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What to Do if My Dog Cut His Paw Pad?

Dogs' paw pads are much tougher than human feet soles but are still prone to cuts and injuries. If your dog has a paw cut, our veterinarians in New Iberia can guide you on what steps to take.

Your Dog's Paws

Nature designed dogs' paw pads to protect their feet. If your dog gets injured in one of its paw pads, it's essential to provide quick care. Below are a few things you can do to help your dog's foot heal.

What To Do If My Dog Cut His Paw Pad

Although your dog's paw pads are thick and rubbery, they can be injured by painful cuts, tears, burns, or puncture wounds. If your dog has an injured paw pad, here's how you can help.

Contact Your Vet

Your dog's paws are crucial for its well-being and happiness, so keeping them in good condition is important. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet's paw pad is cut or torn. Your vet will advise you if your dog needs an examination or if you should take it to the emergency animal hospital. Your veterinary team can also provide valuable advice on caring for your dog's foot until you can get professional help.

How to Treat a Paw Injury

Examine your dog's paw pad closely for any signs of foreign objects, such as thorns or glass, and debris, like grass or small rocks, that may have gotten stuck between its toes. If you find anything loosely embedded, gently remove it with a clean pair of tweezers.

If your dog has a large piece of glass or another foreign object lodged in its foot, contact your nearest emergency vet immediately for advice on making your dog as comfortable as possible while transporting it to the emergency vet.

Clean The Cut

To clean a wound on your dog's paw, follow these steps: First, add a good amount of warm, soapy water to a bowl or bucket. Then, swish your dog's foot around in the water to help clean the wound and dislodge any remaining debris. Rinse the paw with clear water afterward.

Alternatively, you can use a hose to gently spray your dog's foot with clean water to rinse away debris. While rinsing, you can add a small squirt of liquid hand soap or dish soap to your dog's paw to help kill bacteria.

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

Control The Bleeding

If you have removed any foreign objects that could make the cut worse, apply pressure to the paw pad using a clean cloth or towel. In some cases, a cold compress can help to slow the bleeding by constricting the blood vessels. Shallow grazes may not bleed, but deep cuts can take time to stop bleeding.

Assess The Severity of the Injury

Minor cuts and scrapes on your dog's paw pads can often be managed at home, but for deeper cuts, seek veterinary care.

If your dog's cut is ragged, deep, or has debris lodged in it, it's time to head to your vet or the nearest emergency veterinary hospital. Your vet will clean and dress serious cuts and, in some cases, may prescribe antibiotics to help fight infection.


Using non-stick sterile gauze pads to cushion the bottom of your dog's cut paw pad and absorb any blood should also help decrease your dog's pain when walking.

To keep the gauze in place, wrap your pup's entire foot in a self-sticking bandage such as Vetwrap or Well & Good. These wraps are available at most well-stocked pet supply stores, and some brands even come coated in bitter flavoring to discourage your dog from chewing the bandage.

Wrapping your dog's feet from toes to ankles will help prevent the toes from swelling and prevent the bandage from slipping down. While the bandage should be snug enough to stay put, do not wrap it too tightly. You should be able to slip two fingers between the bandage and your pup's skin.

If bleeding does not slow and stops once the gauze and bandage are applied, it's time to go to the vet for care.

Should I get my dog to lick its cut paw?

While some licking can help kill bacteria on the injury site, excessive licking can lead to the wound reopening and infection. Do not let your dog lick its cut paw. Bandaging can prevent licking at the site, but some dogs become so preoccupied with licking the wound that an Elizabethan collar or another device may be necessary for your dog as its cut paw pad heals.

Ongoing Care

As your dog's wound heals, keeping the bandages clean and dry is crucial. Using a waterproof bootie or securing a plastic bag around your dog's foot and ankle whenever they go out can help keep the cut clean and dry.

Change your dog's bandage daily to avoid infection and allow you to examine the wound to ensure proper healing. If you notice any signs of swelling, excess redness, discharge, odor, or increasing pain, head to the vet.

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

Heading to the vet at the earliest sign of infection will help prevent the wound from becoming more severe and painful. Your vet will thoroughly clean your dog's cut paw pad, provide antibiotics to fight infection, and give your dog pain meds to cope with the pain of a cut paw.

How much time it takes for a paw pad to heal?

The time it takes for a paw pad to heal depends on the severity of the injury or condition affecting it. Minor cuts or abrasions can heal within a few days to a week with proper care, such as keeping the area clean and protected.

However, more serious injuries, such as deep cuts or burns, may take several weeks to heal completely.

Closely monitor the healing progress and follow any instructions a veterinarian provides for optimal recovery. Note that the first aid steps offered here do not replace proper veterinary care. It's always best to err on caution regarding your pet's health.

If your dog's wound is serious or if you're unsure whether it's serious, take it to the vet for care. Your vet will provide your dog with the needed treatment and advise you on caring for its wound as it heals.

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, contact our New Iberia vets for care. We can help your pet to heal and return to normal activities as quickly as possible.

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