How to Trim Hair on Dog Paws

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Most dogs need at least an occasional trim, and that includes the fur on their feet. Dogs often have hair that hangs over and grows between their paw pads. This hair can collect dirt and bacteria, which can be harmful. The hair can even mat and cause pain. During winter, the dog in colder climates may also get snow or rock salt stuck in the fur on its feet. It is important to trim the hair on your dog's paws to keep it comfortable and healthy.

Things You'll Need

  • Comb
  • Hair-cutting scissors
  • Dog treats

Calm your dog before you trim its paws. If the dog is nervous or excitable, you may accidentally cut its paw instead of the fur.

Use a comb to bring the fur up from in between your dog's paws. Snip the hair with a pair of hair cutting scissors so that it falls evenly with the pads on your dog's feet.

Comb out the hair on the sides of the dog's paw, and cut it evenly with the pads on the bottom of the dog's feet.

Look for any mats on the lower leg or foot. You can try to brush them out first, but it might be less painful for the dog if you just carefully cut them out.

Offer your dog a treat when you are done trimming its paws to let your pet know that it has been well-behaved. After you have done this a few times, paw trimming will become an easy routine.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may want another family member or friend to assist you when trimming your dog's paws. The other person can pet the dog and talk softly to it so it doesn't become afraid and try to get up.
  • Hair scissors are sharp, so be careful not to cut your dog's skin. Clip the hair to barely reach the pads on your dog's feet--not so close that the dog's feet are bald.

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