What Are the Causes of Red Feet on Dogs?

By Mary Lougee

Dogs may have red feet from pain or injury, contact dermatitis, food allergies, fleas, parasites, secondary infections or from excessive biting and licking the paws out of anxiety or boredom. If your dog has more than one red foot, the best practice is to take him to your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

Painful Foot

Dogs who chew or lick on one foot only, usually have pain in that paw. Check your dog's red paw underneath on the pad and in between his toes. If you find a thorn, glass sliver or rock in his foot, remove it with tweezers and disinfect his paw. Watch him closely for signs of infection and take him to your veterinarian if the area swells, becomes hot or oozes. In the case of a torn paw pad or laceration, he will need to see your veterinarian.

Contact Dermatitis

Anything that irritates your dog's paws can cause contact dermatitis and red feet. Some dogs are sensitive to floor and carpet cleaners, salt on icy roads or products outside on your lawn. Present your pet to your veterinarian for treatment and suggestions on all natural products for cleaning to prevent constant red paws.

Food Allergies

Dogs who have food allergies have red itchy paws infected with a yeast infection. The culprit is normally a type of grain, such as soy, corn or wheat in his dog food that he doesn't tolerate well. Check with your veterinarian for a food alternative that will treat food allergies. He may need to see your dog to treat a yeast infection on his paws with medication.

Anxiety or Boredom

Some dogs who are left at home for several hours a day bite at their feet out of separation anxiety or boredom while no one is home. Provide your dog with a variety of chew and puzzle toys to play with in your absence to redirect his chewing energy. Take your pet for long walks or play fetch until he tires out when you are home. A tired pet from family playtime is not anxious or bored.

Fleas or Parasites

Fleas, ticks and mites can bite your dog's feet, causing him to lick or bite at his feet to try to remove them. Mites are microscopic and need magnification from your veterinarian to be seen. Take your pet to his veterinarian for a diagnosis. He likely will prescribe a monthly medication for parasites.

Fungal or Bacterial Infection

Fungal or bacterial infections are secondary infections caused by excessive biting and licking on dog paws. Bacterial infections have a foul smell and emit pus. Both of these infections need veterinary intervention to obtain the correct type of antibiotics for the infection to heal.