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How to care for a dog's sore paw

Updated February 21, 2017

A dog can get a sore paw for a variety of reasons. Yeast infections, cuts or scrapes, grooming mishaps or dry, cracked pads can cause your canine to lick its paws or limp. Take a closer look at the paw to see if you can determine the cause. Treatments are available that relieve paw pain, and that will usually restore your dog to health.

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  1. Treat itchy paws and abscessed nail beds by soaking your pet's paw in warm water and Epsom salts. Mix 1/2-cup Epsom salts in one gallon of warm water until the salt is dissolved. Soak the affected paw for 10 minutes, two or three times a day. Never allow your dog to drink the salt water, because it has a laxative effect.

  2. Treat dry or cracked paw pads with healing lotion or ointment such as a hydrocortisone cream. You can also use a paw wax product for canines. Gently massage the wax onto the pads and between the toes for healing benefits, and to prevent additional cracking and drying. Paw wax also provides an antiskid effect for dogs that live in a home with smooth floors.

  3. Bathe irritated or sore paws with a solution of 50-percent hydrogen peroxide and 50-percent water two or three times a day.

  4. Treat a paw with a bee sting with a paste made from water and baking soda. Remove the stinger and apply the paste. Allow the paste to remain for 30 minutes to help relieve pain and swelling. Rinse away the paste with lukewarm water.

  5. Treat a yeast infection of the paws by bathing them with a sulphur-based shampoo or soap a couple of times per week. If yeast is an ongoing problem, add 1/4 cup of yoghurt to your dog's daily diet, along with powdered acidophilus. Consult your veterinarian for the proper amount for your dog's weight.

  6. Tip

    Purchase and use dog bootees to protect a paw that is healing from a cut or a sore. Keep your dog's nails trimmed to a reasonable length. Trim your dog's nails with caution to avoid cutting the quick and causing a tender paw. Keep your dog off of its feet as much as possible while healing.


    Avoid rugged or rough terrain and sharp objects that can be hazardous to your dog's paws. Profuse bleeding or pus coming from the paws requires veterinarian attention.

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About the Author

Amie Taylor has been a writer since 2000. Book reviews, gardening and outdoor lawn equipment repair articles and short fiction account for a handful of her published works. Taylor gained her gardening and outdoor equipment repair experience from working in the landscaping and lawn-care business she and her husband own and operate.

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