Dog Paws Red? | Everything You Need To Know!

Dog paws can take a lot of wear and tear, but redness and irritation are signs of something wrong.

It’s important to know what could be causing the redness, from small cuts or sores to bigger problems like allergic reactions.

This will help you keep your dog healthy and pain-free.

In this article, we’ll talk about why dogs’ paws are red.

Also, what to look for if you notice your furry friend’s paw pads are red, and how to treat any inflammation that happens as a result.

Read on to learn more about common things that can make a dog’s paws hurt and more serious problems that may need medical help.

Causes Of Red Paws On Dogs


Pets, just like humans, can develop allergies.

These allergies can be triggered by various things in their environment, such as pollen, grass, or mold, or certain ingredients in their food.

When pets get allergies, they may experience discomfort and itching, which can lead them to lick, scratch, or chew the affected area.

One of the most common signs of allergies in pets is redness and inflammation in their paws.

This can be quite uncomfortable for your furry friend and may result in further skin damage and secondary infections if not treated promptly.

Therefore, it’s essential to identify the root cause of your pet’s allergies so that you can provide them with relief.

Talk to your vet about treating and preventing allergic reactions in your pets.

Your vet can help you identify the allergens that trigger your pet’s allergies, recommend suitable treatments to manage their symptoms, and provide you with tips on how to prevent future allergic reactions.


Burns are a common problem that can affect your dog’s paws.

They can be caused by various factors, such as walking on hot pavement during the summer or coming into contact with harsh chemicals like salt that are used to de-ice sidewalks in the winter.

When your pet’s paws get burned, they may become red, swollen, and painful, which can be quite uncomfortable for your furry friend.

To prevent your pet from getting burned, it’s essential to be mindful of the surfaces they walk on, especially during extreme weather conditions.

For instance, during hot summer days, you should avoid walking your pet on hot pavement or concrete surfaces.

Instead, opt for cooler areas like grassy fields or shaded paths.

Similarly, during the winter, you should be careful when walking your pet on sidewalks or roads that have been treated with salt to prevent slipping on ice.

If you suspect that your pet has sustained paw burns, it’s important to seek proper care and treatment from your veterinarian.

Your vet can assess the extent of the burns and recommend appropriate treatments, such as pain relievers, antibiotics, or topical ointments.

Foreign Object In The Paw

Pets are curious creatures, and they love to explore their surroundings.

Unfortunately, this curiosity can sometimes get them into trouble, especially when they come into contact with sharp objects like stones, broken glass, or thorns.

These objects can easily penetrate the delicate skin of your pet’s paw, causing inflammation, discomfort, and pain.

If you notice that your pet is limping or favoring one paw, it may be a sign that they have something stuck in their paw.

You should inspect your pet’s paws regularly for signs of distress, such as redness, swelling, or foul smell.

If you find something lodged in their paw, it’s essential to remove it right away to prevent further irritation and help your pet recover quickly.

Claw Bed Infections

Claw bed infections, paronychia, are a common yet often overlooked cause of red dog paws.

This infection can be quite painful for our furry friends, making it important for pet owners to know the signs and symptoms.

If left untreated, it can lead to more serious health issues in the long run.

Claw bed infections occur when bacteria or fungus invade the region around your dog’s nails, causing inflammation, redness, and pain.

Pet owners should check their dog’s paws for symptoms of illness and see a vet immediately.

Cleaning and cutting your dog’s nails prevents infections and keeps them comfortable.

Symmetrical Lupoid Onchodystrophy (SLO)

Symmetrical Lupoid Onchodystrophy, commonly known as SLO, is a rare and often misunderstood ailment that affects our beloved canine companions.

This autoimmune disease primarily targets the nail beds of dogs, causing red, inflamed, and painful paws.

The immune system misidentifies keratin-producing cells as threats, causing inflammation and nail bed destruction.

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD)

CCD is a brain disorder that affects older dogs, causing a decline in brain function and red paws.

As neurons degenerate due to CCD, communication between the brain and nerves is disrupted, which can lead to anxiety and stress.

Dogs may excessively lick or chew their paws to ease discomfort, resulting in redness and inflammation.

Knowing about CCD can help pet owners provide the right care for their aging dogs.

Related: How To Stop Dog From Licking Paws

Alabama Rot

Alabama rot, or cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), is a rare but serious canine disease that causes red paws.

This disease originally appeared in US greyhounds in the late 1980s and has been spreading to UK dogs since 2012.

Red spots, swelling, or open sores on a dog’s paws, legs, or face are early indicators.As the disease progresses, it can lead to kidney failure, ultimately proving fatal in many cases.

While the exact cause of Alabama rot remains unknown, it is believed to be potentially linked to toxins produced by bacteria found in water or mud.


