What is Causing My Dog’s Paws to be Red?

Have you noticed that your dog’s paws are red and irritated? While this can be concerning, knowing the possible causes of this redness and irritation can help you provide the best care for your furry friend. In this blog, we’ll discuss some common reasons why your dog’s paws might be red and when it’s time to seek veterinary attention. For advice that is better tailored to your pet’s needs or to schedule an appointment, call Kryder + Harr Veterinary Clinic in Granger, IN at (574) 277-6533.

Woman Hands Holding Red Dogs Paw Outdoors


Allergies and Red Paws

Allergies might be the culprit of your dog’s red paws, and below, we’ll cover two of the most common allergy types: environmental and food allergies. 

Environmental Allergies

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from environmental allergies. These can be caused by pollen, mold, dust mites, and other allergens in the environment. When your dog comes into contact with these allergens, their paws may become itchy and red. You might notice your dog licking or chewing their paws more often during certain seasons.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are another common cause of red paws in dogs. Certain ingredients in your dog’s diet might trigger an allergic reaction, leading to inflammation and redness. Common food allergens include beef, chicken, dairy, and grains. If you suspect a food allergy, it might help to consult your vet about an elimination diet to identify the culprit.

Infections That Cause Red Paws

Bacterial and fungal infections can also be responsible for changes to your dog’s paws. 

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections can make your dog’s paws red and swollen, and these infections can result from small cuts or abrasions on your pet’s feet. Symptoms of a bacterial infection include redness, swelling, and sometimes a foul odor. Your vet can prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection at its roots.

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections, such as yeast infections, are another possible cause of red paws in dogs. These infections thrive in moist environments, so if your dog’s paws are frequently wet, they may be more susceptible! Signs of a fungal infection include redness, itching, and a greasy discharge. Antifungal treatments from your vet can help clear up the infection.

Parasites and Red Paws

Parasites affect more than the ears and skin; they can affect the paws, too. 

Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks are common parasites that can cause irritation and redness on your dog’s paws. Flea bites can lead to intense itching and scratching, resulting in red, irritated skin. Ticks can also cause redness and swelling around the bite area, as well. Regular use of flea and tick prevention products can protect your dog from these parasites.


Mites, like those that cause mange, can burrow into your dog’s skin, causing severe itching and redness. If your dog’s paws are red and they are constantly scratching or biting at them, mites could be the underlying cause. Your vet can diagnose and treat mite infestations with appropriate medications.

Physical Injuries and Red Paws

Be mindful of physical injuries to your pet’s paws, no matter how small. Even tiny cuts, scrapes, or blisters can open the door to irritation, redness, and discomfort. 

Cuts and Abrasions

Dogs can get cuts and abrasions on their paws from walking on rough or sharp surfaces. These injuries can make the paws red and sore. If you notice a cut or abrasion on your dog’s paw, keep the area clean and watch it for signs of infection.

Burns and Blisters

Walking on hot pavement or hot sand can cause your dog’s paws to burn and blister. These burns can make the paws red, swollen, and painful. It’s best to avoid walking your dog on hot surfaces during the day’s peak heat. If you suspect your dog has a burn, consult your vet as soon as possible for appropriate care.

Underlying Health Conditions

There are other, less common causes of red paws in dogs, but they are no less important because they could indicate a deeper health issue. 

Autoimmune Diseases

Certain autoimmune diseases can cause redness and inflammation of your dog’s paws. These conditions occur when your dog’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. If your dog’s paws are red and they have other symptoms such as lethargy or weight loss, an autoimmune disease could be the cause. 

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances, such as hypothyroidism, can also lead to red and irritated paws. These imbalances affect your dog’s skin health and immune function, making them more prone to infections and allergies. If your dog’s red paws are accompanied by other symptoms like hair loss or weight gain, a hormonal imbalance may be to blame and you should speak with your vet. 

When to Visit Kryder + Harr Veterinary Clinic

If your dog’s paws are red and the condition does not improve with basic care, you should seek your veterinarian’s advice right away. Persistent redness, swelling, or discomfort can indicate a more serious issue that requires professional treatment. The team at Kryder + Harr Veterinary Clinic in Granger, IN, is here to help. Call us at (574) 277-6533 to schedule an appointment.


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Welcome to Kryder & Harr Veterinary Clinic! Our animal hospital has been a fixture in the Granger community since 1981, practicing full-service veterinary medicine for all our pet parents and their furry family members. At KHVC, we pride ourselves on our history, of providing excellent customer service for our clients, along with dedicated, compassionate, and exceptional medical care for all of our patients.