How to Care for a Cut on the Paw Pad of a Dog

Updated April 17, 2017

The pads on a dog's paw are the toughest part of skin. Paw pads help absorb shock and pressure on joints while running, walking and jumping. An injury to a paw can include a laceration, a puncture wound, or a cracked pad. Your dog may favour the injured paw by limping, holding the paw off the ground, or constantly licking or chewing at the paw. Sometimes your dog may even whimper or cry out when trying to use the paw. Once a wound is found, follow these steps to clean the paw pad and help it heal.

Lay your dog in a comfortable position that allows you to check the paw pads. Wash the paw pad with a warm wash cloth to get a better look at the size of the wound.

Put a 1/3 cup of warm water into a spray bottle along with two to three squirts of antibacterial soap. Shake up the bottle to dissolve the soap and spray the mixture on the paw to clean the wound. Rinse with warm water.

Dry the pad by gently pressing a hand towel against the paw. Don't rub the paw because this will irritate the wound and can hurt your dog.

Apply a small amount of antibacterial ointment to the wound. Cover the wound with a bandage.

Change the bandage every two to three days because paw pads sweat and this moisture can slow down healing and cause infection. The wound should heal in three to four days.

Place an Elizabethan collar around your dog's neck if it constantly licks or tries to chew off the bandage.


If the cut on your dog's foot pad is deep and will not stop bleeding, have your vet check out the dog's paw pad.


Dogs that are in pain or that feel threatened can bite to defend themselves. Use a muzzle on your dog if they have a tendency to snap or bite when injured.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Warm water
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Bandage
  • Elizabethan collar
  • Wash cloth
  • Hand towel
  • Antibacterial ointment
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About the Author

Dawn Fuller is 32-years-old and has been a freelance writer for three years. Dawn's work has been featured on Associated Content and Dawn holds a diploma in Business Office Technology from West Georgia Technical College.