Dog Paws Redness Between Toes: Home Remedies

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve noticed your furry friend’s paws are a bit red and irritated between the toes.

And what’s causing this to happen?

There are several potential reasons behind this, including environmental allergies, fleas and ticks, or the fact that your dog’s paws might be injured. Depending on the severity, you might be able to resolve this at home without going to the vet.

As a fellow dog parent, I know how worrisome this can be, but not to worry, as I’ve put together some helpful information in this article and various home remedies to help your pooch find some relief.

Dog Paws Redness Between Toes Home Remedies key takeaways

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Navigate this post
  1. 8 Common Causes of Dog Paws Redness (Itchy Paws)
  2. Tips to Prevent Your Dog From Licking Its Paws
  3. Dog Paws Red Between Toes Home Remedies
  4. Medical Treatments for Your Dog's Itchy Paws: How to Treat My Dogs Red Paws?
  5. Understanding Interdigital Cysts in Dogs
  6. Defining Hot Foot Syndrome in Dogs
  7. Duration of Dog Paw Recovery (Dog Paw Injury Between Toes)
  8. Preventing Paw-Related Issues in Dogs
  9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  10. In Conclusion: Dog Paws Redness Between Toes Home Remedies
Dear Dog Owner

8 Common Causes of Dog Paws Redness (Itchy Paws)

What Causes dogs to have Itchy Paws or redness between paws?

Before we dive into the remedies, it’s important to understand the possible causes of your dog’s itchy paws. 

Just like humans, dogs can experience a wide range of issues that could be causing discomfort. 

Let’s explore some of the most common reasons for redness between their toes.

1. Environmental allergies

I don’t think this will come across as surprising, but dogs can have allergies just like us! 

They can be allergic to pollen, grass, mold, or other environmental factors. 

When your pup gets into contact with allergens, they can stick to their paws and cause itchiness, or even cause your dog’s paws to have a white bump.

My dog, for example, starts licking her paws relentlessly every spring when the pollen count is high.

2. Parasites such as fleas and ticks

Fleas and ticks are more than just an annoyance; they can also make your dog’s paws itchy. 

These pesky parasites can hide in the fur between your dog’s toes, causing irritation and redness. 

Trust me, it’s not fun trying to find and remove a tick from those tiny spaces!

3. Yeast overgrowth

A yeast infection in your dog’s paws might sound strange, but it’s actually quite common. 

Yeast is a naturally occurring fungus that can overgrow and cause itchiness and discomfort.

Dogs with compromised immune systems, like a senior pup I once had, are more prone to these infections.

4. Bacterial dermatitis

Bacterial infections can develop in the moist, warm areas between your dog’s toes. 

These infections can cause redness, swelling, and itchiness. 

If you notice a foul smell coming from your dog’s paws, it could be a sign of bacterial dermatitis.

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5. Fungal dermatitis

Fungal infections, often caused by ringworms, can also affect your dog’s paws. 

These infections are contagious and can cause redness, itchiness, and hair loss between the toes. 

Be sure to wash your hands after touching your dog’s paws to avoid spreading the infection to yourself or other pets.

6. Inflamed or damaged paw pads

Rough surfaces, hot pavement, or even ice and snow can cause your dog’s paw pads to become inflamed, cracked, or damaged. 

This can lead to redness and irritation between the toes. 

I’ve seen my dog limp after walking on hot asphalt in the summer, so it’s crucial to be mindful of the surfaces your pup walks on as well as the amount of time spent on them.

7. Plant awns and other foreign materials

Sometimes, the cause of your dog’s red paws might be as simple as a small foreign object, like a grass seed or thorn, lodged between their toes. 

These foreign materials can cause irritation, redness, and even infection if left untreated.

8. Groomer accident

Grooming can cause redness between a dog’s toes if the groomer clips hair too closely, accidentally nicks the skin, or uses harsh grooming products.

The best thing you can do is choose a reputable groomer right from the get-go and point out any potential sensitive spots your dog might have in order to prevent this from happening.

You can also request hypoallergenic grooming products to minimize irritation if your dog is known to have allergies.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Bumps on dog lips

Tips to Prevent Your Dog From Licking Its Paws

Now that we’ve identified some potential causes for your dog’s itchy paws, let’s dive into a few tips that will prevent them from licking its paws and exacerbating the issue further.

Ultimately, it’s important to address the root of the problem to prevent future paw-blems. 

Here are some tips on how to stop your dog from licking their paws and find relief from itchiness.

Identify and address the underlying issue

The first step is to figure out what’s causing your dog’s paw discomfort. 

It may be helpful to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. 

Once you’ve pinpointed the issue, you can take action to resolve it. 

For instance, if your dog has a flea infestation, a flea treatment will be necessary to stop the itching.

Adjust your dog’s diet

Believe it or not, your dog’s diet can play a significant role in its paw health. 

