Sores On My Dog’s Paws Causes & Treatment

How To Treat Sores On My Dog's Paws:

Pets are delightful and could be an important part of one’s life. Their playful and loyal nature makes them even more indispensable at times. But as living organisms, there looms the possibility of sickness and injury. Due to their inability to speak as humans do, it might be difficult to notice their problems. Their reactions and general behavior may speak as loud as anyone may; if so, pet owners must be careful observers and take to notice any strange reactions from their beloved pets.

The paws of any animal including pets like cats or dogs are the thickest or toughest of its skin. The paws function like a shock absorber of a vehicle as it sucks up the abrasion, friction and pressure from movements. Like a vehicle’s shock absorber may get damaged, the paws of a dog may get injured. These injuries can affect the movement and vigor of a dog.

Hence, it is advised that regular paw care be included in the routine of an owner. The paws should be well cleaned after each outdoor session, to prevent the stay of mud and dirt which may cause infections if their stay on its paws is prolonged. This article will discuss the symptoms, causes and treatment of sores on a dog’s paws.

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What Could Be Wrong with My Dog’s Paws?

The paws are just like any other part of a dog’s skin. The only difference is it hardiness. Like sores on any part of a dog’s skin, are those on the paws.

When a dog is bleeding from its paws, limping instead of walking or running, refraining from placing a paw on the ground; those are quick symptoms to indicate a sore or injury on a dogs’ paw.

Sometimes, customary behaviors like liking and chewing if done excessively could be symptoms of a sore paw. Some signs like discoloration especially hidden in dogs whose paws possess excessively dark pigmentation. Hair thinning or loss, red or blistered paws as well as cracked or torn nails may also be symptoms of a sore paw.

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While an owner may worry about these symptoms, and want to make out what might be the cause of the problem, it would be wise not to panic or handle the dog carelessly. An already pained dog might feel further threatened even by its owner regardless of its social prowess or manners and bite in defense.

It is advised to muzzle such a dog in order to protect one from a bite while trying to identify an injury and also take caution in handling the dog; the presumed injured area should be especially prioritized.

How Am I Sure It Is A Sore On My Dog's Paw?

Some might doubt if it is a sore or a fracture around the dogs’ legs after noticing the symptoms above. Basically, careful examination is the best way to detail the problem of a pet. If a dog displays any of the symptoms above, the owner should carefully examine its paws.

What Are The Causes Of Sores On A Dog's Paw?

There are quite some things that could cause sores on the paws. While some are out of total negligence or carelessness, others are quite unavoidable. Here are things that cause or lead to sores on the paws of a dog.

Distinctive causes of paw injuries include:

Dry or cracked foot pads, abrasion, cut, scratched or torn foot pads, pricked foot pads, blistered or burnt foot pads and foreign objects such as dirt, mud or thorns amid the toes.

Cuts Or tears:

A cut is the most common form of injury on any part of the skin. Since a dog’s paw is always on the ground, it is the most likely part of the skin to sustain a cut. Sharp objects on the ground can cut or tear a dog’s foot pads.


In as much as the paws are tough, scratches may be sustained while going for a walk on an unfamiliar ground. A rough terrain or stony area is just enough to scratch a dog’s paw.

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Nails, bottles and things like these are capable of piercing through the toughest part of a dog’s skin. Pricked foot pads are one of the most common causes of sores on a dog’s paw.


A dog’s paw absorbs all the friction, strain and pressure generated from movements. Due to this, the paws of a dog can be scratched, get wounded or blister as a result of rubbing between surfaces.


As known, accidents are unforeseen occurrences that may take place at any time. Therefore, a dog may mistakenly step on hot substances like hot liquids or pans. In fact, hot concrete or tarred floors and hot sands may also burn a dog’s paws.

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Foreign Objects Lurking Between The Toes:

When walking a dog through a bushy part, things like small thorns may find their way in to the tight spaces between a dog’s toes. Mud and other forms of dirt that have stayed between the toes of a dog may cause friction while moving which may result in a scratch.

Dry or Cracked Pads:

Dogs’ pads are naturally humidified to enhance its absorbance. When the foot pads become dry, they may crack or tear.

Skin Diseases:

Diseases such as Mange can cause sores on any part of a dog’s skin including its paws.

Human error:

This is a much underestimated cause of sores on a pet. A good deal wonder how. During nail grooming sessions, cutting of a dog’s nail or its quick may result in sores on a dog’s paw. Rashness or laxity on the part of an owner as regards the general safety of a dog and its welfare can lead to sores or injuries on any part of the dog’s skin including its paws.

How Can I Treat A Sore On My Dog’s Paws?

Due to the attachment, an owner might immediately want to administer treatments to his/her pet as soon as the problem is noticed. While this is normal, it is advised to visit the vet if the problem persists after a first aid or self administered treatment. These treatments should be administered based on the presumed cause of the sore, level of the injury and progress should be monitored afterwards.

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Treating Cuts, Pricks And Tears:

A cut not regarding the depth may result in serious bleeding because of the immense amount of blood vessels contained in the paws. Immediately after a cut, the foremost step is to look out for materials that might have cut the dog like glass, nails, or any other foreign material which may be lurked inside the skin.

The next is stopping the bleeding by running cool water on the paw while applying pressure with a clean cloth on the cut. The use of ice on the wound to clot the blood is also recommended. The bleeding should stop within 5-15 minutes; after which, preventing the dog from walking on that paw should be done.

A light bandage might be tied around the cut which should be changed every 2-3 days. An Elizabethan collar may also be used to avert the occurrence of a dog trying to chew or lick its bandage.

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Treating Abrasions And Scratches:

An anti-bacterial wash or hydrogen peroxide should be used to clean the injury and thereafter a light bandage may be tied around it.

Treating Burns And Blisters:

A flap of the dog’s foot pads may be loose or blistered displaying a red scrap beneath it. An antibacterial wash or hydrogen peroxide should be used to clean the scrap carefully in order not to cut the flap and then be bandaged along with the flap till it the healing process is finished. If the loose flap is quite big, it is best to trim or wait for it to pull out before applying the above treatment.

Dry Or Cracked Pads:

When the foot pad’s become dry, all forms of foreign materials may be loomed in there. These materials must be cleaned thoroughly and foot washing with soap, water and antibacterial should be done. Afterwards, foot pads’ creams for the purpose of moisturizing the paws may be applied.

Skin Diseases:

Dogs should be kept clean and a regular visit to the vet will also be of effect.

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How Can I Prevent A Sore On My Dog's Paws?

The best treatment for any wound is preventing it in the first place. Routine foot washing and grooming which includes the application of foot pads’ creams will prevent dry or cracked paws.

To reduce the risk of burns, long distance walking during hot periods may be avoided as well as thorough foot care after each outdoor session. During nail grooming sessions, nails should be cut carefully to prevent the occurrences of over cutting.

My Dog Has Paw Sore, Do I Need To Go See A Vet?

Well, the decision to do this must be taken by the dog owner as regards the circumstances. While the dog’s injuries may heal following the application of a first aid or self administered treatment, it is advised to contact the vet following any injury.

A visit to the vet may not be necessary, but listening to the experienced advice of a vet is surely of good help. Some cuts are quite manageable but others may be too deep and might require a stitch, in such cases going to the vet is the best option for the dog after a first aid treatment.

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Nevertheless, instructions or recommendations from the vet must be followed strictly to achieve best results.


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