Why Are My Dog’s Paws Pink and Black?

By John Martin - August 30, 2021

Dog paw pink and black

Everyone wants their dogs to be perfectly healthy. In this sense, it can sometimes be concerning if you notice issues with their paws.

For instance, if you notice that your dog’s paws are pink and black, should you be worried? We can help you figure out a cause behind such paws through this guide while also informing you about the steps you can follow to deal with pink and black paws.

Let’s get started!

Protective Growth

If your dog is a few months old, it is possible the pink and black surface of your dog’s paws are simply a protective growth to make it comfortable for them to walk around without major issues.

This layer is called the stratum corneum that can act as a layer with tissues and cushioning to give some support to your dog.

Since this layer takes some time to fully develop, there can be both pink and black colors on the paws. In such a situation, you can simply let it grow out unless it is too tough and painful.

Natural Color

Another reason that your dog’s paws are pink and black might simply be the fact that those are natural colors that develop on your dog. This is another thing that you do not need to worry about.

In case you notice your dog being uncomfortable with the paws, then you can try to figure out the issue by observing their behavior.

You can then take them to the vet and seek further advice so that you can make your dog more comfortable.

Shedding Layer

A shedding layer might be another reason for pink and black dog paws. This might generally be an issue if your dog is already old enough.

This means that the natural protective layer might be starting to shed off due to frequent wear and tear. This might take place due to several reasons, such as walking around on rough surfaces.

This can then cause parts of the paw tissue to wear off and turn into pink and black spots.

Hot Pavements

In case you live in hot climates, then you might need to watch out for hot pavements or pathways. These could be harmful to your dog as their paws might not be able to stand the heat from these surfaces.

You should make sure that you do not walk your dog on such pathways as they can cause painful burns.

Sometimes, it might not be possible to completely avoid such routes because most surfaces tend to become hot if the weather is hot too.

In such a case, you can opt for some ways in which you can cover your dog’s paws so that they do not directly come into contact with the pavement.

Also Read: Can I Vacuum Fleas Off My Dog?


Sensitivity can also be another issue that is turning your dog’s paws pink and black. You might not be able to avoid this problem since many dogs might have had this problem since their birth.

It is also possible that their skin is simply not that tough or thick to protect them from the usual wear and tear. This might make them more vulnerable to conditions that can harm the protective layer on their paws.

You will probably need to cover their paws or apply something to give them relief if this is a common issue for them.


Since dogs tend to walk and run around both indoors and outdoors without much protection to their paws, they can come into more contact with all kinds of bacteria.

This can cause some of their protective tissue to come off. If a lot of bacteria grows and gathers on their paws, it can cause your dog some discomfort.

This can also create pink and black-colored spots. It is possible to avoid this situation altogether by making sure to clean up the paws every time your dog goes out and comes back.

You can also clean up the bacteria or use protective material to provide some relief.


Allergies might arise in your dog if they meet some objects or substances that can lead to reactions in their body. This could also lead to pink and black paws that might cause your dog to bite, lick and scratch their paws for some comfort.

Such allergies can be uncomfortable for dogs. The best thing you can do in this case is to observe changes in your dog’s behavior and then take them to the vet to figure out the problem.

The vet can then prescribe some medicine or gel to apply to reduce the effects of the allergies.

Also Read: Do Dogs Have Retractable Claws?

Steps to Take if Causing Your Dog Pain or Discomfort

If you notice that the pink and black paws of your dog are causing them pain or discomfort, then you can try out the following steps or methods to help them out.

Some of these can also be good ways to avoid such situations in the first place.

Inspect the Paws

First, inspect the paws of your dog to see if there are any other issues, such as swollen or inflamed parts.

You can also keep track of your dog’s behavior and how they are dealing with their paws. If they keep licking them or itching them, it might be causing them pain.

Walk on Cooler Roads

If you know for a fact that the roads in your town or city are too hot for the dogs to handle, then you can switch the route to cooler areas, such as gardens.

You can also take them out for walks early in the morning on later in the evening to avoid the sun.

Trim Extra Fur

Sometimes, fur tends to grow on your dog’s paws or between their toes. This can loosen their grip while walking on the ground, leading to the shedding of the protective layer.

For this reason, you should make it a point to regularly cut this extra fur to avoid major problems.

Keep Them Clean

Generally, you should keep your dog’s paws as clean as possible so that you can prevent bacteria and fungus from gathering and growing.

Every time you bring your dog home from the outdoors, you should wash and dry the paws to get rid of the dirt and extra moisture.

Use Dog Shoes

Another way to protect your dog’s paws from damage is to buy them dog shoes that you can slip onto their paws while going outdoors.

This can also prevent further damage if the paws are already pink and black. Socks can also help with this, but make sure they are not too slippery.

Use Paw Wax

Paw wax can be a way to soothe the pain or itchiness on your dog’s paws.

You can use this if the pink and black patches appear at a later stage due to wear and tear as well as during the growth of the natural protective layer.

This can make the process easier for them.

Use Paw Pads

Paw pads can be a good alternative for shoes or socks for your dog.

These can give enough breathing and wiggle space for the paws while also protecting the paws from rough surfaces and from slipping.

These pads can be more comfortable than shoes.

Ask the Vet

In case your dog is too uncomfortable with the patches and keeps scratching, licking or itching the paws, then it might be a good idea to consult the vet to help you figure out the problem.

Watch out for other symptoms as well, so that you can find out the problem more accurately.

Also Read: Can Dogs Get in Hot Tubs?

In Conclusion

Through this article, we have taken you through all the possible reasons that your dog might have pink and black paws.

Some of these reasons might be natural, while some might develop due to a few issues. You can try out some of the steps we mentioned to provide your dog some relief.