Care for Bernedoodle Paws: Expert Advice On Why Your Bernedoodle is Biting Paws, Licking, or Chewing Paws
Do your feet get tired at the end of the day? Imagine how sore or tired they might feel if you ran around all day without shoes. And you played in the dog park and got the zoomies. Okay that story got a little unrelatable for humans – but you need to think about your Bernedoodle paws health!
Here are the fast easy ways to keep your Bernedoodles paws healthy. I checked with dog trainers, groomers, and breed experts for top tips for a giant dog breed like the beautiful Poodle Cross the Bernedoodle.
A giant Poodle cross (How Big do Bernedoodles Get?) like the Bernedoodle will need some TLC for their paws. If you do not take care of their paws problems can arise.
Common Paw Problems for the Bernedoodle Breed
The most common problems that Bernedoodles have with their paws are
- Infections of the paw
- Parasites or fleas burrowing into the paw
- Cracking of skin due to lack of moisture
- Burns due to stepping onto hot surfaces for too long
- Nail problems due to lack of trimming or incorrect trimming
- Injury to the paw from traps or crushing (or sharp debris)
- Certain types of allergies will present as itchiness or inflammation of the paws or the skin in between the dog toes. How annoying for any dog!
- Grass seeds or mites caught in the fur
How to avoid Paw Problems With Bernedoodles
Paw Burns: Because they descend from the Bernese Mountain Dog, Bernedoodles are pretty good in the cold. They come from origins high in the Swiss Alps! What Bernedoodles (and many large breeds) are not brilliant with is super hot surfaces.
Don’t get me wrong, Bernedoodles love to run, and Bernedoodles love to swim and even visit the beach. However too much of a good thing can result in an injury to the surprisingly delicate paws of your Bernedoodle.
Picture this, the sun is out is is a hot summer day. You are barefoot, and need to walk across a dark tarmac (bitumen) road. Do the soles of your feet tingle now just thinking about how hot the road is? You hop skip and jump your way back to the shade.
Even though dog paws are made of super skin and are resilient, prolonged periods of exposure to extremely hot roads and surfaces can result in actual burns to the feet of a Bernedoodle.
This is a common reason that Bernedoodles lick their feet!
Because humans wear shoes or something on their feet much of the time, we sometimes forget to check how hot the road is. If you don’t want to walk on it barefoot yourself – then do your Bernedoodle a favor and keeop the exposure time as limited as possible.
WARNING: Dogs actually can get sunburn! Sunburn for dogs can vary from mild to pretty serious. We wrote a detailed article about dog Sunburn and how to prevent it here. It also covers what to do if your dog does get sunburnt and recommends the best budget friendly dog sunscreens (DO NOT USE HUMAN SUNCREEN).
Parasites and Bacteria: Pawfully Annoying Conditions For Your Bernedoodle
Ticks, bugs, and parasite nasties love to hide in your Bernedoodles paws and cause irritation of pain. This is another common cause of pain, discomfort, or paw chewing by Bernedoodles.
Ticks and Parasites can be prevented by using Vet prescribed or recommended at-home treatments. Some treatments last a month, some even longer. Ask your Vet what suits your Bernedoodle the best.
If they still get a tick, you can remove it safely only if you know-how. If you have no experience, consider asking a vet nurse or vet for advice. If you mess it up you can leave the legs or even worse make the tick or parasite inject more toxins and poison into your animal while you attempt to remove them.
Many of us live in areas where learning how to deal with a tick or parasite on Bernedoodle paws will become a necessity. Consult your Vet and watch a refresher video here. Only perform what you are skilled and comfortable doing, and chat with a professional for advice first.
How often should you trim a Bernedoodles claws?
When people get a super cute excitable Bernedoodle puppy, it does not take long for the fact that with great paws comes great SCRATCH power becomes known.
Bernedoodles are cute but their massive feet can give rise to some incredibly scractchy and sharp claws.
Bernedoodles need their names clipped and filed every three to four weeks. It is not rare for Bernedoodle owners to wait too long in between nail clipping and shaping. Overgrown nails are prone to becoming an ingrown nail which is a painful condition for your puppy.
Painful ingrown nails are another common cause of Bernedoodles chewing at their paws.
