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What To Do If Your Dog Has a Cut Paw Pad

Dental problems can cause a lot of pain for your cat and lead to other health problems. Today, our Statesboro veterinary team explains how to recognize dental health issues in your cat, the most common dental diseases in cats, and how to prevent or treat these issues.

Your Dog's Paws

Nature created the pads on your dog's feet to protect the inner workings of your dog's foot. If your dog injures one of its footpads, you should treat it as soon as possible. Here are a few 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 very important in his or her daily life, and they must be in good condition to keep your pet healthy and happy. If your dog's paw pad becomes cut or torn, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on whether an examination is necessary or if you should take your pet to an emergency animal hospital. Until you can get to the office, your veterinarian may be able to provide valuable advice on how to care for your dog's foot.

Take a Close Look At the Injured Pad

Examine your dog's pad carefully for signs of anything stuck in your dog's foot, such as a piece of glass or a thorn, as well as any debris, grass, or gravel that may be lodged in the wound. Clean tweezers can be used to gently remove loosely embedded debris.

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

Swish your dog's foot around in a bowl or bucket of soapy warm water to clean the wound and help dislodge any remaining debris. Rinse with clear water.

To remove debris and clean your dog's paw, use a hose to gently spray clean water on it. Squeeze a small amount of liquid hand soap or dish soap onto your dog's paw while rinsing to aid in bacteria removal.

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

Control The Bleeding

After removing any foreign objects that may have aggravated the cut, apply pressure to the paw pad with a clean cloth or towel. In some cases, a cold compress can help to reduce bleeding by constricting the blood vessels. Shallow grazes may not bleed at all, whereas deep cuts may require several days to heal.

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 attention.

If your dog's wound is ragged, deep, or contains debris, take him to your veterinarian or the nearest emergency veterinary hospital. Serious cuts will be cleaned and dressed by your veterinarian, and antibiotics may be prescribed to combat infection.


To cushion the bottom of your dog's cut paw pad and absorb any blood, use nonstick sterile gauze pads. This should also help to alleviate your dog's discomfort when walking on the foot.

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

Wrapping your dog's feet from toes to ankles keeps the bandage from slipping down and causing swelling in the toes. Remember that the bandage should be snug enough to stay in place but not overly wrapped. Two fingers should fit comfortably between the bandage and your dog's skin.

If the bleeding does not stop after the gauze and bandage have been applied, it is time to visit the veterinarian.

Should I let my dog lick his paw pad?

Many clients ask us if they should let their dog lick his cut paw. While some licking can help to kill bacteria on the injury site, excessive licking can lead to wound reopening and infection. You should not let your dog lick his cut paw. Bandaging can help to 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 their cut paw pad heals.

Ongoing Care

As your dog's wound heals, it's critical to keep the bandages clean and dry. Wearing a waterproof bootie or wrapping a plastic bag around your dog's foot and ankle whenever they go outside can help keep the cut clean and dry.

You should change your dog's bandage on a daily basis to avoid infection and to allow you to examine the wound to ensure proper healing. Take your pet to the veterinarian right away if you notice any signs of swelling, excessive redness, discharge, odor, or increasing pain.

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

Taking your pet to the vet as soon as you notice signs of infection will help to prevent the wound from becoming more severe and painful. Your veterinarian can thoroughly clean your dog's cut paw pad and prescribe antibiotics to fight infection as well as pain relievers to help your dog cope with the pain of a cut paw.

The time it takes for a dog's paw pad to heal can vary depending on the severity of the injury. Minor cuts or abrasions may heal within a week with proper care, such as keeping the area clean and applying a pet-safe ointment. However, deeper wounds or burns may take several weeks to fully heal.

Final Word

The first-aid procedures outlined above are not a substitute for proper veterinary care. When it comes to your pet's health, it's always better to be cautious than sorry. If your dog's wound is severe or you are unsure about his injury, take him to the vet. Your veterinarian can treat your dog and advise you on how to care for his wounds while they 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, contact our Statesboro vets for care. We can help your pet to heal and return to normal activities as quickly as possible.

New Patients Welcome

Statesboro Bulloch Regional Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Statesboro companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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