A reader wonders what type of scissors to use when grooming her Cocker Spaniels feet. Your Dog expert Joanne Angus helps.
Q: Can you give me any grooming tips on how to trim my dog’s hairy feet safely?
She is an eight-year-old Cocker Spaniel and after our walks I check her thoroughly for any debris such as grass seeds. However, it would be a lot easier if I had the confidence to keep the hair around her feet short. What type of scissors should I use, and do I cut the hair between the toes?
Joanne says: Spaniels’ feet act like sponges with the wet and dirt as I’m sure you know! It’s good that you check your dog’s feet regularly as things like grass seeds can cause major issues should they penetrate the skin; they can migrate and cause no end of problems, the least of which is an abscess!
When you return from a muddy walk, always rinse your dog’s feet and towel them dry. This is then the perfect time to check for any foreign bodies or sores. Sores on the feet can be indicative of Alabama rot, which is a relatively new but potentially fatal disease, and is most commonly thought to occur in dogs who have walked through mud where the disease is present.
When it comes to trimming the feet, use 4 – 5in-sized, bull-nosed scissors and trim under the pads to remove excess hair. Use your fingers or a brush to pull up the hair on top of the foot and trim it level with the coat. Tidying up between the toes is perfectly acceptable for a pet trim.