These pesky parasites can latch onto your pet’s skin, leading to inflammation and swelling.

Licking or chewing their paws to relieve the inflammation causes further redness and pain.

Pet owners must examine their dogs for ticks, especially after returning from tick-infested areas.

Frequent grooming and tick prevention, such as tick-repellent pills or collars, can safeguard your dog’s health and keep its beautiful paws happy and itch-free.

Demodectic Mange

It is a skin condition caused by the Demodex mite, which usually lives on a dog’s skin.

Mites can cause skin inflammation, itching, and paw reddening when the immune system is impaired or mite numbers grow substantially.

Demodectic mange can cause your dog pain and infection if left untreated.

Suppose you suspect your dog is suffering from demodectic mange.

In that case, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian to devise an appropriate course of treatment.

That might include topical treatments, anti-inflammatory medications, or even immunotherapy.

You can help alleviate your dog’s discomfort and safeguard its overall well-being by taking action now.


Hookworms, often a hidden contributor, can be the primary cause behind your beloved canine friend’s red paws.

Tiny parasites can live in your dog’s gut, and sometimes they can move to their paws, making them red and sore.

Pet owners should know about this and get help from a vet to diagnose and treat it.

Taking action quickly can ease your dog’s discomfort, keep them healthy, and avoid any problems that could come from untreated hookworm infections.

Contact Irritants

Some of these irritants are chemicals found in cleaning products, pesticides, and even some plants.

As our dogs explore the environment, these hazardous substances touch their sensitive paw pads, making them red, itchy, and uncomfortable.

Long-term exposure to these irritants can induce infections or paw tissue inflammation.

To avoid red dog paws and contact irritants, pet owners should be aware of the items and plants in their dog’s environment.

Checking your dog’s paws regularly and fixing any issues immediately will considerably enhance his quality of life.


Dogs’ paws are their primary mode of transportation and play an essential role in their daily activities.

Concrete, asphalt, and dirt can irritate or inflame them.

Their paws can also get red and irritated from allergies, fungal infections, and sharp item punctures.

Sometimes, dogs may try to alleviate this discomfort by licking, gnawing, or biting their paws.

This activity may temporarily relieve the condition, but it causes further redness and irritation.

The dog may become obsessed on the paw and keep licking or gnawing it for relief.

Boredom And Anxiety

Dogs can get upset if they’re separated, bored, or if their surroundings change.

This can make them lick or chew too much, which can lead to red, sore paws.

It’s a self-soothing behavior that can become a bad habit, making the problem worse.

To keep our furry friends happy and healthy, we need to pay attention to what’s causing the stress and find ways to help them feel better.

How To Treat Your Dog’s Red Paws

As a devoted pet parent, it’s essential to understand how to treat your dog’s red paws effectively.

Paw redness can indicate various concerns, such as allergies, irritation from environmental factors, or even infections.

Start by examining the paws closely to identify any foreign objects, cuts, or swelling that could contribute to the issue.

Gently clean your furry friend’s paws with warm water and mild soap to remove any irritants or allergens.

If you notice excessive licking, consider using a pet-safe antiseptic spray on the affected area to prevent the risk of infection.

If your dog’s condition doesn’t improve within a few days or appears to worsen, consult with your veterinarian for further evaluation and treatment.

Remember, taking proactive steps in addressing paw discomfort can ensure a happier, healthier pup.

Preventing Your Dog From Getting Red Paws

Taking care of your dog’s paws is essential for their overall well-being, as red and irritated paws can cause your furry friend significant discomfort.

There are several ways to prevent your dog from developing red paws, ensuring they enjoy their daily walks without pain.

One effective method is to keep their paws clean by washing and drying them thoroughly after walking.

Additionally, regular trimming of their nails and paw hair can prevent painful matting and the accumulation of debris between the pads.

You can also use paw balm or wax to create a barrier against harsh surfaces and weather conditions.

Finally, invest in high-quality dog booties or socks that offer protection and comfort for your canine companion while exploring the great outdoors.

Following these measures can help your dog maintain healthy and happy paws.

When To Visit Your Veterinarian

If your dog has red paws, it’s important to act promptly and consult a veterinarian to prevent further discomfort or potential health issues.

Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior and the overall condition of its paws.

If you observe signs of swelling, discharge, or worsening redness, it’s time to visit your veterinarian.

They can quickly diagnose the underlying cause, provide the necessary treatment, and offer expert advice for keeping your beloved furry friend healthy and pain-free.

Before You Go…

Now you know what to do when your dog’s paws are red.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Dimitra Kokologianni, DVM
Dimitra holds a Masters’s degree in public health and a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. She is a versatile professional with over 7 years of experience. Her passion for animal welfare and preventive medicine makes her an excellent resource for our readers.