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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 Seymour 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

Although your dog's footpads are thick and rubbery, they can be damaged by painful cuts, tears, burns, or puncture wounds. Here's what you can do to help if your dog's paw pad is injured.

Contact Your Vet

Your dog's feet are essential to their daily existence and must be in good condition to keep them active and content. If you notice any cuts or tears in your dog's paw pad, contact your veterinarian right away. Your veterinarian can advise you on whether you should take your pet to an emergency animal hospital or if an examination will suffice. Furthermore, your veterinarian's staff may be able to give you important advice on how to treat your dog's foot until you can visit the office.

Take a Close Look At the Injured Pad

Examine your dog's paw pad for any signs of objects embedded in the wound, such as a thorn or a piece of glass, as well as any debris, grass, or gravel. Debris that is loosely embedded can be carefully removed using 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

In a bowl or bucket, add a generous amount of soapy warm water and swish your dog's foot around to clean the wound and remove any remaining debris. Rinse with clear water.

Alternatively, you could vacuum your dog's paw and lightly mist it with clean water from a hose. Squirt a small amount of dish soap or liquid hand soap onto your dog's paw as you rinse to help destroy bacteria.

Another effective method for cleaning a cut on your dog's pad is to rinse the wound with an antiseptic, such as diluted chlorhexidine solution.

Control The Bleeding

After removing any foreign objects that may aggravate the cut, apply pressure to the paw pad with a clean cloth or towel. In some cases, a cold compress can help to slow bleeding by narrowing the blood vessels. Deep cuts may require some time to heal, whereas superficial grazes may not even bleed.

Assess The Severity of the Injury

Minor cuts and scrapes on your dog's paw pad can often be treated at home, but deeper cuts require veterinary care for your pooch.

If your dog's cut is deep, ragged, or contains debris, take him to your veterinarian or the nearest emergency veterinary hospital. In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to combat infection in addition to cleaning and dressing serious cuts.


Use non-stick sterile gauze pads to cushion and absorb any blood from your dog's cut paw pad. This should also help to alleviate your dog's discomfort when walking on his foot.

Wrap your dog's entire foot in a self-sticking bandage to help the gauze stay in place. These wraps can be found at most well-stocked pet supply stores, and some brands are even coated in bitter flavoring to keep your dog from chewing on the bandage.

Wrapping your dog's feet from toe to ankle will keep the bandage from falling off and prevent toe swelling. Keeping this in mind, the bandage should only be wrapped tightly enough to stay in place. There should be enough space between the bandage and your dog's skin for two fingers.

If the bleeding does not slow or stop after the gauze and bandage are applied, it is time to see a veterinarian.

Should I let my dog lick his cut paw pad?

Many customers ask us about allowing their dog to lick a cut paw. Excessive licking can lead to infection and wound reopening. Although bandaging the wound can help keep your dog from licking it, some dogs become so obsessed with licking it that you may need to provide them with an Elizabethan collar or another device while their cut paw pad heals.

Ongoing Care

It is critical to keep the bandages clean and dry while 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 when they go outside can help keep the wound clean and dry.

You should change your dog's bandage on a daily basis to prevent infection and allow you to examine the wound to ensure that it is healing properly. If you notice any swelling, excessive redness, discharge, odor, or increasing pain in your pet, take them to the veterinarian right away.

After removing the old bandage, gently clean the foot with warm soapy water and dry thoroughly before applying the new one.

You can prevent your pet's wound from worsening and becoming more painful by taking him to the vet as soon as he exhibits signs of infection. Along with antibiotics to fight infection and painkillers to alleviate the discomfort of a cut paw, your veterinarian will be able to thoroughly clean the dog's paw pad.

How long does it take for a cut paw pad to heal?

The healing time for a dog's cut paw pad can vary depending on the severity of the cut and how well it is cared for. In general, minor cuts can heal within a week with proper cleaning and bandaging, while more serious cuts may take several weeks to fully heal. 

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, or on the pad itself, contact our Seymour vets for care. We can help your pet to heal and return to normal activities as quickly as possible.

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Questions about your pet's medical care? Need to book an appointment? We're always happy to hear from our clients, so contact us today!

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