If your dog has food allergies or sensitivities, their paws may become inflamed and itchy. 

Experiment with an elimination diet or hypoallergenic dog food to determine if certain ingredients are causing your pup’s discomfort.

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Safeguard your dog’s paws

Prevention is key when it comes to maintaining healthy paws. 

In the winter, use dog booties to protect your dog’s feet from ice and snow. 

In the summer, avoid walking on hot pavement that can burn their paw pads. 

Regular grooming and trimming the fur between their toes can also help prevent irritation.

Change household cleaning products

Some dogs are sensitive to chemicals found in household cleaning products. 

If you suspect that your cleaning products are causing your dog’s paw irritation, try switching to pet-friendly, non-toxic alternatives.

Let your dog wear an Elizabethan collar

If you start to see signs that your dog is aggressively or excessively licking at its paws, you should whip out the gold old e-collar.

This prevents them from accessing the problem spot with their mouth, thus lowering the chances of further aggravating it.

Dog Paws Red Between Toes Home Remedies

How to stop dog from licking paws home remedy

Home Remedies for Soothing Your Dog's Itchy Paws

A well-balanced diet

Just like humans, dogs need a well-balanced diet to maintain good health. 

Nutrient deficiencies can contribute to skin and paw problems. 

Make sure your dog’s diet includes essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals to support healthy skin and paws.

Aloe vera application

Aloe vera is known for its soothing and healing properties, and you can use it to help alleviate redness and itchiness.

Just make sure to use a pet-safe, 100% pure aloe vera spray without any added ingredients that could be harmful to your dog.

Also, play with them or put on an e-collar or booties for at least 15 minutes for the gel to soak in completely.

You wouldn’t want your dog to be licking it off, potentially causing gastrointestinal problems!

Baking soda paw bath

A baking soda paw soak can help relieve itchiness and inflammation very quickly.

There’s just something magical about this powder that does wonders.

Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with warm water in a shallow container, and let your dog’s paws soak for about 10 minutes. 

This simple solution is amazing!

Apple cider vinegar paw rinse

Apple cider vinegar has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help soothe your dog’s itchy paws. 

What you can do is mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar, and use a spray bottle to apply the solution to your dog’s paws. 

Just make sure you don’t do it on any open wounds or cuts, as the vinegar can sting.

Chamomile tea paw dip

Chamomile tea is known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Here’s the plan: Brew some chamomile tea, let it cool, and then soak your dog’s paws for a few minutes. 

This gentle paw dip can help alleviate redness and irritation.

Colloidal oatmeal paw bath

Colloidal oatmeal [1] has long been used to soothe itchy skin. 

Mix some colloidal oatmeal with warm water, and let your dog’s paws soak for about 10 minutes. 

The oatmeal will help soothe and moisturize their irritated skin.

Natural paw balms

Applying a natural paw balm to your dog’s paws can help protect and soothe their irritated skin. 

Look for a balm made with natural ingredients, such as coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax. 

These ingredients can help moisturize and heal your dog’s red, itchy paws. 

Just be sure to apply it only on clean, dry paws, and keep an eye on your pup to make sure they don’t lick it off!

Medical Treatments for Your Dog’s Itchy Paws: How to Treat My Dogs Red Paws?

Medical Treatments for Your Dog's Itchy Paws

As much as we love trying home remedies for our furry friends, sometimes professional help is necessary. 

If you’ve tried the above remedies and your dog’s paws are still red and itchy, it’s time to consult your veterinarian. 

They may recommend medications, such as antibiotics, antifungal creams, or even steroids to reduce inflammation and itchiness. 

Remember, always follow your vet’s advice and administer medications as prescribed to ensure the best results for your pup!

Understanding Interdigital Cysts in Dogs

Interdigital cysts are inflamed, swollen areas between a dog’s toes, often filled with fluid or pus. 

What this also means is sore dog paws between toes that can be very painful and cause your dog to excessively lick or chew their paws.

If you’ve ever had a cyst, you can definitely empathize with your dog’s discomfort!

Indications of interdigital cysts in dogs

Signs that your dog may have an interdigital cyst include 

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Discharge between their toes
  • Limp or show signs of pain when walking

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

Factors Leading to Interdigital Cysts in Dogs

Several factors can contribute to the development of interdigital cysts in dogs, such as:

  • Allergies: Environmental or food allergies can cause inflammation and irritation, leading to cysts.
  • Infections: Bacterial, fungal, or yeast infections can cause cysts to form between your dog’s toes.
  • Foreign bodies: Small objects like grass seeds or splinters can become embedded in your dog’s paws, causing cysts to develop.
  • Genetics: Some breeds, like Bulldogs and Labradors, are more prone to interdigital cysts due to their anatomy and predisposition to skin issues.

