How Do I Prevent Blisters on Dog Paws?

Alicia Sparks

Taking certain preventive measures, such as keeping your dog’s paw pads moisturized, can help prevent blisters on your dog’s pads. For the most part, though, you can prevent blisters on dog paws by keeping your dog from encountering the kinds of circumstances that cause animal blisters. Such circumstances include extremely hot asphalt or concrete and extreme exercise. Like humans, dogs can develop blood blisters when their paws become injured. Some causes of blisters on dog paws, such as excessive licking, are sometimes indicative of underlying problems.

Concrete and asphalt absorb heat and can cause blisters on dog paws.
Concrete and asphalt absorb heat and can cause blisters on dog paws.

Once of the most common causes of blisters on dog paws is extreme heat. If the sidewalk, pavement, or other concrete or asphalt area is extremely hot, the pads on a dog’s paws can develop blisters. Sometimes called heat blisters, these blisters are similar to the kind humans develop when they touch something hot or their skin becomes burned. The simplest way to prevent this kind of dog blister is to avoid walking your dog on concrete, asphalt, or any other similar surface that absorbs heat on hot days. On these days, keep your dog indoors or restrict him to grassy areas.

Medication from veterinarians can help prevent paw blisters.
Medication from veterinarians can help prevent paw blisters.

Sometimes, physical activity causes blisters on dog paws. Everything from intense and long-term running or hiking to beginning an exercise program can cause blisters to develop on your dog’s paw pads. To avoid these blisters, prevent your dog from overexerting himself outside. You might bring him indoors to rest from time to time, or even consult your veterinarian if your dog is extremely hyper and won’t slow down. Keep a slow pace with any new exercise program, whether it’s playing ball or jogging, until your dog’s paws become used to the activity.

Excessive licking can cause blisters on your dog’s paws. When you notice your dog licking his paws more than usual, examine them for any external causes such as cuts, scrapes, or debris caught between his pads and toes. If you can’t find any external causes but your dog keeps licking, he might have irritated nerves. At this point, regardless of whether any blisters have formed yet, consult your veterinarian. Poor nerves can cause a variety of other physical health problems, and your vet can treat your dog before these problems arise.

Don’t forget to watch out for dog blood blisters, too. Blood blisters can develop when the paws become pinched or injured. The best way to prevent these blisters is to keep your dog away from any environment that lends itself to paw injury, but understand that, similar to humans, dogs can get themselves into a variety of unforeseen situations even in the safest-looking of environments.

Other general steps you can take to prevent blisters on dog paws include regularly massaging your dog’s paws and keeping his paws’ pads moisturized. Even keeping his nails clean and trimmed can help prevent blisters, as this grooming can help prevent injuries and infections that can cause blisters. Such steps improve and maintain your dog’s paw health, and healthy paws are more likely to avoid blisters.

Running may cause blisters to form on a dog's paws.
Running may cause blisters to form on a dog's paws.

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Discussion Comments


If a dog gets blisters on its paws, that is typically due to something wrong with the dog's environment. Check the environment first and see if there is something out of the ordinary that could be responsible for blisters before assuming the dog needs special care of some kind. Those paws are tough and meant to withstand most things a dog will come across with ease -- they don't exactly make shoes for dogs, you know?

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