Is It Normal For A Dog Paw To Be Pink?

Don’t you love your dog’s paws? They’re so cute, despite getting into all kinds of trouble. We might see our dog’s paws a lot, but how much do you know about them?

If you don’t take a good look at your dog’s paws every now and then, you could be missing out on some important information.

Here, we’re going to be exploring the wonderful world of our dog’s paws, and if it’s normal if they are pink.

Is it Normal for a Dog Paw to be Pink

There are a number of medical conditions that can contribute to pink paws, but it’s important to have a knowledge of what your dog’s ‘normal’ is. Now, ready to get into it?

Paw Pads

On dogs, paw pads thick skin they walk on, like little boots! They have a metacarpal pad and four digital pads on each foot. Paw pads are there to help prevent injury when walking, and protect against infection.

Paw pads also trap air, which helps with blood flow. They will help your dog be their happy selves, and reduce the risk of any harm coming to them.

Paw pads are not indestructible, however. Dogs can still hurt their paws by walking over sharp things, such as glass, or by walking on surfaces that are too hot. Doing things like this can cause inflammation, redness, and a lot of pain.

If you notice that your dog’s paw pads are inflamed or your dog seems to be in pain, make an appointment with your vet as soon as you can.

What Should They Look Like?

Paw pads should look smooth and soft. There should be no rough spots where something is rubbing against them.

If you check your dog’s feet regularly, you’ll probably notice changes in the appearance of their paws. They may shed their paw pads as they get older, or they may become thicker as they walk more.

This change shouldn’t happen suddenly, though, and if it does, contact your local vet immediately. They will want to examine them to ensure they have nothing wrong with them.

The majority of dog paw pads are black and get thicker as they get older. Puppies typically have pink pads. Because of this, it is incredibly important to watch where puppies walk, and what they get into.

The pads on their paws are not yet strong or thick enough to handle harsher surfaces, and chemicals can cause a lot of damage. They should only be walked on carpeted floors, or other padded surfaces.

Once your puppy has reached full maturity, he will develop stronger pads that can handle walking on concrete surfaces.

How To Tell If Something Is Wrong

If you notice any signs of irritation, inflammation, or bleeding from your pet’s paw pads, something is wrong. Paw pads should be black in adult dogs, and they should not be rough.

They might be slightly faded and worn, depending on how old and active your dog is, but they should not be bleeding or visibly in any other kind of pain.

Any sign that there is something wrong with your dog’s paw pad should result in a call with the veg. To be safe, you might want to limit activity until the issue is resolved.

Typically, if a dog has a saw paw pad, they will not want to be very active anyway, but there are always the ones that can’t stop moving.

An appointment with the vet will let you know what you need to do. They will probably bandage the dog’s paw to help with the healing process.

If significant damage has been done to the paw pad, it might start to peel. If this happens, you will need to see your vet right away. It’s best to avoid this situation altogether!

The moment you realize something may be wrong with your pet’s paw, you should call a vet. This is the best way to avoid any further damage from happening. In the meantime, reduce your pet’s activity.

Pink Paw Pads

As we mentioned, puppies will usually have pink paw pads. Here, we will be focusing on pink paw pads in adult dogs. There are a few reasons why the pad pads of your adult dog might be pink, when they are not typically this color.


A dog’s paw pads might turn a pink or ruddy red if they are experiencing an allergic reaction. When a dog has an allergic reaction, they will often get inflamed paws, which they can exacerbate by constant licking or chewing.

Some common allergies include some kinds of grass and different types of food. Surprisingly, many dogs are allergic to beef and pork, so if this is a part of your dog’s diet, try switching it out to chicken!

Try to rule things out one by one and find out what could be causing the reaction to occur.


You should walk your dog at least once a day, but in the height of summer you might want to skip it altogether.

The heat from sidewalks and other tarmac can cause some serious damage to the paw pads on your dog’s feet. Excessive heat, like that of sidewalks in the summer, can cause burning and peeling.

In the summer, you should avoid walking your dog during the hottest time of day, and avoid stone or sidewalks if possible. Nature trails or other footpaths are the best option.


Bacteria will typically only be a problem if there are some kinds of lesions or another wound on the paw pad. Since the paw pad is there to protect against bacteria, when they do they through, they can cause a lot of inflammation and discomfort.


Lesions and abrasions are basically any kind of trauma, sometimes caused by walking in very rough areas, or accidents. These should heal up fairly quickly, though, if they are not serious.

If you notice an injury that looks like it won’t heal easily on its own, check in with the vet.


dog paws

Though the paw pads are part of the overall paw, there are some other issues that dogs may experience. In this section, we will focus on the rest of the paws, including between our pup’s cute little toes.

How They Should Look

A dog’s paw should look as you expect – soft and curved. With this comes a slight curve to the side, just like human fingers.

On the front, it should be slightly rounded, and then more pointed at the tip. Your dog paw should feel smooth and soft on your hand. The sides should be thin and long. The back should also be thin and very straight.

Depending on the type of dog you have, your dog’s paws might be virtually hairless or have a beautiful coating.

