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What To Do About Dog Paw Pad Skin Hanging Off!

When a dog injures itself, most owners feel inclined to panic and end up at a loss for what to do.

Dog owners everywhere want the very best for their pets and try to keep them safe from harm, but sometimes, your dog will hurt itself and you won’t even know what happened. 

Paw injuries can be challenging to deal with because your dog is constantly putting weight on its feet, which could worsen the injury and make it difficult for the dog to walk or play.

If your dog’s paw pad skin is hanging off or has torn, you will need to take action to ensure that the injury doesn’t become infected, that it is dealt with properly, and that your dog is not in a lot of unnecessary pain.

If you ever see your dog limping, you should get it to sit down and then inspect the injury thoroughly.

Some minor injuries, such as thorns, small cuts, blisters, etc., may be issues that you can safely deal with at home, saving the stress and expense of a vet visit, but others are more serious and will need professional attention.

You should always keep an eye on an injury to make sure it is healing well, even if it seems minor.

What Causes The Skin On A Dog’s Paw Pad To Hang Off?

There are quite a few different things that can cause the skin of your dog’s paw to peel away from the pad, and looking for the cause may help you to properly assess and deal with the symptoms.

Skin peeling can be caused by fungal or bacterial infections, which may lead to excessive licking and chewing, which will result in inflamed and torn skin.

Damage may also be due to exposure to extreme temperatures, particularly if you walk your dog on snow, ice, or extremely hot tarmac, which may cause blisters and burns.

Often, loose skin will be the result of physical trauma to the dog’s paw; although the skin here is tough, it’s relatively easy for the dog to rip or tear it off, just as humans can do with their skin.

Broken glass or sharp metal could cut your dog’s foot, and in some cases, something as minor as rough ground could do it, especially if your dog turns sharply and creates a lot of friction on its pads.

Alternatively, an ingrown or broken nail might cause the skin to come loose, or push beneath it and pull it away from the foot. All of these things can be very painful for the dog and will need treatment from you or a vet to help them heal properly and quickly.

How Can You Treat Skin Hanging Off A Dog’s Paw Pad?

If your dog has a minor cut or blister on its paw that has resulted in the skin pulling away, you may be able to clean the injury site with warm water and potentially bandage it if you know what you are doing.

Be careful not to cut off blood flow to the foot, and don’t leave the bandage on for long; it is best for cuts to be exposed to the air to prevent bacteria and fungi from forming in the wound.

Keep an eye on the cut to ensure that it is getting better, and only try to treat minor injuries yourself.

If your dog has sustained a more major injury or a minor one isn’t healing as you’d hoped, it’s important to set up a video call with a veterinarian; they will be able to properly diagnose the source of the problem and find a solution.

They may instruct you on how to deal with the injury and they might prescribe some creams that will help to fight off or combat bacterial and fungal infections. Video calls are a great way to get cheap, professional advice about your dog.

A bad cut might require you to visit a practice in person, but the video call is a good start. If the injury needs skin removing (to prevent it from catching and tearing), stitching, or any serious treatment, you should be advised of this. Do not attempt these things at home as you might seriously hurt your dog.

Will Skin Hanging Off A Dog’s Paw Pad Heal By Itself?

This is heavily dependent on how major the injury is. If your dog got a small blister and a bit of loose skin has pulled away from the paw pad, it is likely that this will simply heal by itself, especially if the dog is not worrying at it or trying to chew it.

Keep an eye on it, encourage your dog to stay off hard surfaces, and clean the area to reduce the risk of fungal or bacterial infections.

However, if the injury is serious, it may not heal by itself, or may expose your dog to problems while it is doing so – and this is why you need a vet to assess it.

A vet will have a good idea of how quickly the skin should heal, and how much it is likely to bother the dog while it is doing so. Do not assume that an injury that is bleeding or raw will just heal by itself; ask a professional.

If you are waiting for an injury to heal on its own (either because of your own judgment or a professional’s), make sure you are paying attention to it. If the injury starts to swell or gets worse, or if your dog is worrying at it, take action.


A dog’s paw pad skin hanging can be a minor issue, or it can be very major – and this will depend on the severity of the injury and how the dog responds to it. Small cuts, scrapes, and bruises can be treated at home with proper cleaning and keeping your dog off its feet or on soft surfaces, but major injuries will require input from a vet. If in doubt, it is always best to turn to a vet for help.