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What To Do If Your Dog Has a Cut Paw Pad

While the pads of your dog's paws are much tougher than the bottoms of your feet, they can still suffer from cuts and other injuries. Our Pflugerville vets and team explain what you should do if your dog has a cut paw pad.

Your Dog's Paws

The purpose of the pads on your dog's feet was to protect the internal structure of the foot by nature. You have to provide immediate medical attention if your dog breaks one of its footpads. The following are some things you can do to help your dog's foot heal.

What to do if my dog has a cut on his paw pad?

Despite the thick and rubbery nature of your dog's foot pads, painful cuts, tears, burns, or puncture wounds can still cause damage to them. If your dog has an injury to its paw pad, you can help by doing the following.

Contact Your Vet

Your dog's feet are essential to their everyday existence and need to be in good health to keep them active and content. Report any cuts or tears to your dog's paw pad to your veterinarian right away. If you need to take your pet to the emergency animal hospital or if an examination is sufficient, your veterinarian can advise you both. Additionally, your veterinarian's staff might be able to provide you with crucial guidance on how to treat your dog's foot until you can visit the office.

Take a Close Look At the Injured Pad

Take a close look at your dog's foot pad to look for any indications of objects stuck in the wound, like a thorn or a piece of glass, as well as any debris, grass, or gravel. Debris that is loosely embedded can be carefully removed with 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 what to do to keep your dog as comfortable as possible while transporting them to the emergency vet.

Clean The Cut

Add a good amount of soapy warm water to a bowl or bucket and swish your pup's foot around to clean the wound and help dislodge any remaining debris. Rinse with clear water.

Alternatively, you could vacuum and clean your dog's paw by lightly misting it with clean water from a hose. Squirt a tiny bit of dish soap or liquid hand soap onto your dog's paw as you rinse to aid in the destruction of bacteria.

Another good way to clean a cut on your dog's pad is to rinse the wound with an antiseptic such as diluted chlorhexidine solution.

Control The Bleeding

Using a fresh cloth or towel, apply pressure to the paw pad after removing any foreign objects that might aggravate the cut. In certain situations, a cold compress can help to slow the bleeding by narrowing the blood vessels. Deep cuts might take some time to heal, but superficial grazes might not even bleed.

Assess The Severity of the Injury

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

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 in addition to cleaning and dressing serious cuts.


Use non-stick sterile gauze pads to cushion the bottom of your dog's cut paw pad and to absorb any blood. This should also help to decrease your dog's pain when walking on the foot.

Wrap your pup's entire foot in a self-sticking bandage, such as Vetwrap or Well & Good, to help keep the gauze in place. These wraps are available at most well-stocked pet supply stores, and some brands are even coated in bitter flavoring to deter your dog from chewing on the bandage.

The bandage will stay in place and the toes won't swell if you wrap your dog's feet from toe to ankle. It is important to note that the bandage should not be wrapped too tightly, but it should be tight enough to stay in place. Between the bandage and your dog's skin, you should be able to fit two fingers.

If bleeding does not slow and stops once the gauze and bandage have been applied it's time to head to the vet for care.

Should I let my dog lick his cut paw pad?

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 injury site. 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

It will be critical to keep the bandages clean and dry as your dog's wound heals. 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 to allow you to examine the wound to ensure that 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.

Taking your pet to the veterinarian as soon as an infection appears can help prevent the wound from getting worse and more painful. In addition to 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 thoroughly clean the cut paw pad.

Final Word

First aid measures listed above are not a replacement for quality veterinary care. It is wise to err on the side of caution when it comes to your pet's health. Take your dog to the veterinarian if the wound is severe or if you are not sure if it is. In addition to treating your dog, your veterinarian can provide you with 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 Pflugerville vets for care. We can help your pet to heal and return to normal activities as quickly as possible.

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Pfennig Lane Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Pflugerville companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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