For example, a Beagle might have short fur around their paws, while a Golden Retriever might have longer fur that creates an almost furry appearance. You can give your dog a bath every month or two to keep things clean and fresh.

How To Tell If Something Is Wrong

Redness, irritation, and inflammation are common issues for paws. Like with the paw pads, redness can occur because of allergies or trauma. This will probably be more difficult to determine because of all the fur, but sometimes the color can still keep through the fur.

You are more likely to notice that something is wrong through your dog’s behavior. They light chew or lick their paws obsessively, or react badly when you touch it.

If a dog’s paw is hurt, they are likely to be very protective of it and avoid anyone or anything touching it. Even if they do act like this, they should be taken to the vet for a check.

It is common for there to be problems between a dog’s toes. These issues can include bacterial infections, or even some kind of trauma.

The toes themselves should appear normal. However, the nail beds can become inflamed and ulcerated, which can lead to painful sores and infection. You should see your veterinarian for these types of injuries.

Fungal Infections

Although fungal infections aren’t very common in dogs, they can still occur. If they do get a fungal infection, it is likely from the environment, the fungi that are present on their bodies naturally, or from another animal.

The most common fungal infection is yeast dermatitis, which is typically found between the toes or other folds of skin on the dog.

Because of this, some breeds are more prone to it than others. When this happens, there is often redness, itching, brown discoloration, and a discharge near the nails and paws.

If you are worried about this being an issue for your dog, the best way to get it checked is through blood work and skin testing. Once you know exactly what you’re facing, you can work on managing the condition.

Growths, Lumps, Or Cysts

These can also occur between the dog’s toes. Growths, lumps, and cysts can be very unpleasant to deal with, for both your dog and you. You might notice that your dog is limping, or you may notice unpleasant discharge where your dog walks or in their bed.

If you notice your dog limping, check their paws if you can. Any sign of growths, lumps, or cysts should result in a call to the vet’s office. Typically, your dog will either be given some antibiotics or treatment in the form of laser therapy or a biopsy.


As we mentioned, allergies can have a big impact on your pet’s paws. Your dog might be allergic to pollen, dust mites, mold spores, or a variety of different things.

There are many ways to help your dog deal with allergies, including using natural remedies or working with a holistic veterinary clinic.

The licking, biting, and chewing a dog will do to relieve the itchiness on their paws can make the condition worse. If you think your dog might be allergic to something, you should take them to the vet to help with the symptoms.

If they can, the vet may help you try to determine the cause for the reaction. There’s a good chance that it is either something in the environment, such as a specific type of grass, or food. Try to figure out what it could be by removing one of the possibilities.

By doing this one at a time, you should eventually figure out what the problem is. Once determined, you can take steps to avoid it becoming an issue again.

Many dogs are allergic to certain foods, so that seems like a good place to start. If your dog had beef or pork with their dinner, you can try giving them chicken instead. Simply try things and see what happens. Just be sure that you double-check that everything you are feeding your dog is safe for them to eat.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections are fairly common in pets. Because this is not uncommon, many vets keep antibiotics on hand, just in case. If you notice any signs of infection, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

This includes anything from black coloration around the paw pads, to excessive pain, swelling, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or lack of appetite.

Ingrown hair between the toes can cause bacterial infections, too. You may notice painful blisters between your pet’s toes, along with pus. These abscesses can be common in dogs with short, bristly hair between their toes.

Self-Induced Pink Paws

Sometimes, a dog’s own behaviors can cause them to have pink paws. As previously mentioned, obsessive licking or chewing can cause unpleasant damage.

If a dog has injured itself because of a behavior, you may need to help them by protecting their paw from further harm. You should always take care of yourself and your dogs’ paws, so they don’t get worse over time.

You might need to work with a behavioral specialist for training to help get your dog to stop harming themselves. While there are things you can do at home to reduce this harm from occurring, it might be uncomfortable for your dog, or difficult to uphold.

For example, dog booties may be beneficial for this, but some dogs hate them, and will not appreciate having them on their feet constantly. The better choice is to reach out to the professionals, who can then help you and your dog take control once again.

Final Thoughts

Pink paws can be alarming when you first discover them on your dog. They might look cute, but if that isn’t their paws normal color, there is a problem.

The pink on a paw indicates areas that are either infected, inflamed, or damaged. Think of puppy paw pads – when they are born, they have cute little pads because they don’t do much for the first few months of their lives. As they get older, their pads will thicken, enabling them to run rampant and wreak havoc.

If you notice that the paws, whether the paw pads or the paws themselves, are pink, get in contact with the vet. Your dog might be in pain, and need your help.

If you can, check their paws and try to determine what the issue is. That way, you can give the vet all the information they need to make a fast call.

No one wants to see their best friend in pain, so always keep an eye out for them.

It’s important to note that different dogs might react differently to situations. Some might seek their owners for help, while others might hide.

Always get to know your dog and learn what is and is not normal. That way, when something does happen, you will be there to help, and you can do it quickly.

Megan Turner