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Get your dog's coat and paws ready for fall

American Kennel Club on

Published in Cats & Dogs News

As we transition into the fall season, it's important to nourish your dog's paws and fur after the damage the summer weather may have caused. We are all doing our best to make the most of the fall season before the cold sets in. But from cracked paw pads to pollen to sun-bleached fur, your pet might need some post-summer TLC.

The American Kennel Club offers a few simple ways to tend to your pup's coat and paws after months in the hot summer sun.

- Scorched paw pads. Your dog's paws may have been exposed to summer heat hazards such as hot sand, scorching sidewalks and sticky asphalt, leaving him to start off autumn with dry, chapped, cracked or even injured paw pads. To repair, rub some petroleum jelly on his pads, then give him a chew toy to distract him until the jelly soaks in. Paw pad balm, available at most pet stores, is a less greasy option, and you can use it for both summer and winter weather protection. If your dog's paw pads have actual cracks, try some antibiotic ointment or gel. In the case of bleeding, red streaks or pus, take your dog to the veterinarian to be treated.

- Pollen residue. If your allergies seem to be lasting longer than usual, pollen might be finding its way onto your dog's coat. Many dogs also have pollen allergies, which typically manifest as skin rashes. Give your dog a good bath to help minimize pollen in the house and its effects on both you and your dog. Use a gentle, hypoallergenic, dog-friendly shampoo. Rinse well.


- Sun-bleached coat. If your dog's jet-black, deep brown or rich red coat looks faded and fried, don't worry: The damage isn't permanent. Those bleached hairs will eventually fall out, and your dog's deep, rich color will grow back in. Make sure to bathe and brush your dog regularly to speed up the process.

For more tips on dog ownership, visit the AKC at

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