Water dogs usually have webbed feet. The webbing between their toes aids them in moving water faster, increasing the speed and strength of their stroke, and also allows them to close the toe area to decrease water resistance. The most well-known water-dog breeds are Newfoundlands, Labrador retrievers and Portuguese water dogs.
Basic canine-paw anatomy is the same across breeds, but different dogs have different shapes. Most dogs have "cat" feet, where the third digital bone is short and results in a compact shape that conserves energy and preserves stamina. Others have "hare" feet, elongated paws with two long center toes and two short side toes. These paws are more delicate and narrower than either cat or webbed paws. Some dogs are born with dewclaws, or a fifth toe on the inner paw. However, breeders sometimes remove this claw to prevent it from catching on objects and causing injury.
Dog paws are exposed to a high number of debris and sharp objects. To prevent injury and infection, always check for hazardous objects and inspect the paws for cuts, irritation or broken toenails. Trim the nails regularly to prevent cracked nails. During the winter, rock salt and chemical ice melters can cause pain, irritation and blisters.