A step-by-step guide to keeping your dog's paws healthy

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Are you worried about keeping your dog's paws safe and healthy? Your dog's paws can be affected by climate, activity or underlying health issues. It’s important to first identify the cracked or dry paws before treating them. 


Cracked dog paws are a nightmare for anyone who lives with dogs. On one hand they can be so painful, and on the other hand, it's hard to imagine how dogs deal with them. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to treat and prevent cracked paws or split nails. This post is all about keeping your dog's paws healthy.  

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Why does my dog keep licking his paw?

There are various reasons why your lovely fur friend is licking his paws, and some of these include;

  1. Cleaning: Licking their paws can be a way for dogs to clean themselves after eating or drinking something messy. It also helps them remove dirt or debris between their toes and under their long nails.
  2. Anxiety: Dogs may also lick their paws when feeling anxious or stressed out (like we might chew our nails). This is because they're trying to calm themselves down by releasing endorphins in their brain through saliva.
  3. Boredom: If your dog isn't getting enough mental stimulation during the day, he may try to find something else to do with himself .. Dogs pass the time by grooming themselves—sometimes, this includes licking their paws!
  4. Allergies: Dogs with allergies might lick their paws so much that they can cause soreness, which can become infected at some point. To find out what is going on with your pup, try cutting out common allergenic foods from his diet for a week and check the dog’s toes (the most common allergens are wheat, corn, and soy proteins) and see if it helps. If not, consult your vet about other possible causes of itching. An allergy test will help you figure out what exactly is causing the allergy so that you can treat it appropriately.
  5. Pain: If your dog keeps limping and licking his paws at the same time, it could be because he's in pain. This may stem from arthritis, a joint condition, or an injury that hasn't healed properly. For example, if your dog has an injured leg, sore paws between toes, or foot pad, he might keep licking it because it still hurts him when he puts weight on it.

How to treat dog paw infection at home

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When it comes to treating a cracked paw pad or a carpal pad that is coming off, there are several methods you can try at home before taking your pup to the Vet.. Some of the ways are;

  • Bandaging. Bandaging is an effective way to treat a cracked paw pad, or  pads that are coming off. Bandages can also protect the skin from further damage if your dog walks on rough terrain like concrete or sand. This will also prevent your dog from licking or biting at its paws and spreading the infection. If you're using a bandage, make sure it's not too tight—you don't want it cutting off circulation. You may need to change the bandage if you've been using one for more than two days, as this can also cause problems with circulation.
  • Application of petroleum jelly (Vaseline). If your dog has cracked paws, you can help them heal by applying petroleum jelly (Vaseline), paw balm, or another type of moisturizing cream twice daily until they're healed. If this doesn't work, try applying antibiotic ointment instead—this may help speed up healing time by reducing bacteria growth in the cracks themselves.
  • Application of Ointment. You should apply this ointment twice daily until the infection has cleared up completely and no longer appears inflamed or red in coloration (this may take anywhere from two days up to two weeks, depending on severity). You can also try applying some antibacterial cream.
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How to clean a dog wound on a paw

Wet a small towel with warm soapy water to clean the wound and help remove any leftover dirt in your dog’s nails, and then rinse with clear water. You can also clean your dog paws by gently spraying it with clean water from a hose to remove debris.

How to bandage dog paw

You know you should be bandaging your dog's cracked paw pads, but you're not sure how. Don't worry—we've got you covered! Here are three easy steps to follow and to add to your dog grooming routine

  • Step 1- First, clean the paw pads with soap and water. Ensure all dirt, dust, and grime are removed from the dog’s feet.
  • Step 2 - Once the paws have been thoroughly cleaned, you can apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment or cream to the area around each crack. This will help prevent infection if any dirt is left behind after washing.
  • Step 3 - After applying the antibiotic cream or ointment to each pad, wrap your dog's paw in a bandage made from gauze or vet wrap (the kind they use at the vet). Be sure it isn't too tight, so blood flow isn't impeded, because this could cut off their circulation. 

Apply a thin layer of Vaseline over the cracked area of the paw pads. This will help prevent infection while your dog's paw pad is healing from being cracked open by sharp objects or rough surfaces. 

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How long do you keep your dog's bandage on?

A dog's paw health is essential, and it can easily get cracked or damaged. If you notice that your dog is suffering from a cracked paw that's not healing, it's time to see a vet. But if the injury isn't too bad, you can help it heal by keeping the area clean and dry.

If your dog has cracked paw pads, we recommend keeping them wrapped in a thin layer of gauze until they heal. The gauze should be light enough that no more than skin-deep moisture can get through it. The gauze should also be loose enough that it doesn't rub against your dog's skin and cause further irritation.

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How to get gum off your dogs paw

Getting gum off your pup’s paws is not as difficult as you might think,. The key to removing gum from your dog's paws is to be patient and persistent. 

You can use olive oil, mineral oil or mayonnaise to remove gum off your pups pad. apply the oil and then use a paper towel to help remove the gum. Finish by washing the oil off with warm water and soap so you don't end up with greasy paw prints in your home.

How to prevent cracked dog paw pads

  1. Avoid hot surfaces: Whether walking on a hot pavement or running across a sandy beach, these surfaces can burn your dog's paws.
  2. Provide traction: If your dog likes to dig in the dirt, ensure they have a place to do that where they won't hurt their feet by slipping on loose dirt or rocks. 
  3.  Pay attention to your dog’s nails: Rough surfaces can cause cracked nails and paws if you don't watch out for them. If you're taking your dog out for a walk on concrete or asphalt, make sure your dog’s nails are trimmed before going out so they don't get caught in cracks or pebbles that might cause injury.
  4. Look out for your dog’s nail beds: If you notice redness around the base of your dog's paw pads (especially if there's swelling), take your dog to see a vet immediately! This could be an infection that needs treatment before becoming more serious.
  5. Use paw balm! Paw balm is even better than hand cream for people. MUST for dogs with dry and cracked paws. Natural ingredients and nourishing oils ensure deep moisturising. Our product "THE BALM" is the quintessential product for treating sore and/or dry paws. Through a quick slick of the balm, you will be able to semlessly moisturize your furry friend's paws and smoothen those vexing rough spots and edges

Bottom Line

You can get your dog boots for their paws. It's important to remember that dog pads are not just for walking on hard surfaces. They can also be used on rough surfaces, like sand or grass, which will provide a lot of traction. It's important to provide traction because this helps keep your dog's nail bed from cracking or splitting.

Does your pup has a runny nose? Read our article on dog's runny nose


PRIDE+GROOM was born because 4 New York City dog lovers wanted the same level of grooming products for their dogs that they themselves enjoyed. They looked (hard) but nothing was up to snuff. Or sniff. Like so many, we love our families and take pride in our homes, and we consider our pets to be integral parts of those entities. That said, we could not find an effective way to coif them that was on par with the way we tended to our children, our homes, or ourselves. These beloved pets are allowed on the furniture and in our beds, and yet even when fresh from the groomer, we knew they did not smell or feel as good as they could.

With the development of our coat-specific shampoos, conditioner and deodorizing spray, we think we found just the way to say thanks for being the best and the sweetest MVP of the house.

PRIDE+GROOM is the first dog grooming brand launched under a beauty platform, with formulas made in a clean beauty and scent lab. We know beauty is not only skin deep. We did a ton of research to create the entire line. Each product is formulated with its own unique blend of essential oils sourced from around the world.


Shop our entire line:  www.prideandgroom.com