Trimming Long Haired Dog Paws

Pierson's Fuzzy Paws 1

Should the hair on these paws be trimmed?

Pamela from Something Wagging mentioned on her blog how she keeps the hair on Honey’s paws trimmed so she doesn’t slip on the wooden floors. I never thought about this as a reason to trim the hair on my dog’s paws. I knew keeping them trimmed was good in winter so ice doesn’t get ice stuck between the toes. Since I kept a close eye on Pierson’s paws this past winter, I never bothered with the trimming. Now I am beginning to second guess this choice.

Websites all over state a number of reasons why the hair between dogs’ paws should be trimmed:

* Prevent the hair on the paws from matting and being uncomfortable.

* Prevent debris from getting caught in the hair and making your dog uncomfortable.

* Dogs sweat through their paws, so removing hair helps this process.

* Muddy days outside are less likely to lead to muddy paws inside.

* Increase traction, such as when walking on wooden floors.

A couple websites mentioned how the first two above listed items are more important if a dog spends a lot of time outdoors. The first three reasons might not apply to a dog that is primarily indoors. However, the last two certainly do.

Several reasons I haven’t considered trimming Pierson’s paws are as follows:

The hair must be there for a reason, I thought. In fact, Arctic Wolves have long hair in between the toes of their paws. It helps protect them in cold weather. Obviously, Pierson is not subjected to weather that cold. He is an indoor dog. But if ice balling up in the paws was an issue, why isn’t it an issue with Arctic Wolves?

Pierson's Fuzzy Paws 3

The funny way the hair sticks up between Pierson’s toes makes me smile.

My other reason is purely selfish. I play with my dogs’ paws all the time because they are so darned cute. And I’ve never noticed any issues with them, such as dirt or other stuff getting lodged in. Pierson has the most adorable, fuzzy, healthy, spotted paws.

Pierson's Paw in Heart

Seriously, look how cute Pieson’s paw is!

I’ve also wondered if perhaps the hair provides protection from walking on hot pavement. We rarely walk on hot pavement, generally only when we have to cross the street on our walks.

The final reason is because the hair seems to protect Pierson’s paws from biting insects. We have a really bad chigger problem this year. Maya is getting bitten badly, especially between the toes. Apparently, chiggers like tight places. Pierson gets bit too, but not like Maya. I wonder if the excess hair protects him.

Maybe I should have Pierson wear purple shoes like the ones Sugar the Golden Retriever wears, but in blue instead of purple. :)

So what do you think? Should I trim Pierson’s paws or do you think they are okay just the way they are? Do you trim the hair between your dog’s paws?

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7 Responses to “Trimming Long Haired Dog Paws”

  1. Kuruk Says:

    Great advice! Woooowooooo, Ku

  2. 2browndawgs Says:

    Our dogs have no fur between their toes. I do know that for some working dogs the owners have to check for burs and stuff that might collect in between their toes. But it is just a quick look-see. I know many who don’t trim the fur. When we had our Golden, we had the groomer trim that fur. It was more for our preference.

  3. ScottieMom Says:

    I think it is cute just the way it is! However, if you feel it will keep Pierson safer, go for it. Sugar’s people boots are cute, aren’t they? You just might have to get blue ones to make a fashion statement! Much love, the Scottie Mom.

  4. Gizmo Says:

    I’ve never trimmed paw fur but it does make it hard to get the nails done, especially if you’re using a grinder..A tip I learned recently is to put the paw in an old knee high stocking and poke the nails through…then you can trim the nails without the fur getting in the way…It sounds silly and looks funny but it does work

  5. MyBrownNewfies Says:

    I think Pierson’s long hair on his paws is cute! I do my best to keep the Newfs paws trimmed up, they tend to get mats underneath a lot and the longer the hair is on their paws the more mud they bring into the house. It is hard to keep up with though, sometimes I feel like the hair grows overnight!

  6. ILoveDogs Says:

    Thanks everyone! I’ve decided to keep the hair on Pierson’s paws long. But I will keep a close eye out for any issues and will reconsider if needed. Surprisingly, Gizmo, I don’t have trouble with the hair getting in the way when I trim his nails. I trim his nails with a regular dog toenail clipper almost every Monday and have gotten very good at it. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes total for both Maya & Pierson.

  7. snoopys@snoopysdogblog Says:

    I’m a bit late but would also have voted for no trimming of his paws, but I’m biased as I have the fluffiest paws ever and my Mum thinks they’re super cute!

    I occassionally get a bur in them, but I’m good at getting them out and so is Mum, otherwise I don’t really have any problems and luckily I never need my nails trimming as I run with Mum nearly every day :)

    Have a fun day Mr fluffy paws,

    Your fluffy pal Snoopy :)

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