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What To Do If Your Dog Has a Cut Paw Pad

Your dog's paw pads are more challenging than the soles of your feet, but they can still get cuts and other injuries. Our team of vets in Denver will now explain the steps to take if your dog has a cut paw pad.

Your Dog's Paws

Your dog relies on healthy feet for their daily well-being, so it's crucial to ensure their paw pads stay in good condition. If you notice any cuts or tears on your dog's paw pad, promptly report them to your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will guide you on whether an immediate visit to the emergency animal hospital is necessary or if a regular examination will suffice. Furthermore, the veterinarian's staff can offer essential advice on how to care for your dog's injured foot until you can make it to the office.

What To Do If My Dog Has a Cut on His Paw Pad

Your dog's foot pads serve as a natural protective barrier for its internal foot structure. If your dog breaks one of its foot pads, you should promptly seek medical attention. Here are steps you can follow to aid in your dog's foot healing process.

Contact Your Vet

Your dog's daily well-being depends on healthy feet, so it's vital to maintain their paw pads in good condition. If you spot any cuts or tears on your dog's paw pad, inform your veterinarian promptly. Your veterinarian will advise you on whether you should immediately visit the emergency animal hospital or if a regular examination is enough. Additionally, the veterinarian's staff can provide crucial guidance on how to care for your dog's injured foot until you can reach their office.

Take a Close Look At the Injured Pad

Examine your dog's foot pad closely for signs of foreign objects, such as thorns or glass shards, as well as any debris like grass or gravel. You can safely remove loosely embedded debris using clean tweezers.

If your dog has a large piece of glass or other foreign object lodged in their foot, contact your nearest emergency vet immediately for advice on keeping your dog as comfortable as possible while transporting them to the emergency vet.

Clean The Cut

Pour a generous amount of warm, soapy water into a bowl or bucket. Gently immerse your pup's injured paw, allowing the water to cleanse the wound and dislodge any remaining debris. Follow this by rinsing the paw thoroughly with clear water.

Alternatively, consider using a vacuum to clean your dog's paw. Lightly mist the paw with clean water from a hose and simultaneously apply a small amount of dish soap or liquid hand soap. This will help eliminate bacteria as you rinse.

Another effective method for cleaning a cut on your dog's pad involves using an antiseptic solution like diluted chlorhexidine. Rinse the wound with this solution to ensure proper disinfection.

Control The Bleeding

Use a fresh cloth or towel to apply pressure to the paw pad, ensuring you've removed any foreign objects that could worsen the cut. A cold compress can slow the bleeding by narrowing the blood vessels in certain situations. Deep cuts may require more time to heal, while superficial grazes may not even bleed.

Assess The Severity of the Injury

Minor cuts and scrapes on your dog's paw pad can often be managed at home, but you will need to seek veterinary care for your pup for deeper cuts.

Take your dog to your veterinarian or the closest emergency veterinary hospital if the cut is deep, ragged, or has debris lodged in it. In certain situations, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to help fight infection and clean and dress serious cuts.


Use non-stick sterile gauze pads to cushion your dog's cut paw pad and absorb any blood, reducing your dog's pain while walking.

Wrap your pup's entire foot with a self-sticking bandage like Vetwrap or Well & Good to secure the gauze. You can find these wraps at the most well-stocked pet supply stores; some have a bitter flavoring to discourage your dog from chewing on them.

Wrap your dog's foot from toe to ankle to prevent the bandage from falling off and reduce toe swelling. Be mindful not to wrap it too tightly; it should stay in place but still allow you to fit two fingers between the bandage and your dog's skin.

See veterinary care if the bleeding persists despite applying the gauze and bandage.

Prevent Licking

Many customers inquire with us about allowing their dog to lick a cut paw. Excessive licking can cause infection and wound reopening, even though some licking can help kill bacteria at the site of the injury. It is not appropriate to allow your dog to lick his injured paw. Although bandaging the wound can help keep your dog from licking it, some dogs get so obsessed with licking it that you may need to get them an Elizabethan collar or another device while their cut paw pad heals.

Ongoing Care

Keeping the bandages clean and dry as your dog's wound heals will be critical. This can be difficult, but wearing a waterproof bootie or wrapping a plastic bag around your dog's foot and ankle whenever they go outside can help keep the cut clean and dry.

You should change your dog's bandage daily to avoid infection and allow you to examine the wound to ensure it is healing properly. If you notice any signs of swelling, excessive redness, discharge, odor, or increasing pain, take your pet to the veterinarian right away.

After removing the old bandage, gently clean the foot with warm, soapy water and thoroughly dry it before applying the new bandage.

By visiting the veterinarian as soon as your pet shows symptoms of infection, you can prevent the wound from getting worse and more painful. Along with giving your dog antibiotics to fight infection and painkillers to help him deal with the discomfort of a cut paw, your veterinarian will be able to clean the dog's paw pad thoroughly.

Final Word From Pets on Broadway Animal Hospital

The first aid measures mentioned above should not substitute for professional veterinary care. When it comes to your pet's health, it is advisable to exercise caution. If the wound is severe or if you are uncertain, take your dog to the veterinarian. Your veterinarian can treat your dog and give you specific wound care instructions.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog has a cut paw pad between its toes, contact our Denver vets for care. We can help your pet to heal and return to normal activities as quickly as possible.

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