How to treat flat feet in dogs

Written by sarah davis
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How to treat flat feet in dogs
Flat feet in dogs can cause nail injuries. (sleeping dog image by Evgeny Rodionov from

Some dogs are born with flat feet but they are not a very serious problem and can be treated by trimming the dogs nails regularly and finding ways to relieve pressure from them. Without trimming the dog's nails could break or split and result in a painful foot for the dog. When a dog has flat feet, the dog's nails are more exposed because of the position of the toes. This exposure can leads to many irritating injuries for the dog.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Treats
  • Dog nail trimmer
  • Nail file
  • Ball

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  1. 1

    Make your dog comfortable by using a calm or happy voice to call your dog over to you. Use treats to inspire the dog to be more cooperative while you trim the its nails.

  2. 2

    Kneel down and hold your dog tight so that the two or you are side by side. Make sure your dog is comfortable while you are securing it for trimming. Use as many treats as you see fit.

  3. 3

    Trim your dog's nails by holding the paw securely and slipping the tip of a nail into the nail trimmer. Squeeze the handles on the nail trimmer to close it down on the nail. Continue squeezing the trimmer handle until the nail is cut completely. Repeat the trimming technique for each nail. Use a nail file to smooth down the edges of each freshly cut nail.

  1. 1

    Find a beach or park nearby that has a nice sandy area to walk your dog. The sand relieves pressure on the dog's nails when they walk.

  2. 2

    Walk in the sand for as long as your dog wants to. Pay attention to the way your dog acts while walking in the sand compared to walking on paved areas or hard dirt.

  3. 3

    Try to keep your dog off its feet for an hour or so after a long walk to let the nails relax and cool down.

  1. 1

    Take your dog swimming at a local beach, lake, pond or swimming pool in your area. The water can be very soothing to the nails of a flat-footed dog.

  2. 2

    Let the dog swim around in the water for as long as it wants to.

  3. 3

    Get into the water and play around with your dog if it helps the dog feel more comfortable. Take a ball and throw it for the dog to swim to.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep an eye on your dog's nails to make sure they are not cracked or splitting.
  • Treat your dog's injured nails with antibiotic ointment and bandages. Try to keep them off of their feet until the nails looks healed.
  • Do not cut your dog's nails too short. This will cause a lot of discomfort to the dog and may cause it to act out in anger and pain.

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