Dog Won’t Let Me Cut Paw Hair – What To Do Now?

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

You know how important it is to take care of your dog’s grooming needs, but what do you do when your dog simply won’t let you cut its paw hair?

It’s a common issue that so many of us have faced, and it can be incredibly frustrating, especially when those paw hairs start to get tangled and matted.

The main reasons why your dog won’t let you cut its paw hairs are likely due to either a bad experience it had or simply being afraid of getting hurt. A dog’s paws can be very sensitive, and as they have a natural instinct to protect them, it might take a bit of coaxing before they let you in.

In this post, I’ll share with you some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned to help you get your dog to cooperate when it’s time for a paw hair trim.

Whether you’re a seasoned dog owner or just starting out, you’re gonna find something that you can use after this.

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Dear Dog Owner

Why Does My Dog Not Like Having His Paws Touched?

Why Does My Dog Not Like Having His Paws Touched?

Your dog might hate having his paws touched for many reasons. 

Has your dog had a bad experience with his paws being touched? Perhaps harsh nail trimming in pet salons?

Your dog will remember getting any of his body parts hurt. So if he experienced being hurt in his paws before, that’s one of the reasons why your dog no longer likes having his paws touched.

Your dog might also feel uncomfortable with his paws being touched, that’s why he doesn’t like it.

You see, paws help dogs gain sensory information about their surroundings. 

When you touch your dog’s paws, he might feel anxious that you’re touching something important to his instinct and survival skills.

It could also be that your dog is not much trained to socialize.

That’s why physical touch, including touching of paws, irritates him.

If your dog’s aversion to having his paws touched continues no matter how hard you try to coax him, you gotta bring him to your vet.

Your dog might have an injury or allergy in his paws that’s why he hates having his paws touched.

Your vet will know this for sure.

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Why is it Important to Regularly Trim a Dog’s Paw Hair?

The main reason why regularly trimming a dog’s paw hair is important is because of hygiene. 

You should know how unclean and dirty your dog’s paw hair will become if they are left untrimmed. 

Dirt and even parasites will come to like staying in your dog’s paws if you skip regular trimming.

Not just the overall hygiene is important, but your dog’s walking and running will also be affected if its paw hairs are not taken care of.

Overgrown hair will cover your dog’s paw, making it hard for the poor boy or girl to maintain balance on slippery floors.

In some cases, your dog might develop impact hair follicles (ingrown hair) that can become extremely uncomfortable for them, in the same way that matted and tangled hair does too.

It’s very common to see a dog with this issue keep trying to lick and smoothen out its hair when this happens.

Regularly trimming a dog’s paw hair is also good for aesthetics.

Neat and adorable to look at, your dog’s paw will be perfect for high-fives!

As a fur parent, you can trim your dog’s paw hair at home with the right tools like the Wahl Rechargeable Pet Clipper.

You can also bring your doggy to a professional groomer if you’re hesitant to trim your own dog’s paw hair. It’s much safer and more convenient. 

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Doggy says, you might be interested to read this too: Why did my dog’s nail turn black?

How to Let Your Dog Trim Its Paw Hair?

Training Your Dog to Let You Touch Its Paws

Whenever you see your dog relaxed and comfortable, try kneading and stroking his paws as gently as you can. 

If he lets you do this without getting annoyed, reward him with affection and his favorite treats.

Let Them Get Used to the Tools

Lay out the trimming tools in a quiet room and let your dog sniff them. 

Don’t stop him from touching or pawing the tools so he can be familiar with them later on.

Once he loses interest in the laid-out tools, touch your dog’s paw gently with the tools.

If your dog lets you do that without being alarmed, praise him and give him some treats.

Training isn’t a one-timing thing though.

If you fail to let your dog get used to the tools the first time, you can try again tomorrow.

Use a Distraction

Does your dog love to watch TV?

Does he have a short attention span?

Does your dog have a favorite treat?

If yes, then distracting your dog for trimming will be easy. 

Give your dog some of his favorite treats while you gently trim his paw hair. 