Home-Based Methods to Treat Interdigital Cysts

While it’s essential to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan, there are some home-based methods you can try to alleviate your dog’s discomfort:

  • Epsom salt soak: Soak your dog’s paws in a warm Epsom salt solution for about 10 minutes daily to help reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  • Cold or warm compresses: Applying a cold or warm compress to the affected area can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling. Be sure to follow your vet’s instructions for proper usage.
  • Keep the area clean and dry: Gently clean your dog’s paws with a mild pet-friendly soap, and thoroughly dry them after each soak or rinse. This helps to prevent infection and promote healing.
  • Prevent licking and chewing: Use an Elizabethan collar or a similar device to prevent your dog from licking and chewing their paws, which can exacerbate the problem.

Defining Hot Foot Syndrome in Dogs

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Now that we’ve covered the basics of itchy paws and interdigital cysts, let’s explore another paw-related issue: hot foot syndrome.

Hot foot syndrome, also known as “paw pad burn” or “contact burn,” occurs when a dog’s paw pads are exposed to hot surfaces, such as asphalt or sand during the summer months. 

This can lead to painful burns, blisters, and sometimes even the peeling of paw pad skin. 


As a dog owner, you must know of this issue to protect your pup’s precious paws.

Strategies for managing and avoiding hot foot syndrome

To help your furry friend avoid hot foot syndrome, consider these strategies:

  • Walk your dog during cooler times of the day: Early morning or late evening walks can help avoid hot pavement and reduce the risk of paw pad burns.
  • Test the surface temperature: Place the back of your hand on the pavement for a few seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws!
  • Use protective paw gear: Dog booties or paw wax can protect your dog’s paws from hot surfaces and help prevent hot foot syndrome.
  • Opt for cooler surfaces: When possible, choose grass or shaded areas for your dog to walk on during hot days.

Duration of Dog Paw Recovery (Dog Paw Injury Between Toes)

The time it takes for a dog’s paws to heal depends on the severity of the injury and the underlying cause.

Minor issues like mild irritation or small cuts may heal within a few days with proper care. 

However, more severe injuries like burns or interdigital cysts may take weeks or even months to fully heal. 

Always consult your veterinarian for a personalized recovery plan for your dog.

Preventing Paw-Related Issues in Dogs

Prevention is always better than cure, right? 

Here are some tips to help keep your dog’s paws in tip-top shape:

Consistent grooming and examination

Regularly grooming your dog and examining their paws can help catch and address potential issues early. 

Check for signs of redness, swelling, or cuts, and consult your veterinarian if you spot any abnormalities.

Opt for suitable paw gear

Investing in protective paw gear, like booties or wax, can help shield your dog’s paws from harsh surfaces, hot pavement, and cold snow or ice.

Trim your dog’s nails regularly

Long nails can cause discomfort and make it difficult for your dog to walk properly. 

Regularly trimming your dog’s nails can prevent issues like ingrown nails and maintain good paw health.

Sustain a hygienic surrounding

Keeping your home and yard clean can help prevent your dog from picking up bacteria, fungi, or foreign objects that could cause paw irritation or injury.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I protect my dog’s paws from hot pavement?

Walk your dog during cooler times, test surface temperature, use protective paw gear like booties or wax, and opt for cooler surfaces like grass or shaded areas during hot days.

How can I tell if my dog has a yeast infection between their toes?

Signs of a yeast infection in your dog’s paws include redness, swelling, a foul odor, and excessive licking or chewing. It’s essential to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Can I use human moisturizers or creams on my dog’s paws?

It’s best to avoid using human moisturizers on your dog’s paws, as they may contain ingredients harmful to dogs. Instead, opt for dog-specific paw balms or waxes to ensure safety and effectiveness.

How often should I check and clean my dog’s paws?

Ideally, examine and clean your dog’s paws after every walk to remove debris and allergens. Regular grooming sessions, including nail trimming and paw pad checks, are also important for maintaining paw health.

Can I use essential oils to soothe my dog’s itchy paws?

Some essential oils may help soothe itchy paws, but it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian first. Essential oils must be used cautiously and properly diluted, as some can be toxic to dogs if ingested or used incorrectly.

What can I put on my dog’s red paws?

You can apply a soothing dog-specific paw balm or coconut oil to your dog’s red paws. These can help moisturize and protect the paw pads. If the redness persists or worsens, consult your veterinarian for proper guidance and treatment.

How to treat red inflamed dog paws?

To treat red inflamed dog paws, start by gently cleaning the paws with lukewarm water. Then, apply a veterinarian-recommended, hypoallergenic paw balm to moisturize and protect the paw pads. Consider using an Epsom salt soak to reduce inflammation. If the issue persists or worsens, consult your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

In Conclusion: Dog Paws Redness Between Toes Home Remedies

Taking care of your dog’s paws is a crucial aspect of their overall well-being and keeping those paws prancing.

I hope the tips above will benefit you and your dog!

For more paws-itively delightful tips and tricks on your dog’s health and happiness, scamper over to our other fantastic articles:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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