What Are the Causes of Dog Paw Cracks?

A dog's paw can become cracked sometimes.
A dog's paw can become cracked sometimes. (Image: paw image by pusti from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Paw pad injuries are common in dogs, because they are often subjected to trauma, as their paws often come in contact with rocks, mulch, snow or hot asphalt. There are several reasons a dog's paw pad can become cracked. Most paw pad injuries are easy to treat and will completely heal. Check your dog's paws frequently for paw pad injuries, because if left untreated, they can lead to painful infections.


Sometimes a dog's paw pads can become extremely dry. Just as with all dry skin, dry paw pads can lead to cracking. Thoroughly clean the cracks, so that bacteria does not get in the wound. Then, apply moisturizer to the paw pads. Moisturizer specifically for canine paw pads is available at pet stores. Do not moisturize your dog's paw pads too often; because they may become too soft, which can lead to painful walking.

Environmental Irritant

Some soaps or chemicals can cause cracked paw pads. If your dog is experiencing cracked paw pads, consider what he has come into contact with, lately. If you have recently changed your dog's shampoo, for example, that could be the cause. Other chemicals he may have walked through, also could irritate his paw pads and cause cracking. If removing the irritant does not relive the cracking, the dog could be suffering from an allergic reaction. Your veterinarian can run tests to determine what it allergens are affecting your pup.

Fungal Infection

Just as people can get fungal infections on their feet, so can dogs, suggests to Pet Peoples Place.com. An infection of this sort can cause cracked paws. Your veterinarian can diagnose the fungal infection and prescribe medication to relieve it.

Nasodigital Hyperkeratosis

Nasodigital hyperkeratosis is a condition that cause tough, callus-like growths to occur on the nose and paw pads. The growths can cause the paw pads to become cracked, according to Pet Peoples Place.com. There is no cure for this condition, but your veterinarian can prescribe topical ointments to help with the symptoms.

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