What are Grinch feet in dogs? The name probably immediately conjures images of the green character who stole Christmas.
Well, that's precisely what we're talking about.
Officer Edith of San Francisco Animal Care & Control posted an image to Twitter that had the internet awash with discussion. It spawned multiple news stories and hundreds of comments from pet owners who had seen something similar in their own pets. Specifically, it was to do with Dr. Seuss style feet in dogs whose hair had gotten a little too long. The Internet then took it over and now refers to the feet as Grinch Feet.
So, what exactly are Grinch feet, and what do they mean for your pup? Should you cut Grinch feet in dogs or leave them alone? Read on for the answers.
What Are Grinch Feet in Dogs?
You've probably put two and two together already from the above photo. When the hair on your pup's feet starts to get excessively long, you could be mistaken for thinking that they're starring in a holiday season pantomime. Their paws turn into little furry slippers.
This happens quickly, too. Often, the fur on our pups' feet grows more quickly or noticeably than the hair on the rest of their bodies. This leaves us with the unique problem of them needing a puppy pedicure more frequently than their dog grooming appointments.
Should You Cut Grinch Feet in Dogs?
Unfortunately, as well as being cute, Grinch feet in dogs can become uncomfortable over time if left to grow. While some amount of fur is necessary for protection against the cold, too much can be a nuisance. It can cause debris and even snow to get caught between their toes, as well as giving them less traction when they're walking on slippery surfaces.
So, yes, you should absolutely trim the hair that's causing your dog's Grinch feet. This will allow them to be more comfortable, while reducing the chance of accidents or breakages occurring as a result of slipping around on wooden floors at home.
Should You Use Dog Grooming to Cut the Hair?
If you're confident in your ability to trim your own dog's hair, then there's no reason that you can't take care of their fur slippers. It should be no more difficult than keeping the rest of their body in-check.
Your dog's fur should be kept dry, and you can use a soft-bristled comb to gather the hairs into a uniform length that's easy to cut. Be sure to use the tips of your shears, which will help to avoid accidental injuries if your dog suddenly jerks away. Please be advised that we only recommend this if you know how! We want to avoid all injuries.
Remember, it's important for dogs to retain a little fur, so you shouldn't cut too short. Ideally, the hair should be trimmed back so that it's no longer than the paw itself. It should remain nestled over the gaps between their toes, offering enough protection for their digits during cold weather.
If you are not confident, do not attempt this. Please seek the assistance of a dog groomer who is comfortable handling and cutting a dog's hair. Safety first!
Which Dogs Get Grinch Feet?
Since Grinch feet are due to the length of fur, and not linked to some other genetic factor, they can appear in most long-haired breeds. If you own one of the following breeds of dog, then you might have to keep an eye out for this phenomenon:
- Shih Tzu
- Old English Sheepdog
Fortunately, it's an easily rectifiable situation with a quick trip to your usual dog grooming salon. And in the meantime, it's not going to cause them any serious or long-term problems, save for embarrassment when you spot the pitter-patter of their Grinch paws and have to stifle a laugh.
Does your pup have a nice set of Grinch feet? We want to see them!
Send over your pup's paw photos to email@example.com.