How to Clip Hair Between Dogs Pads

By Elizabeth Lang

Dogs grow hair between their paw pads as a form of protection. However, for dogs with longer hair, the hair between their paws will grow longer than their footpads and drag on the floor. This excess hair gets easily matted and traps dirt, snow and ice. Excess hair remains damp for longer periods of time leading to fungal infections in dog's paws. Because of these nuisances and medical concerns, the hair at a dog's paws should be clipped when it reaches a length longer than the paw pad.

Purchase a pair of fingernail scissors that have a straight blade (not curved). These are typically about 3 1/2 inches long in total length and can be purchased near the nail files at any drug store or large retail stores.

Understand your dog's grooming personality. Before deciding to clip hair between your dog's pads, determine how much resistance you will encounter when attempting to do so. You can determine this by sitting down next to your dog and picking up his paws. Does the dog immediately pull the paw back and even growl or does the dog let you touch the paw?

Approach your dog when he is calm and in a down position. Speak in a soothing tone and say "Good dog." If your dog is hyper and excited, choose another time to clip the hair or have an additional person help you.

Hold your dog's paw and carefully clip the hair between the pads with fingernail scissors. You should trim the hair so that it is even with the pads or slightly shorter than the pads.

Repeat Step 4 for all four paws. If the pet become anxious or tries to move, stop clipping the hair. Have another person hold the dog in place and pet it to soothe it. If the dog fights, wait until a later time to finish the other paws.