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Barks & Mewsings

The Trupanion blog

Dog Paw Pad Injury: Five Essential First Aid Tips

By: Kelli Rascoe

A brown dog snoozing with his paws sticking out

Whether you have a puppy or a senior pet, proper paw care is essential to prevent a dog paw pad injury. Unfortunately, a dog paw pad injury can occur from something as simple as taking a walk to hiking on trails. As a responsible pet owner, proper paw care includes having all the resources you might need to help prevent, protect, and address an injury. Fortunately, we sat down with Trupanion veterinary technician, Aubrey Halvorsen, to learn more about five essential first aid tips to address a dog paw pad injury and what to keep in your pet first aid kit.

Dog paw pad injury: five necessary tips for paw protection

A puppy snuggles in bed with his paws sticking out

What to look for in a dog paw pad injury?

First, be mindful of your pet’s behavior. Sadly, there might be something more going on, and your pet could be in pain. “If you notice your dog paying extra attention to a paw, chewing at their feet or paws, or limping, check the paw pad for any injuries,” states Halvorsen. Also, a paw pad injury can occur rather easily, and it could be missed. Consider checking your pup’s paws after their daily walk or dog park outing.

Five essentials to have in your pet first aid kit

Humans and pets alike can benefit from having their own first aid kit. Naturally, you never know when an injury might occur with your pets, so having a kit handy and portable, can be beneficial for all parties. Further, “if you’re an avid hiker, make sure your pet first aid kit is well stocked,” points out Halvorsen. You can encounter a number of unknown variables while on the hiking trail. For example, sticks and rocks can really do some damage to a pup’s paw pad.

Consider the following items to include in your pet first aid kit for paw pad protection:

  • Betadine (antiseptic solution)
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Tweezers
  • Bandage materials
  • Paw pad protectant (made of natural wax)
  • Dog booties

Further, dog booties can help protect the paw pad to avoid any injury or help keep it protected if an injury does occur. Plus, it can be helpful with unpredictable weather conditions, some pups do not like walking in rain.

For more on pet kits, check out this emergency pet preparedness guide here.

Necessary steps to fix a dog paw pad injury

Puppies are unpredictable, and injuries do happen. Certainly, if your furry friend experiences a paw pad injury, you want to be able to address the wound as soon as possible. If your pet is hurt, in any way always consult your veterinarian before attempting to fix the problem yourself. If you find yourself stuck on a trail or unable to visit a veterinarian immediately, there are a few steps you can take first.

Halvorsen weighs in on the steps to properly tend to the paw pad injury –

  • Clean out the wound (as best you can with warm water)
  • Clean the wound with Betadine
  • Use tweezers to get out stuck particles
  • Dry the paw pad
  • Apply some antibiotic ointment
  • Apply a bandage
  • Seek veterinary care

Most importantly, reach out to your veterinarian and seek medical care as you don’t want your best friend to get an infection or experience any discomfort. Also, your veterinarian can help provide care, treat the wound, and answer any questions you might have about your pet’s treatment plan.

A black & white dog in the grass smiling at the camera

First aid tools for your best friend

Your dog is on its paws all day – during everything from playtime to dog walks. As such, it is essential to maintain proper care of your pup’s paw pad. Chances are a dog paw pad injury might occur in your household. With the proper protection, necessary resources, such as a pet first aid kit, and the expertise and guidance of your veterinarian, your pup will be back on its paws and playing in no time.

For more on pet content, read this Pet First Aid Guide.

A dog and cat snuggle

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We’re the official blog of Trupanion—chosen by veterinarians as the #1 pet insurance in America. Here you’ll find useful dog and cat care tips, interesting veterinary insights, and fun pet topics galore.

While you’re browsing our pet blog, please note that the views expressed here are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Trupanion. Our articles are reviewed by veterinarians for accuracy, but they are not a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Always consult with your own pet’s veterinarian for advice.

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