You can also give him a toy so he can be preoccupied and playful while the trimming starts.

Music can also distract your fur baby while you try to trim his paw hair.

Calming background music will surely relax your dog.

Consider Sedating Them

You’ve done everything to get your dog to let you trim his paw hair to no avail?

You might want to consider gently sedating your dog during this time, and it won’t feel anything, and the trimming process will be quicker.

Now, you should only do this with your vet’s consent.

Sedating is your last option for getting your dog’s paw hair trimmed.

In fact, let your professional groomer do the sedation and the trimming so there won’t be any chances of complications.

Ready for another pawsome article? White bump on dog paw pads

Dog Paw Hair Trimming Technique

What Tools Can You Use to Trim Dog Paw Hair?

Electric clippers are usually what most professional groomers use to trim dog paw hair. They are convenient and easy to use. 

The Wahl Rechargeable Pet Clipper is a great trimming tool for your dog’s little paws.

It’s small, low noise, and cordless which makes it easy to use on dogs that panic easily. 

It also has a longer battery life of 3 hours before you need to charge it again.

If you’re not confident in controlling these trimmers, you can always use scissors to trim your dog’s paw hair.

You just gotta be sure that the scissors you are using are sharp, clean, and free from any rust.

Key Benefits

  • 2 Hour Run Time that allows for multiple grooming sessions with your pet before needing a recharge
  • Equipped with a 10-minute quick charge for instant power, 3-5-hours for a full charge; lithium-ion battery holds a charge for up to a year without any memory issues
  • Self-Sharpening Precision Blades that provide snag-free cutting and remain sharp

How to Care for Your Dog’s Paws After a Trim?

After trimming your dog’s paws, you gotta check if there are any cuts or irritations.

Clean any signs of cuts with hydrogen peroxide, and then place a bandage.

If there are no cuts present, just clean your dog’s paws with a clean towel to remove any excess hair.

The hair on your dog’s paw serves as a buffer for the paws against rough surfaces. When you trim that hair, your dog’s paws are exposed to dry and hard surfaces.

To keep your dog’s paws smooth, moisturized, and free from cracks apply paw balm.

How to Keep Your Dog’s Paws Healthy?

Always keep your dog’s paws clean for them to stay healthy.

Washing your dog’s paws after a walk or jog outside the house and then wiping down with a clean towel will remove any dirt from each of your dog’s paw pads.

Regularly trim your dog’s paw hair to make no room for parasites, and try to do so once per week too.

I tend to set my Sundays as the time for a bit of home grooming and get these done all in one go.

It will also help you keep your dog’s paws healthy if you’re mindful of the weather.

Let your dog wear cute little dog boots when it’s cold and snowing outside.

And let your dog walk on grass instead of on sidewalks if the sun is too high.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should I cut the hair on my dog’s paws?

Yes. You should cut the hair on your dog’s paws to make sure that no dirt or parasite sticks to your doggy’s little paw pads. When the hair gets tangled or matted, it can cause your dog discomfort or even lead to infection.

Do dogs feel pain in their paw pads?

Your dog feels pain in their paw pads too. Although they are all hard skin, it doesn’t mean those hard little paw pads aren’t exposed to pain. Cuts, burns, and fungal infections are just some of the things that cause pain to your dog’s paw pads.

Do I need to take my dog to the vet for a cut paw pad?

If the cut on your dog’s paw pad is small and not deep, you can mend it at home. But if the cut is deep and bleeding too much, you have to take your dog to the vet.

In Conclusion: Dog Won’t Let Me Cut Paw Hair

If your dog won’t allow you to trim the hair on its paws, you should identify the root of the problem and take the necessary action.

There are ways to make your dog feel more at ease when being groomed, regardless of whether the cause is a bad prior experience, sensitivity, a lack of trust, a natural inclination, or fear and anxiety.

Always be gentle and patient, and make use of the right tools to do the job.

If you cannot handle it, do not hesitate to go to a professional groomer instead.

Don’t let this be the end of our walk together! Follow the trail to our next post:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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