Treatments for Dog Paw Injuries

Treatments for Dog Paw Injuries

Dog paw injuries are so common.  Dogs can step on a bee, a thorn, or get it caught anywhere.  Plus, your dog's paw can become inflamed from allergies and your dog's constant licking on his paw. Foot pad injuries in dogs  range from , blisters, burns, ulcers, abrasions, tears, punctures and lacerations. When they walk outside be careful which surface they walk.Concrete  heats up quickly during warm or hot weather. Rock, gravel and sand can also injure the foot pads.
The common clinical signs of dog paw injuries are limping, licking at the foot or bleeding. To treat mild abrasions at home,  gently rinse the affected foot under cool water to remove any debris, followed by the application an antibacterial ointment or solution. Use a reliable wound care solution that does not interfere with the wound healing process. Products such as Neosporin can also be used.

Finally, place a non-stick telfa pad over the foot pad(s) and lightly wrap with vet wrap or an ace bandage. The bandage should be kept clean and dry and changed daily until the pads have healed.  Wound boots are a good solution to keep the paw dry and clean and prevent the licking because they are designed to stay on and make sure your dog can't pull it off his paw. Though some foot pad injuries cannot be prevented, avoiding rough, jagged or hot surfaces as well as protective foot wear can be helpful.

You can use WagSafely's Dog & Leg Ligament Wrap to stop the licking with Grannick's Bitter Apple Spray. 

 "Why does my dog lick his paw so much?"

Paw Licking is part of a normal dog’s grooming behavior. It only becomes a problem when your pet does it in excess or carries it to the extreme.
When your pet licks and nibbles its front paws and forearms excessively, it is either do to paw irritation or it has become a way for your pet to deal with boredom and stress. 
Certain breeds are more prone to  paw problems such as : Labrador retrievers, terriers of all kinds, poodles, Chihuahuas and Maltese. White and blond-haired breeds may not be more prone to paw licking but when they do have the problem, their saliva discolors their paw fur and makes it more apparent.
Dog from working breeds are more likely to relieve stress through overgrooming and paw licking such as; greyhounds, dalmatians, and cattle dogs.  When only one paw of your dog is being licked, the problem is almost always in that paw. It could be a broken toenail or one worn too short or left so long that it curls. It could be a thorn or splinter in the pad or a burr lodged between the toes or a footpad cut by some sharp object. It could be a bone in the foot that had been fractured or arthritis affecting a single joint. In older dogs, it might be a skin tumor. It could be that an interdigital (between the toes) abscess has formed on that foot.

Anything more serious than a superficial abrasion should be treated by your veterinarian as foot pads do not heal like regular skin.

What Are The Most Common Causes ?


The most common  allergy that triggers dog -paw-licking are the ones to things that you dog inhales – probably the same ones that would cause hay fever in you. Grass pollen is high on the list, as are mold spores, weed and tree pollen. Dust mites, cockroaches and cat dander can be the culprits too. It is quite unusual for a dog to only lick its paws due to allergies. When allergies are the root cause of the problem, with time, the dog’s whole body, particularly its flanks also become itchy and other problems, like musty odor, hair loss, excessive shedding, ear infections and matter at the inner corners of the eye are likely to occur as well. Although the problem often begins seasonally, it usually progresses to a year round problem.

Contact Allergies and Irritants

 If the problem is worse when you return from the yard or a walk, it's due to contact allergies Does a foot rinse basin alleviate the problem? Did the problem begin when you started using some cleaning or odor control product or moved to a new home?

Persistently wet paws, either from a damp environment or from excessive sweating, will eventually cause paw infections and inflammation.

Food Allergies 

Food allergies are rarely the cause of paw licking. They are not nearly as common in dogs as some believe. The fact that a blood test determined that your pet was “sensitive” to some meat protein or grain product does not make these hypoallergenic products much more likely to be helpful.


The second most common cause of excessive paw licking are fleas, although some veterinarians might consider them to be at the very top of the list.

A common cause of paw licking is the generalized itchiness and staph infections that go along with a flea problem – fleas themselves are rare on the paws. The fact that no fleas or flea dirt are found on your pet is no guarantee that fleas are not the cause or a contribution to the paw-licking problem. That is because the itching resulting from a fleabite, or even the presence of a flea that did not bite, go on for a long time after the flea has left. Even if fleas are not the cause of your pet’s licking, they may well make a low level problem much worse. So no matter what the final diagnosis, they are something you need to combat or prevent. It can be the flea’s mere presence that stimulates licking and itching, or your pet may have a true allergy to flea saliva.

Boredom And Individual Temperament

Self-grooming is the natural way that dogs pass the time when they are not concentrating on other matters. Dogs spend most of their time searching for food, interacting with their pack & cleaning their bodies after the hunt. Your dog has much more time on its hands than its  ancestors ever did. You will need to fill that extra time with non-destructive activities if you want your pet to remain healthy. One way is to make mealtime more challenging with puzzle feeders, multiple small meals or feeders that dispense only small portions at a time.

A whole science has sprung up that concentrates on ways to relieve dog boredom. It is called environmental enrichment and interactive dog toys helps dogs manage their boredom and helps them look for treats in a constructive manner

Work with your vet to help determine the cause of the allergy and they can help you find the best way to treat it.  We can help educate you about the problem but your vet can find the solution.


  • Darren

    Hi my chocolate labrador keep having a sore like appearance on her top paw just above her toes. My vet thinks it could becsome sort of foreign body stuck I’m her paw but I am not convinced. He is hesitant about operating so what do you suggest. Can I send you a photo of the issue. It is really weird as it went away but now has come back with a vengeance. Thanks Darren

  • Sean

    My maltesse has recently hurt his front left paw while chasing his ball in the park. I believe he may have torn his nail and could have injured his toe. It bleed briefly. Today a week later he jumps walks and runs fine but he wont stop licking it. Im hoping you may be able to shed some light on why hes doing this? Could it be injured more than we know or is it just itching from healing? Who knows? But hes licking it into red ,swollen and raw state. What do i do?

  • Top Dog

    Sometimes paw licking is a sign of anxiety and some vets think that if could be linked to lower back pain if your dog is a puller.
    We have anti-lick strips with natural ingredients that might help. We also use the pawkz dog bootie to stop licking

  • Anna Picket

    That makes sense that my dog could easily get hurt while walking around outside. We will have to be more careful when we go on walks together. Since he’s only licking one paw, maybe we should take him to the vet to see if he’s allergic to something.

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