Common Problems With a Dog’s Paw

A limping pup can be alarming at first. There are several ways to determine that the root of the matter is with the paw. Understanding the issues that may arise to cause common problems with a dog’s paw, as well as the warning signs, will assist you in deciding what’s best to alleviate that pain and discomfort.

Warning Signs

Multiple determining factors indicate a problem with your dog’s paw. Pay attention to how your dog is favoring the paw. Licking or chewing can suggest that something uncomfortable is happening. The licking may also lead to discoloration in the area. You may even notice hair loss or bleeding on the paw or pad. Obvious signs that your dog is experiencing pain and discomfort in that area are limping and holding the paw up in the air, avoiding putting pressure on it.

Potential Causes

There are many potential sources when it comes to the cause of pain or discomfort with your dog’s paw. Your dog could have a fungal or bacterial infection, making the paw itch uncomfortably or hurt. Toenails can be a large source of pain. Make sure to be keeping an eye on overgrown and ingrown toenails to avoid issues. A dog may also favor the paw because of slivers, burns, scrapes, and other abrasions on the paw. Inspecting the area may help shed some light on what’s going on.

Additionally, some behaviors may be contributing to discomfort. Some dogs are guilty of knuckling, which is generally linked back to a neurological issue. This behavior is when the dog drags the tops or backs of the paws (knuckles) on the ground while walking. Knuckling can present itself in any dog and will result in worn-off fur and sore paws.


Identifying what’s ailing your pup’s paws will help you make an educated plan to relieve pain and fix the issue. If you are unsure about the cause of your dog’s problem, consult a veterinarian. Bacterial and fungal infections can be treated with the proper medication and care to the area. Toenail issues may be avoided with routine growth status checks and regular grooming practices.

Understanding the source of the pain that is inflicting your dog’s paw is essential. Protecting their pads in extreme heat or cold will contribute to your four-legged friend’s overall foot health and safety. Investing in pet booties can help with that paw protection. In addressing knuckling, consider getting a no-knuckling front or rear sock, depending on which part of the paw your dog is dragging. A no-knuckling sock will help correct and improve the placement of the paw while the dog walks.

Pinpointing what’s ailing your dog can be difficult with them being non-verbal. Pay close attention to the signs that your dog shows to determine the best ways of addressing common problems with the paws. Keeping your dog comfortable and in the best possible condition will help make your time together more enjoyable and less stressful.

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