To help you build the BEST relationship with your German Shepherd Dog!
==> Your dog limping? Licking paws a lot? Walking with care?
Dog Paw Care prevents Dog Paw Problems - and so much more!
GSD Paw Care
You put in your best effort to provide your German Shepherd (and yourself!) with a healthy lifestyle. You take your GSD for runs, countryside hiking, and intense walks. You take your GSD to dog playgrounds, play fetch and frisbee in parks, and you undertake any other exercise and FUN activities you can fit into your busy daily schedule.
In addition (or instead?), your dog walks or runs on anything and everything from carpets to ... gravel, hot asphalt and ... snow and ice (depending on where you live of course).
And when you come back home, do you check your dog's paws?
You should. Checking your dog's paws regularly is as important as any other health concerns. Because:
After the skin, the paws are the body part most exposed to the environment!
If there is a problem with skin or paws, the dog will lick, nibble and bite the affected area, and will ingest any organic and inorganic substances, from infections to chemicals to parasites, and (s)he will inflict a wound and spread the infection. This may neither be great for your dog's overall health nor benefit the paw problem.
German Shepherd paws are pretty robust, true. Yet, they need some basic care and specific attention from your side in order to stay that way. With just a little effort and the right GSD paw care you can relieve your GSD of paw-related complications and prevent health issues in the future.
The varied and demanding outdoor exercise that you (hopefully) provide to your GSD, as well as environmental factors that we ourselves often don't even notice, require that you take care of your dog's paws regularly. - If you don't, you may end up with many more dog problems than just paw problems...
See here why, and what you can do about it.
Dog Paw Problems
Walking on rough terrain, hot surfaces and sheets of ice are a direct threat to your GSD's paws. Did you know that black asphalt can heat up to melting temperature on midday in a hot summer?!
Asphalt as well as pavements of a certain type of stone get insanely hot when the sun is burning. I have experienced this myself. I remember, one year the tar on the roads was getting wobbly and the shoe soles were sticking on it, so hot it was.
Not only temperature but broken glass, gravel, metal scraps, salt, household chemicals etc, or broken or ingrown toenails - all can cause thickenings, burns, tears, cuts, cracks, and even bleeding paws. In addition, some substances may result in allergies, infections, and ultimately tumors too.
Paw Injury Symptoms
Overly careful or slow walking
Bruised or split pads
Dark yellow or brown colorings around toenails
Intense or prolonged licking paws or pawing the mouth
To avoid such outcomes, make sure to keep a brief but regular check on your German Shepherd's paws, and take action if you see any changes.
Causes of Paw Problems
There are three core causes of dog paw problems:
Carpet walking of the modern, domesticated dogs
Scrap metal and broken glass debris on pavements, roads, and even in parks
Road salt in the winter, spillages of pesticides and chemicals, and remnants of cleaning agents
The typical modern, domesticated dogs, including German Shepherds, walk too much on carpets and other very soft ground. This makes paw pads soft and makes toe nails grow too long and the quick extend too far into the nail.
The quick is the bundle of nerves and blood vessels inside the nail (see the pink area in the nail in this image, but note that I drew a line to show that the quick extends further than most dog owners think).
If a dog's toe nails are not naturally trimmed through sufficient exercise on varied surfaces, and not trimmed by yourself in all other cases, then the nails will grow too long and - worse - the quick will extend towards the front of the nail and will get immediately injured when the nail splits or breaks off, or when you trim it!
The worst about nail trimming is that most dog owners wait too long to trim the nails, then the quick with its nerves and blood vessels has grown forward to extend to pretty much the front of the nail, and thenthey cut it off - the quick! D'oh!
The problem with the nails of our German Shepherds is of course that we cannot normally see the quick at all, since the nails of GSDs are normally not clear, but rather dark and pretty much opaque. That's why we have to be careful not to trim the nails too short.
I hope you won't make this mistake once you've studied this MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL, so further below we also show how to cut dog nails correctly if you need to.
To the new GSD owners among our subscribers: If you provide your GSD puppy and later your adult GSD with sufficient and varied outdoor exercise (like we recommend it all GSD owners), then you will normally not need to trim your dog's nails.
Only when your GSD gets older and its daily 'exercise' is limited to slow and easy walks on level terrain, then the nails will no longer be naturally trimmed and you will need to do the trimming.
However, the problem with this approach is that then your dog isn't used to nail trimming and, particularly when older, may not like the associated stress at all! That's why I would recommend that you 'simulate' some nail trimming regularly (about twice monthly), even when not actually needed.
This way, your dog gets used to this procedure from puppy age onwards, and (s)he won't find it distressing when you do it when it's needed later.
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Stay with us and your dog will stay with you, both of you healthy and well-behaved.
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Disclaimer: Always apply your own common sense when you follow anyone's suggestions. As much as your dog is special (s)he may react different too.
There's nothing quite like a healthy and well-behaved German Shepherd who freely guards every corner of your home, who brings you peace, who brings you joy! Welcome to MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG - we help you that YOUR DOG does not end up in a(nother) shelter!