Jack Russell Terriers are spunky little dogs with a lot of distinct characteristics and traits. One of those is their adorable little paws. Keeping their paws healthy is important for their overall health and shouldn’t be looked over when thinking about grooming and checking for health problems.
Jack Russells generally have small paws when compared to other dog breeds. Your Jack Russell’s paws will look oversized compared to their bodies when they are a puppy. This will let you know that they are still growing. Full-grown, their paws will be about 2 inches wide.
Looking at how big your puppy’s paws are has been a long-standing trick of the trade when considering how big they will be full grown or how to tell if they are done growing.
If you have just brought home your Jack Russell puppy it will still be a bit tricky to estimate. It is easier to determine how big your Jack Russell will be a little farther into their growth, but don’t worry, puppies grow so fast you should be able to get a better idea of their adult size at around 16 weeks!
Do Jack Russells Have Webbed Paws?
Jack Russell Terriers do not have webbed feet. Even though they do generally enjoy swimming and being in the water they were bred for hunting land animals and not animals in the water.
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Water breed dogs like Cocker Spaniels have webbed feet in order to help them swim. f you separate your cocker spaniel’s toes you should be able to see the unique connected skin and tissue that causes the paws to be webbed.
Jack Russell Terrier Paw Problems
There are several reasons why your Jack Russell may be having issues with its paw(s). Factors such as cuts, tears, dry or cracked paw pads, and nails, bacterial and fungal infections, burns, allergies, bug bites, etc. It is normally pretty easy to tell if your dog is struggling with a paw issue, these are some behaviors and symptoms that indicate you may want to have your dog’s paw(s) looked at:
- Licking the paw
- Loss of appetite
- Red or inflamed
- Bad odor
- Hair loss
- Pododermatitis (when the paw skin gets inflamed and affects the nails and between the toes/paw pads.)
Although these symptoms are normally easily treatable, it is important to get the dog help right away seeing as some of these symptoms could be painful to your dog.
If your Jack Russell Terrier bites or licks its paws a lot there are most likely some underlying issues causing it. The most common being allergies, fungus, or irritation. You will need to investigate and exam the whole picture to know how to help your Jack Russell.
Pro Tip: This article goes in-depth on what to do about your Jack Russell excessively licking his paws.
Jack Russell Terrier Obsessive Licking (Quick Solutions Guide)
Jack Russell Paws Turned Outward
Some Jack Russell owners have noticed that their dog’s paws turn out at an angle. Most of the time a slight turn is nothing to worry about. If your dog still runs and walks normally they may be just turning their paws when sitting to get a more comfortable position.
You should only be concerned if the turning seems to be getting progressively worse or if it seems to be causing your dog pain. Your vet will be the best person to help your monitor your dog’s paw position and examine whether or not it should be a concern.
Pro Tip: Sometimes it’s hard to tell if your dog’s features change because it happens so slowly you don’t really notice. Try taking a picture of them sitting and standing every week for a few months then you will be able to tell if your dog’s out-turned legs/paws have changed. You will also have better info to share with your vet.
Jack Russell Terrier Paw Pad Burns
Although dog paws are very resilient, hot surfaces are one of the most dangerous encounters for the well-being of a dog’s paw pad. It is best to avoid hot pavement, gravel, dirt, blacktop, streets, parking lots, and any other surfaces that are hot, and take precautions such as:
- Walking your dog when it is cool outside or there is shade available
- Stay on grass
- Use paw moisturizer, wax, and balm
- Use dog shoes
There are several telling signs that your dog may have burnt paws, these include:
If your dog’s paws have been subject to burn there are several immediate actions you should take:
- Bring them inside right away
- Use a cold compress or cold water
- Don’t let the dog lick the paw pad(s) (this could cause infection)
It is best to visit a vet right away if your dog’s paws have been burned. The vet can offer solutions that will prevent further damage, infection, or discomfort to the paw(s).
Thankfully if a paw burn is given time to heal there should not be any long-term damage to the paw pad. Depending on the severity of the burn, healing can take up to 21 days or even longer in some cases.
How To Heal A Jack Russell Terrier Paw
A veterinarian can usually heal an irritated paw very fast. Oftentimes the use of antibiotics, creams, ointments, or sprays is given to help eliminate any discomfort your dog is feeling while also healing the paw and any infection that may be there.
The paws are also one of the best hiding places on a Jack Russel for mites, ticks, and other parasites. Keeping check between your dog’s toes and all over their body, especially after being outside can help prevent this. Using anti-parasite methods such as tick collars, creams, and medicines can also help in avoiding these parasites.
If your Jack Russel is licking their paws a lot, this could be due to any of the factors listed previously; although, it is normally itchiness caused by allergies. Jack Russells are prone to food and seasonal allergies. Certain medicines can normally be given to prevent bad allergies.
