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How to treat a dog with sore paws

Updated July 20, 2017

Dog paws take much abuse through the years. Many basic elements can prove hazardous to canine companions (glass, splinters, rocks, thorns, heat, jagged edges.) While paws are thick and tough as well as designed to handle many things, the interior between the pads is delicate. Despite attempting to protect this important region, there are times paws become injured. By taking the proper steps to care for canine paws, recovery after an injury can be simplified.

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  1. Tell your pet you are going to check their paw. This eliminates fearful reactions such as (pulling, nipping or potential bites.) Roll dog on to their back or side, and rub stomach to relax them. Lift injured paw and gently separate pads. Examine the area. Use tweezers to remove any items causing discomfort. Apply ointment if inflammation is visible. Wrap with bandage if bleeding occurs (dog boot, child sock, gauze, medical tape.) Use double bandaging for added protection if dog is exposed to rough weather conditions (snow, wet, rocky terrain.) Check with veterinarian if injury appears extreme.

  2. Check to see if dog is in pain or walking in an unusual manner. Maintain paw by examining often to ensure paws and surrounding areas remain clean. Apply antibiotic ointment (100 per cent aloe vera) if pads are cracked or damaged to reinforce healing. Reissue application one to two times daily. Watch for healing to prevent over-application of ointment thus causing pad softening.

  3. Rinse pet paws with warm water after walks. Dry with hand towel to remove excess water.

  4. Place warm water in squeeze bottle. Add 1.5 tsp salt. Shake for five seconds. Rinse paw carefully. Dry with hand towel. Apply antibiotic ointment. Wrap with gauze or vet-wrap. Saline solution may also be used to cleanse irritated area.

  5. Place 3 tbsp water in small bowl. Add one drop tea tree oil. Stir for three to five seconds. Use cosmetic sponge to apply to irritated areas between pads. This is an ideal natural remedy for treating sore areas and wounds. It contains anti-fungal and antiseptic ingredients.

  6. Tip

    Give pet paws a thorough rinsing to remove potential chemicals utilised in ice melting products. This can easily become embedded between pads. Limit pet activity when pads are injured. If living in states with severe winter weather watch for cracked pads.


    Salt from roads or sidewalks can cause pain to cracked pads. When using ointments use only those safe for pets if ingested (100 per cent aloe gel.)

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Things You'll Need

  • Cosmetic sponge
  • Dog boot
  • Child sock
  • Tweezers
  • Bandage (gauze, vet-wrap, medical tape)
  • Antibiotic cream (100 per cent aloe vera gel)
  • Water
  • Hand towel
  • Squeeze bottle
  • Salt
  • Small bowl
  • Tea tree oil
  • Cooking utensil (spoon, fork, whisk)

About the Author

Swannee Rivers

Swannee Rivers has been a writer for more than 20 years and has published numerous literary works and articles. Swannee holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Washington.

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