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About Sore Paws in Dogs

Updated November 21, 2016

Dogs tend to do things without much complaint. An astute owner can recognise slight changes in her canine's behaviour, however, which could indicate pain. Dogs of all shapes and sizes experience sore paws occasionally. As long as the dog goes outside, he runs the risk of developing sore paws sometimes in his life.

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Sore dog paws happen for many reasons. Seasonal severities like extremely hot rocks or cement in the summer can hurt exposed paws, as can ice and de-icing salt in the winter. Also, dogs walking on rough terrain can sometimes cut themselves on sharp rocks or even broken glass and garbage on the ground.


Dogs have no real foot protection. Although paw pads provide a bit more protection for than the soles of human feet, dogs essentially walk outside with bare feet every day. This can lead to sore paws. In the winter, for example, their paws can dry up and crack. They also can chap in severely cold weather. Then, de-icing chemicals irritate the already cracked paws and can cause infection, according to ProfessorsHouse.com.


Since dogs can't talk, owners must recognise the signs of sore paws without verbal language. Constant paw licking represents one of the first signs of soreness. As the pain progresses a bit more, the dog may limp or avoid walking, according to NativeRemedies.com.


Since walking on their feet is a necessity for dogs, soreness and injury to the area tend to heal very slowly. Owners should try to keep dogs off of rough surfaces and bandage up paws with open sores. They should make sure to change those bandages often and check to make sure each day shows some wound improvement and healing.

Prevention and Solution

There are things you can do to prevent your dog from getting sore or cut paws. One option is to put dog bootees on your dog if you plan on taking him on rough terrain or if you have to expose him to de-icing chemicals. Another option is paw wax, which helps protect existing cuts and prevents chapping and cracking during the winter months, according to DogPro.com.

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About the Author

Kendra Dahlstrom
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