Tip: Keeping your Jack Russell paws clean is key to preventing a lot of the issues above!
This portable paw washer can be useful to help your dog’s paws stay clean and healthy.
How To Groom My Jack Russells Paws At Home
Our dogs are our family, we take care of them and give them as much love as possible. Although Jack Russell owners are great at maintaining their dog’s fur, dental health, etc. the dogs’ paws are sometimes forgotten as a key part of grooming. The truth is, keeping their paws clean, trimmed, and healthy is necessary for providing your Jack Russell with the most comfort possible!
Grooming a Jack Russell’s paws is quite easy! There are several tools you will need:
- Dog clippers/trimmers
- Haircutting scissors
- Nail clippers
The Andis Proclip Detachable Blade Clipper came highly recommended with reviewers stating that they are “perfect for Jack Russell’s hair!”
Steps for grooming the paw:
- As you hold the paw, it is important to comb the paw hair in the direction of hair growth.
- Turn the paw so the pad is facing upward.
- You can use the clipper/trimmer to rid the hair between the toe pads — using the trimmer removes more hair between the toes so it is less likely for your Jack Russell to get debris, mud, snow, etc. stuck in their paws.
- Using the scissors, gently clip the hair down to the top of the toenails — by using scissors during this step, you will get a nicer shape to the paw.
Grooming Tip: Start early! If you begin touching your Jack Russells’ paws often when they are a puppy and introducing them to the grooming tools, they will be less anxious when the actual time to groom them arrives.
If you notice your Jack Russell’s paw pads are suffering from dryness, it may be time to consider a paw balm, wax, or moisturizer which can help hydrate the paw pad and ease any discomfort your dog may be feeling!
Some Jack Russell owners wonder why their dogs’ paws pads have a coarse hair-like covering. This can be due to a protein called keratin that produces what is named hyperkeratosis, or what people often call “hair feet.” This condition occurs mostly in middle-aged or older Jack Russell Terriers and is nothing to worry about!
Jack Russel Terrier Nail Care
Keeping your Jack Russell’s nails trimmed is essential in maintaining their health. Seeing as this is one of the most sensitive parts of the paw other than the pads, it is important to keep their nails nice and healthy to avoid tears or fractures that could cause more complicated issues like ingrown toenails.
Ways to keep your Jack Russell Terriers nails healthy and strong:
- Maintenance of nail
- Balanced diet
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Fish oils
Always visit your vet to see what diet and other methods are best for your dog in particular!
How To Clip My Jack Russell Terriers Nails At Home
Cutting a dog’s nails is a necessary task to avoid ingrown toenails, posture issues, skeletal damage, etc.; however, some owners want to avoid the price of taking their dog to the vet or groomers every 1–2 months or so to have their dog’s nails trimmed; which can cost between $10–$40 for nails and $40–$100 for full grooming depending on the groomer. Some owners wonder, why take them to the groomer when they could clip their nails and groom their paws at home?
Jack Russell owners that choose to clip their dog’s nails at home often worry about accidentally hurting them. There are several things to watch out for so you don’t injure your pup:
- Don’t clip the nail too short (Exposing the nail quick can be dangerous seeing as it is filled with blood vessels and nerves.)
- Don’t force your dog to cooperate (Providing a stress-free environment for the dog while clipping its nails will allow for it to trust you and result in an easy and quick nail trimming session. Distracting your dog with treat of a lick mat with peanut butter on it can be useful.)
- Go slow while clipping the nail! There is no reason to rush, rushing may cause an accidental slip with the nail clippers resulting in unwanted injury.
- Like grooming the hair of the paw, it is important to introduce the dog to the nail tools early on to ease their stress.
Your dog’s nail type and length will determine which nail tools are best to use:
- Scissor clippers
- Guillotine Clippers
- Dog nail file
- Dog nail buffer
Steps to cutting your dog’s nails:
- Identify where the quick of the nail ends. On white & light colored nails you can see where the nail turns from pink to white. This is where the quick ends. On black or brown nails it’s harder to see. With dark colored nails only cut a small bit at a time.
- Cut at least 2 millimeters away from the end of the quick.
- Grip the paw and steady the nail trimming tool in place, cut firmly and smoothly.
- As you trim, the dead nail will appear dry and powdery, keep cutting until you begin to see a darker circle in the center of the nail which indicates you are approaching the quick and should stop trimming.
- You can file your dog’s nails after trimming to ensure there are no sharp edges. I use this nail grinder for my dog and find it has done a really great job for smoothing my dogs nails out.
Nail Trimming Tip: cutting slowly and taking a small snip at a time is recommended if you are not too confident about where to cut the nail!