Care of dog pads - Tricks, tips and products


Dogs have pads on their feet that work as protection, just as we have the soles of our feet. In addition it also serves as a buffer during their races or walks. It is for this reason, because they serve as protection, that some wounds may arise on the dog's pads. A clear symptom that your dog has wounds in this area is if he constantly licks or bites his paws. It is better that you pay attention if this happens, because healing the animal soon means that you will not suffer major injuries in the future because they could be infected.

By Rodríguez Yanira

How to cure dog pads

As soon as you observe any strange behavior of your dog with its paws, go to the veterinarian so he can rule out any infection or to heal his wounds with proper treatment. But if you consider it to be something very slight, you can heal the wounds on the pads of the dog from home, although we always advise to see a specialist first.

If you have already identified a wound, and you don't know how to cure dog pads, you should know that if it has large cracks or is already hardened, your priority is to go to the veterinary clinic, since the wound is already in an advanced state and any pathological cause such as hyperkeratosis or pododermitis must be ruled out.

If they are superficial wounds or small cuts, it is normal that apply any ointment with healing function or some gel for burns, which work very well for wounds on the pads of dogs.

To get to this point, you have to follow a series of steps to disinfect the area and make healing successful:

Wash wounds, or the wound, with clean and preferably warm water.

If you can, cut the hairs that grow on the same pad, as these favor the accumulation of moisture and microorganisms could arise that would prevent proper healing.

Put some hydrogen peroxide on the pad and dry with gauze. It is very important that you do not do it with cotton because the fibers could remain in the pad causing some infection or slowing the healing.

Instead of hydrogen peroxide you can also use specific medical products for dogs, such as chlorhexidine digluconate, which is both gel and spray.

Apply healing cream or burn gel, what the veterinarian advises you.

The first days it is advisable to cover the area with a bandage of sterilized gauze to protect it, changing it about 2 times a day. After the first few days, leave the wounds in the air to dry properly and heal.

If you can not be watching your dog during the entire healing process, it is best to put an Elizabethan collar or any of its alternatives. You will prevent him from biting or licking the wounds and opening them again.

How long does it take to heal wounds on a dog's pads?

Healing wounds depends on the type they are, their severity and the care you give the animal. So that an exact healing time cannot be set, since it can take weeks, or even months for the most serious. This is information that the veterinarian can give you once you have done the first review of the wounds.

In addition to the ointments prescribed in the veterinary clinic, you can opt for some home remedies to complement creams and reduce recovery times, as long as the specialist agrees.

Some home remedies to heal the wounds on the pad of dogs that you can use are:

Coconut oil

This oil has many health benefits for your dog. And is that It has soothing, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and regenerating properties. If you mix 50 ml of coconut oil with 1 capsule of vitamin E you get a powerful ointment for burns or cuts on your dog's pad.

Possibly the best home remedy for healing scars. It has antiseptic, analgesic, moisturizing and regenerating properties. The pulp is what you will apply on your dog's pad, always cleaning it before. Better if you sell the leg with some gauze so that aloe vera is well absorbed.

It is also good for the skin because of its soothing, healing and antiseptic properties. They stimulate, in addition, tissue regeneration helping healing. Simply apply a thin layer of honey on the wound and then bandage the leg. This only works if you use pure honey.

How to protect the pads of dogs?

Avoid walking with your dog in places with debris or garbage in general, as it could step on some glass and cause injuries to the dog's pad. It is also not recommended that you walk through rocky terrain or with small stones. And above all, don't go for a walk with your dog in the hottest hours The ground will be too hot and could burn.

Apply these tips to avoid injuries to the pads of your dog. However, if these appear do not forget to cure them following the recommendations of your veterinarian.

The pads of the dogs

The pads of the dogs form the soles of their feet. Dogs have four digital pads and support three when walking. The one that is more delayed and is larger is the metacarpal. Something higher, the carpal pad, which serves as a brake. They all contain fat deposits which provide elasticity to absorb impacts when walking.

They also have sweat glands They help regulate the temperature and moisten the surface of the pads, avoiding cracks. Thus, they improve traction during walks and races. They also allow the marking of the territory with its smell. Therefore Dogs often rub their paws against the ground surface.

Temperature, ice or snow, water, mud, stones, etc., can generate cracks or wounds in the dog's pads, or even painful burns due to high temperatures that reach some soils, such as sand or city pavement. In addition, our dog can step on sharp objects or crystals.

Protectors for dog pads

In the market, there are numerous protectors for the pads of the dogs. You will find many creams to protect the plantar pads against irritations, wounds or effects caused by too high or low temperatures. Those that contain Gotu kola extract They are highly recommended, due to their great healing and anti-inflammatory power.

You will also find creams and sprays of aloe vera Y non-slip waxes protective

Some of the best known commercial creams are Adofilm, Adoquatro or Menforsan, but you should not abuse their use. Always consult your veterinarian to recommend the most appropriate treatment.

You can also use home remedies to treat your dog's pads.

For example, the vaseline or the olive oil They are effective moisturizing agents. The horse tail It stimulates the generation of collagen and is very effective in healing and strengthening the tissues of the pad. Before using any home remedy, it is important that you consult your veterinarian to ensure that the method used will not be harmful to your dog.

It is important hydrate the pads You can use one moisturizer at the end of the day, after the excursion, so that during the night it will penetrate the pads. But nevertheless, it is not convenient to abuse hydration. If your dog has no problems with the pads, do nothing. These should be elastic, but hard and rough to the touch.

If you are going to do great walks or abrasive terrain, such as different urban pavements or places with ice, snow, sand that may be too hot or lsheer places with sharp stones, it is convenient to use some special shoes or boots for dogs It is important that you choose them carefully, since there are many in the market of different qualities and prices, and you should look for the most suitable for the type of walks you do with your dog. Here we leave you a few that have very good ratings and have an economical price:

Also keep in mind that boots can cause chafing on their legs, especially on the fifth finger, so you should pay attention so that this does not happen or cure the chafing quickly as soon as it occurs.

Ask your veterinarian about the most recommended creams and protectors for your dog.

Wounds, cuts and scratches on the dog's pads

If your dog presents wounds or cuts that seem serious or deep, go to your veterinarian. In case of minor injuries, clean the area well with water, making sure remove dirt. Then apply an antibiotic cream that your veterinarian recommends. Protect the pad with a Chiffon and sell it carefully to prevent your dog from licking or reopening the wound. For any symptoms of infection, go to the veterinarian.

The burns and abrasions They are painful, since the pads are very sensitive. It is necessary to treat them with a suitable cream, usually with antibiotic, and bandage. Take it to your veterinarian to observe the burn and treat it properly. If you don't see burns but your dog has the pads too soft and sensitive to touch, hydrate them well. You may limp or walk strangely.

In winter, low temperatures can cause cracks on the pads of the dogs. The dryness It causes the pads to lose elasticity, so they cannot cushion the bumps and increases the likelihood of suffering injuries or infections that can be very painful.

You need to hydrate your dog's pads well to avoid this problem. Cracks can heal with betadine. Temperate salt water baths are very effective. Dilute enough salt in water. Salt is a great disinfectant. That's why seawater heals wounds so well.

You can apply it by gently cleaning the pads with gauze or by introducing the dog's legs for a few minutes in a bowl with warm and salt water. Pure petroleum jelly (without perfumes) is also very effective.

How to protect dog pads in summer

During the summer, dogs may suffer more problems in their pads, due to the high temperatures. In many cities, asphalt reaches very high temperatures, up to 70ºC. Also the sand on the beach absorbs a lot of heat. Do not take your dog in the hottest hours and before doing so, touch the ground. If it burns you, surely your pads will also burn.

To reduce the chances of your pads getting burned, it is better that avoid the hottest hours To go out with your dog. Better, take him for a walk in the early morning, late in the afternoon or at night.

In the hottest hours, it is better to take them to cool areas where they do not run the risk of burns or heat stroke. It is preferable to go to landscaped areas or with grass and grass, avoiding asphalt, sand and pavements and floors that absorb heat.

It is also important to make sure that no crystals or sharp objects on the ground and if we go to the mountain through stony ground, check its legs at the end of the day.

In this case, consider the possibility of wearing special boots, although it is possible that you do not get used to them or cause chafing, in which case it is better not to wear them.

Keep dog pads clean

Keeping the pads clean is another necessary step to protect them from cuts and infections. By checking and cleaning your pads, we remove the materials that have been left stuck or embedded. It is also very advisable to carefully trim the hair between the fingers.

In any case, providing our friend with the toilets he needs as part of his daily hygiene routine is another essential habit not only to take care of his health, but also to the good condition of his pads.

If the animal has a lot but, we will leave the one with the legs very short, especially the one between the fingers and the pads.

The 4 most frequent lesions on hunting dog pads

Being constantly exposed to blows, cuts and wear, pad injuries are very frequent in hunting dogs due to the activity they perform and the environment where it is carried out.

In addition, it is an especially sensitive area of ​​the animal, and if it is damaged the dog can not run, even walk. A dog that cannot move is not going to do much in the field.


The pad is a modified and very special part of the skin. This modification is aimed at fulfilling two main functions:

  1. The one to absorb and absorb the blows when walking and running.
  2. The other is to resist the abrasion of the constant contact and erosion of the legs against the ground.

For this, the superficial layers of the skin in this area have thickened, become harder and pigmented, giving rise to what we know as pads or pulps.

It is also interesting to highlight the areas between the pads, the spaces we call interdigitals, since they are formed by a skin with unique characteristics in the dog.

This skin is full of sweat glands, the only area of ​​the dog (along with the skin of the snout) where there are such glands. To put it simply and directly, Dogs don't sweat, they eliminate heat through panting, except between the fingers, where they can sweat.

This is important when planning bandages when we heal a leg injury.


There are several injuries that can occur in the pads of the country dogs, the most frequent being:

    Injuries: It is undoubtedly the most common cause of injuries in working dogs. They can be of different types, but again the most common are the cuts, something with which veterinarians have to l> They are usually produced by stepping on a sharp element, such as a sheet or glass.

They are more frequent when the ground is very wet or there is snow, because the pads become softer.

  • Erosions: also very frequent in working dogs, and are produced by a wear of the corneal surface layer of the pad. As I indicated at the beginning, this stratum is the ‘sole’ of the leg, which comes into contact with the ground.

If it is used a lot, or the floor is very abrasive, these soles wear out.

Unlike the cuts, they occur more frequently with very dry, hard and stone soils, especially when it is hot.

  • Burns: less frequent than other types of injuries, although they can be caused by heat (when walking on hot asphalt, for example) or by cold (when walking on ice at very low temperatures). They can be complicated injuries to heal that will take time.
  • Cracks: also infrequent but its origin should be checked, since very serious diseases, such as distemper, may be behind this symptomatology. Of course you have to correct the origin, but petroleum jelly usually helps improve these cracks.

We will focus on trauma and erosion, since, by far, they are the most common.

The treatment is usually simple but requires patience, since, as indicated at the beginning, the pad is a thick and hard tissue, which takes to renew.

As a first step, it should be wash the wound with soap and water to drag dirt and sand grains that are usually housed in these wounds in direct contact with the ground.

If the soap is disinfectant, much better.

Then it is convenient apply an antibiotic ointment or gel, and protect the wound for a few days. It also helps a lot to apply ointments with scars, like the Asian sparkle (ointment like Blastoestimulina, from human, or Ado Film from veterinary medicine, for example) that significantly accelerates the healing time.

It is convenient bandage wounds, because it creates the ideal environment for the formation of the new tissue (a very delicate and easily damaged tissue), which aims to fill the wound and heal it. But the bandage has the disadvantage that "recovers" the wound.

As indicated, the dog 'sweat' for the legs, so the bandages should be changed frequently and replaced with a sock - for example - as soon as possible. The sock has the advantage that it allows perspiration, but still keeps the wound protected from dirt.

Wear erosions They are also very frequent. I remember that I used to spend a full week in Ávila, in the middle of winter, hunting with my teckels. We used to hunt all day, from sun to sun, for 7 days in a row.

Badly damaged pads

With how active these small dogs are, within a few days they had worn the pads and were so lame that they could barely walk. But I had to keep hunting, so I had to resort to a system taught by a pastor. He bandaged the legs with several layers, first gauze, cohesive bandage and finally a strong bandage of insulating tape or American tape.

This allowed the dogs to continue hunting without pain, and if every so often it reinforced the tape, the bandage endured all day. Something similar can be done with the cuts, and it also usually works.

The bandage with American tape allowed the dogs to continue hunting, but also had to heal wounds effectively.

Again you can use an old system that still works very well, the brine.

A brine is a dilution of salt until saturation, that is, until it can no longer be diluted.

In a brine, which should be done with warm water, never too hot, the dog's leg is introduced and left there for a while.

Brine has several very interesting properties: it is a natural disinfectant, it helps healing and hardens the pads.

Juan J. García Estévez

Wounds on the dog's pads

In case we discover any wound or irritation on the pads, we must prevent our dog from sucking them. We can use an Elizabethan necklace.

We can use chlorhexidine, a disinfectant used by veterinarians and sold as a spray to spray on the wound.

Fifth finger protection

Dog boots can cause chafing and discomfort. Generally this problem occurs in the fifth finger and the cause is usually that the booty squeezes too much. We have to make sure that the size and pressure of the boot is adequate and that our dog has become well accustomed to it.