So don’t let time slip by! Mark in your calendar when you last cut your dogs nails and set a reminder in your phone to review in four weeks.
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Using a dog nail Dremel is a safe, easy, and professional way to get smooth nails at home without too many hassles. Some groomers just use clippers, but many use a Dremel to shape the nails. And they are budget-friendly to DIY nail clip your Bernedoodle at home!
Did you know you can even buy nail polish for dogs? Good luck to anyone brave enough to try and paint the nails of a Bernedoodle without getting the polish everywhere. (Though apparently, a dog nail polish pen is the best way to apply it). Not for me – but at least it is puppy-safe and has natural ingredients!
Asking the Experts for Top Tips for Bernedoodle Paws
I went ahead and asked the experts for their puppy paw and dog paw protection tips. We love our big bounding Bernedoodles, and want them to be healthy and happy!
Dog Trainer and Blogger Danielle Mühlenberg write about dog training at her website PawLeaks. You can also check out her Rottweiler Amalia’s Instragram. Danielle shared her top three tips for dog paw health.
Expert Tips: More Moisture for your Bernedoodle paws, a Weather Warning, And Nasty Nail Trimming Time
- Moisturizing your dog’s paw pads regularly will prevent cracks and dry skin. You can either buy special paw cream or you could opt for natural alternatives like coconut oil. Always prevent your dog from excessive licking or chewing on the paws.
- Hot and cold weather can give your dog’s paws a hard time.
- The streets in the summer can severely burn the sensitive pads. Always put your hand on the pavement for 5 seconds before letting your dog outside.
- If it’s too hot for your hand, it will be painful for his paws.
- The cold weather in the winter can dry them out and chemicals or salt on the ground needs to be rinsed out after ever walk.
- Dog shoes can protect your dog in both seasons.
- When you hear your dog’s nails clicking on the floor, it’s time for a trim.
- Overgrown nails are not only uncomfortable but they can severely damage the toe positions leading to awkward movement.
- You can either use a dog nail clipper or grinder if you are scared to cut into the quick.
What Groomers Want You To Know About Bernedoodle Puppy Health
Dylan H also gave me a response from the perspective of a groomer. Dylan H works for the boutique dog grooming and spa company called Splash and Dash For Dogs (website: https://splashanddashfordogs.com )
We recommend playing with a young puppy’s paws early on and with some regularity. This will help a puppy become comfortable with nail care which is important upkeep for all dogs regardless of coat or breed.
This simple training practice is important for owners to establish and requires no work from your puppy.
We recommend lightly pulling on the toes, applying pressure with your fingers and running metal nail clippers against the nails to familiarize them with the feeling and sounds of nail care.
Repeat on each paw. Do this while they sleep, while they play, and inside and outside of your home.
The more comfortable your Bernedoodle can become with their paws being touched the more comfortable they will be at the groomers in the future.
This practice stands true for bathing, brushing, and teeth brushing as well, but nail care being the trickiest for groomers and most dangerous for an unsettled dog.
Thanks for the tips Dylan and Danielle (+ thankyou to Amalia the Rottweiler, who I am sure contributed a lot to help Danielle answer our questions)
Bernedoodle Paw Care Conclusions
It is important to look after the whole body health of your Bernedoodle. From exercise and keeping active, through to mental activity like DIY dog games to play at home indoors – you need to spend lots of time with your dog.
From a medical and grooming perspective, regular maintenance is much cheaper and happier for your Bernedoodle rather than waiting for a problem to arise.
Trim the nails of your Bernedoodle every 3-4 weeks, and consider using a Dremel or bur to polish them comfortably.
Use the best Bernedoodle shampoo when you do wash your puppy or fully grown dog. Moisturize the paw pads of your Bernedoodle with a budget-friendly paw care option.
We reviewed and tested Bernedoodle shampoos to establish the 5 BEST shampoos for a Bernedoodle coat. We had one favorite!
We also found the only Bernedoodle brush you will ever have to purchase. (Although you will need one budget super comb to complete the set). Learn about the best brushes for Bernedoodles here.
Other Bernedoodle articles that future owners should consider include the Comprehensive Bernedoodle Breed Review. The mega article goes in-depth on Bernedoodles.