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?
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.
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?