Diagnosing Dog Foot Problems

A normal dog foot is covered with extremely tough skin. Like human feet, the dog foot absorbs the natural shock and tension caused by walking, running and standing. Since these paws cover a lot of ground every day it is not uncommon for a dog to suffer from a foot problem.

It is highly recommended that you inspect your dog's feet every day. This should be strictly followed if your dog has been around an area littered with trash, glass, or metallic shards. It is usually easy to notice if there is something wrong with your dog's feet. They will attempt to hold them up, wimper in pain when placing weight on it, and they will often lick at it. If you notice any of these signs you should take a closer look to see if there is anything wrong with the dog foot.


The first thing you should look for is any blisters or burns on the skin of your dog's foot. These burns and blisters often occur when your dog has walked across very hot sand or pavement, which can frequently occur in the hotter regions of the world. Burns are noticed by lifting your dog's foot and observing any hanging patches of skin. This skin is usually the remnant of a blister that has popped, so the skin beneath the hanging skin will be red and sore. These areas should be treated with an anti-bacterial wash to clean out any bacteria that may be festering there. You should also bandage the paw to prevent further damage.

Glass, Metal and Rocks

There can be times where mud, rocks, metal shards and glass get lodged into the skin of the foot. This can cause light amount of discomfort or it can cause severe pain. Either way, you should inspect the paw and try to observe and foreign objects stuck in the skin. They should be removed delicately using a pair of tweezers, as these will ensure the object is not pressed further in. Once you have removed the object you should clean the wound and wrap it in a bandage. You should also try to not overextend your dog over the next few days. Keep walks to a minimum and let the healing process take place.

Lacerations and Punctures

The dog foot contains a lot of blood vessels, so a minor scratch or laceration can produce a large amount of blood. You should apply pressure to help the wound clot. If the wound is small, be sure to clean it with an anti-bacterial soap and wrap it in a bandage. You should also try to encourage your dog not to chew or bite at the bandage during this time. There are special collars that can help assist with this. Be sure to check the wound within the first couple hours of discovery to make sure it is healing properly. There are times where the cut, lacerations or puncture is too deep for a simple bandage. Surgery may be required.