the best position for paw pad trimming. Avoid having your dog bend to lick your hand or pull away from you. You may require a partner who can assist in keeping your dog still.
Step
3
Scissors
With small straight edge scissors flat against the dog’s paw pads, trim the fur so it is level with the paw pads. Be careful not to push the scissors against the paw pads to avoid nicking or cutting.
Step
4
Between pads
With the tip of sharp scissors, carefully snip the fur between the paw pads. Pay careful attention to space between the main or larger paw pad and the toe pads. You will need to angle the scissors so they are pointing into the space between the dog’s pads. Be extra careful.
Step
5
Maintain
To keep this fur from matting, be sure to keep this area short.
Step
6
Edges
Trim around the edges of the paw pads to keep a tidy appearance. You can also trim around the entire foot to give your dog’s paw a clean and well-maintained look.
Recommend grooming method?

The Scoop Method

Effective
0 Votes
Clipper
Step
1
Stand
Have your dog in a down position and coax him onto his side. Stand to the side of him so you can clearly see the bottom of his paws.
Step
2
Spread pads
Place your fingers between his paw pads and gently spread them apart, separating the toes.
Step
3
Clipper
Using a paw pad clipper blade, use a scooping motion to clip the hair between the paw pads.
Step
4
Turn
Turn the clippers and scoop the opposite side. Be careful not to nick the skin in between your dog’s toes.
Step
5
Toes and pads
Using your fingers or thumb, separate your dog’s toes and scoop with the edge of the clippers between each toe to clip the fur between your dog’s toes. Pay special attention to the webbed skin between the toes to avoid getting this skin caught in the clippers. Avoid getting too close to your dog’s skin so you aren’t causing any injuries.
Step
6
Repeat
Repeat for all your dog’s feet, paw pads, and toes. Your dog may stand up while trimming his front paws, but he’ll be more comfortable lying down for his back paws. If he is standing while you clip his back paws, he could lose his balance and fall.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Be cautious of the skin around his paw pads.
  • Your dog may have large or small webbed feet underneath all the fur. Pay careful attention to his skin, so you do not nick him.
  • If you do happen to accidentally nick your dog’s tender skin, you can use styptic powder to stop bleeding and control any burning or pain. From your kitchen, corn starch may also help stop the bleeding.
  • You will have to point the tips of scissors into the space between your dog’s paw pads. Be careful to use a steady hand, so your dog is not accidentally poked.
  • Other than the fur between the toes, while using scissors, try to keep them flat and parallel against your dog’s skin and paw pads.
  • If your dog is nervous and won’t stay still, have a friend help you ease his anxieties.
  • If you do not have any help, consider having your dog on a leash or harness and tethered to a solid surface, so he is unable to move.
  • Trust that, over time, your dog will get used to this procedure and will become more relaxed. The more you do it, the easier it will become for you as well. 

Conclusion

Pad your grooming resume with this neat paw pad fur retrieval trick. Learning how to maintain your dog’s paws and the fur growth between his paw pads can help keep him healthy and your house safe from debris and bacteria. You never know when your dog may need to have pretty toes and well-groomed feet. Beside keeping dirt and bacteria away from his paws, he may want to also appear quite fetching.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions