Common Paw Issues That Affect Your Dog

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By LITTLE PUPPY PAWS | April 18, 2023
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Paw health is an essential aspect of canine health and well-being. A dog’s paws are one of their most important body parts, allowing them to move around and engage in physical activity. But what are the common issues that affect your dog’s paws?

Paws are an essential part of a dog’s anatomy, and as such, they are vulnerable to various conditions and issues that can affect their health and well-being. Some issues include cracked or dry paws, cuts and wounds, ingrown nails, and allergies.

What Different Paw Problems Can Your Dog Encounter?

By being aware of the common paw issues and taking steps to prevent and treat them, you can help ensure that your dog’s paws remain healthy and pain-free. Regular inspections, proper hygiene, and appropriate veterinary care are key to maintaining paw health for your furry friend.

Nail Problems

Grown-out toenails: are common and can cause several issues for your dog. It may make walking your dog more difficult. When a dog’s toes come into contact with hard ground, the hard surface forces the nail back up into the nail bed, causing pain and strain on the dog’s foot joints. Long nails also increase your dog’s chances of developing a fractured or torn nail. You can use banana treats to ensure your dog gets enough healthy proteins.

Ingrown Toenails: Ingrown toenails can be painful if they are not properly cut or are not naturally worn down by walking outside.

Torn Nails: When your dog’s toenail catches on something, it tears or fractures. When a dog comes in from outside, limping and frequently bleeding, an injured nail is discovered upon closer inspection. Torn and a veterinarian should treat fractured nails because they are extremely painful and frequently bleed. Torn nails can also cause dog foot infections.

Zinc Deficiency

Many conditions, including allergic reactions, internal illness, and the simple formation of calluses from frequent walking or running on hard surfaces, can cause your dog’s paw pads to harden and crack.

A poor diet, particularly one low in zinc, is a lesser-known cause of poor paw condition. This issue appears more prevalent in Huskies and Malamutes than in other breeds. If not treated promptly, zinc deficiencies can lead to other issues, such as chronic digestive problems and organ damage.

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, consult your veterinarian about her diet. Discuss any nutritional supplements your dog is taking, as these may be interfering with zinc absorption.

Infections Caused by Fungi and Bacteria

If your dog licks and chews her paws regularly, or if you notice any redness, swelling, or drainage from her feet, she may have a fungal or bacterial infection.

The skin between the toes is frequently affected, so check those areas and the larger paw pad area.

These infections could result from an allergy, so taking your dog to the vet for a consultation will help solve the mystery and allow the doctor to prescribe the appropriate treatment.


Pests are notorious for hiding between a pet’s paws, where they can cause a wide range of issues, including illness and suffering. It is preferable to have the tick removed by a veterinarian. If you can’t get to the vet, gently remove the tick by grabbing it by the head with tweezers or professional tick removal equipment. Mites can infest pets’ paws, causing scaling, hair loss, and swelling. Your veterinarian will need to perform tests to detect and treat mites.

How to Address Paw Problems in Dogs?

Paw problems can be a source of discomfort and pain for dogs. Here are some steps to address paw problems in dogs:

  1. Identify the problem: The first step in addressing paw problems is to identify the issue. Look for signs of discomfort, limping, swelling, redness, or discharge. If the issue is not obvious, it’s best to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.
  2. Keep paws clean and dry: Regularly cleaning and drying your dog’s paws can help prevent infections or irritation. Use mild soap and warm water to clean the paws and dry them thoroughly.
  3. Protect paws: If your dog has a paw condition, such as a cut or wound, it’s essential to protect the affected paw from further damage. This can be done by using a protective boot or sock.
  4. Trim nails: Long nails can cause discomfort and pain, making it difficult for dogs to walk or run properly. Trim your dog’s nails regularly to keep them at a safe and comfortable length.
  5. Apply ointment: If your dog has a cut or wound on their paw, an antibiotic ointment can help prevent infection and promote healing. Make sure to keep the paw clean and dry.
  6. Use paw balms: Paw balms or moisturizers can help keep your dog’s paws healthy and hydrated, preventing issues such as dry or cracked paws.
  7. Seek veterinary care: If your dog’s paw problem persists or worsens, seek veterinary care. Your veterinarian can provide appropriate treatment, such as medication or surgery, if necessary.

In conclusion, addressing paw problems in dogs requires a combination of preventative measures and appropriate treatment. Regularly inspecting and caring for your dog’s paws can help prevent issues, while seeking veterinary care when necessary can ensure that any problems are properly addressed.