When we go jogging, we put on a pair of comfortable running shoes to protect our feet. It’s hard to imagine how it would feel to do so without even having shoes on! On the contrary, dogs spend their entire lives walking and running freely on their bare paws.

They can get sore paws variety of reasons which can be very uncomfortable for them.

In this article, we will discuss the most common reasons for paw sores, and what you can do to help?


Why Are My Dog’s Paws Sore?

Sore paws can be very painful and can cause your dog to limp. There are a number of reasons this can happen to your dog.

The most 7 most common are:

1. Cut Pads

When you take your dog for a walk, there can be sharp objects such as broken glass and sharp stones lying on the ground.  If your dog steps on them they can cut his pads. This is very common for dogs who like to play outside. 

2. Yeast Infections

You must have heard of athletes’ foot! This is a condition that is caused by a yeast infection.  A Yeast Infection will occur between the toes of a dog. Malassezia is the yeast responsible for causing this infection. 

Yeast infections will grow in warm, humid places. When it begins to itch the dog will usually lick the affected area providing more moisture. This will in turn cause the infection to thrive. 

3. Greyhound Corns

As the name suggests, this is a common cause of greyhound paw sores. Here, an extra hard layer of keratin forms inside the paw pad. Greyhound corn is a painful condition and could cause lasting damage to the paw if not treated.

4. Mud Rash

On rainy days some dogs like to play in the mud and get dirty. If a dog’s paw is dirty and he begins to bite his toe, then a sore can occur. As you know, mud is full of bacteria, and if the mud sticks to the dog’s paw for a long time, it can cause an infection.

Mud rush is most common in horses, however, the infection also exists in dogs.

5. Pavement Burns and Frostbite

In the scorching heat of summer, taking your dog for a walk in the middle of the day could cause problems to your dog’s paw. These pavements get so hot that you can’t even place your hand on them for more than five seconds, so you can expect your dog to walk barefoot. 

Similarly, in the winter season, if your dog plays in the snow for a longer time, they could suffer from a lack of sensitivity. After a few days, the tissues die and are shed from the feet. You may think that dog paw pads are sturdy, but they can’t withstand snow for long.

6. Parasite Infections

A common parasite that is present in dirty environments is hookworms. Dogs can pick this up by walking on the damp and dirty ground. A hookworm’s larvae can cause severe irritation by burrowing through the dog’s skin.

Other parasites that can affect your dog are harvest mites, ticks, and mange mites.

7. Food Allergies

Food allergies can cause itchiness in dog paws. As a result, dogs start licking their paws, and the paw area becomes prone to infection.

Excessive paw licking can cause rust-colored feet and, in turn, lead to sore paws.



Dogs that suffer from sore paws have red, swollen, and painful paws. Sometimes lameness and cysts may occur. As this happens your dog will start to limp.

Licking the infected area is also a common sign. If there are any cuts or scrapes on the pad, you may see bleeding from the paw. If the infection prolongs a discharge of pus may even come from the pad.


What can I put on my dog’s sore pads?

You will need to use a Paw Balm or a special moisturizer. This will soothe the irritation and stop the pain. Check out our review of the Best Paw Moisturizers and Balms for Dogs.


How Do I Treat My Dog’s Irritated Paws?

Treatment generally depends on the condition the dog is suffering from. If there is a simple crack or cut, apply a paw balm once or twice daily to keep the paw clean and prevent further infection. Keep paw clean and dry until healed.

If the area has become infected, apply an antibiotic cream to the infected area. You can get this at your local pet store. If your dog is not in pain, he can continue his regular activities, such as walking and playing.

happy dog


Prevention also depends on the cause of the dog’s paw pain.

    • To stop paw burns avoid walking your dog in the middle of the day. This is when the ground is the hottest. Try to avoid sand and pavements because they can get hot in the summer. 
    • Try to avoid taking your dog to areas that contain exposed sharp metal, broken glass, foxtails, and broken sticks. If your dog gets cut on his paw pad visit your vet.
    • In the summer months, insect bites are common and also difficult to prevent. If there are any nests, hives, or ant hills in your garden, remove them immediately. 
    • If you live in a cold climate, frostbite can be prevented by keeping your dog indoors in extreme conditions. There are also winter boots available that can help prevent paw sores in dogs. If our dog suffers frostbite, immediately wrap his paw in a warm towel and contact our vet.


Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take For a Dog’s Pad to Heal?

It is important that you know how long it will take for your dog’s paw to heal. Some dogs need more time than others to heal their pads. If you think that your dog is in pain or suffering from any kind of infection, you must immediately consult with the vet.

The vet will be able to give you the right treatment. This treatment depends on the cause of the infection. These causes are mentioned above and include flea bite allergies, yeast infections, and ringworm. 

Some of these treatments will only take a few days while others may take weeks or even months. You must never neglect your dog’s health because it affects your pet’s quality of life. 


How Can I Stop My Dog From Licking Their Paws?

Dogs lick their paws for a number of reasons, one of which is when they are itching or feeling sore. While there are some dogs who will actually scratch themselves when they feel a little sore, most will only lick their paws if they feel like it. Other reasons why a dog might lick their paw is when they are nervous or anxious or your dog might actually be sick

However, the most likely reason is that your dog has an infection. In fact, most veterinarians will treat any dog that scratches itself with antibiotics. If the infection is present, they will prescribe an antibiotic that will stop the itching. They might also suggest a Dog Paw Balm that you can use to help stop the itching and pain that are associated with an infection.

While in many cases, a balm is enough to get rid of the itch, some dogs need to take an antibiotic until the infection is gone.

As soon as you figure out that your dog is licking its paws, you need to figure out a way to stop them. One of the most common ways to stop dogs from licking their paws is to simply make sure they can’t get near their paws. You can easily do this by making them wear dog shoes. Once you have done this you’ll find that the itching will actually stop.


How Do I Know If My Dog Has a Yeast Infection on His Paws?

How do I know if my dog has a yeast infection on his paws? You can tell when he has one by seeing if his feet start to swell and there is a thick discharge. You may notice his paws look rubbed down and sore, this is because your dog is trying to clean off any dead skin that is on them. You may also notice white spots on his paw pads.

If you have any doubt then just take him to the vet and have him checked over. It could be a fungal nail infection or a bacterial infection of the nails. The fungus loves this moisture and if they get lots of it then they will grow pretty quickly. Your dog’s health is very important, so take precautions. It is better to err on the side of caution than to let him have the infection spread. 


Can I Put Apple Cider Vinegar on My Dogs Paws?

The use of vinegar to clean your pets isn’t actually new. In fact, centuries ago people realized the healing benefits of apple cider vinegar and therefore began using it as a way to keep their pets healthy.

One of the first uses of apple cider vinegar was to cure sore and itchy skin. The vinegar is great for treating skin problems of all kinds, but it is especially helpful in treating canine acne. Apple cider vinegar is effective because it contains acetic acid, which is very similar to the acids found in our own skin.

By applying vinegar to a dog’s paws, it helps reduce inflammation of the skin and get rid of the itching and irritation. It can also be used as a treatment for fleas.



To keep your dog’s paws healthy, it is essential to take preventative measures to safeguard them. If your pet starts to limp or display signs of paw soreness, it is recommended to consult your vet immediately.

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