Pink puppy paws are a common sight among young dogs, but can also be a cause for concern among pet owners. While pink paws are often a normal part of a puppy’s development, they can also indicate an underlying health issue. It’s important for pet owners to understand the causes of pink puppy paws and when to seek veterinary care.

One common cause of pink puppy paws is a lack of pigmentation. Some dogs are genetically predisposed to lighter coloured skin and fur, which can result in pink or white paw pads. However, if a dog’s paws suddenly become pink or inflamed, it could be a sign of an infection or allergy. In these cases, it’s important to consult a veterinarian.

Additionally, pink puppy paws can be a result of environmental factors such as rough surfaces or exposure to extreme temperatures. Pet owners should take care to provide their dogs with appropriate protective gear and avoid exposing them to harsh conditions. With proper care and attention, most cases of pink puppy paws can be resolved without issue.

What are Pink Puppy Paws?

When puppies are born, their paw pads are usually pink in colour. Over time, their paw pads will change colour to black or brown, which is a sign that the skin has become thicker and tougher. However, some puppies may retain their pink paw pads even as they mature into adulthood.

Physical Characteristics

Pink puppy paws are usually soft and sensitive. They are also more prone to injury and irritation than black or brown paw pads. This is because the skin on pink paw pads is thinner and more delicate. Puppies with pink paw pads may be more sensitive to hot or cold surfaces, rough terrain, and harsh chemicals.

Owners should take extra care to protect their puppy’s pink paw pads. This can be done by avoiding rough surfaces, applying paw balm or moisturiser, and keeping nails trimmed to prevent scratching. If a puppy’s pink paw pads become red, swollen, or irritated, it may be a sign of a more serious condition such as pododermatitis. In this case, owners should seek veterinary advice.

Breeds with Pink Puppy Paws

While all puppies are born with pink paw pads, some breeds are more likely to retain their pink colouring into adulthood. These breeds include:

Breed Common Name
Chihuahua Chihuahua
English Bulldog Bulldog
French Bulldog French Bulldog
Pekingese Pekingese
Pomeranian Pomeranian
Poodle Poodle
Shih Tzu Shih Tzu

Owners of these breeds should be aware that their puppies may have more delicate paw pads and take extra care to protect them.


Why do Some Puppies Have Pink Paws?

It is not uncommon to see puppies with pink paws. While some puppies are born with pink paws, others develop pink paws as they grow. There are several reasons why a puppy’s paws may turn pink.


Some puppies of mixed colors may have pink paws because they carry a gene that makes them incapable of producing pigment in their skin and hair. This can affect the puppy’s entire body or just certain spots. For example, a black and white puppy may have black fur with white spots and pink paws.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors can also contribute to pink paws in puppies. Puppies who spend a lot of time outdoors on hot pavement or in the sun may develop pink paws due to sunburn or heat exposure. Puppies who have allergies may also develop pink paws due to skin irritation from licking or scratching.

If a puppy’s pink paws are due to environmental factors, it is important to take steps to protect them. Providing shade and keeping puppies indoors during the hottest parts of the day can help prevent sunburn and heat exposure. Identifying and addressing any allergies can also help reduce skin irritation and prevent further paw discoloration.

Overall, pink paws in puppies can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics and environmental factors. While it is not always a cause for concern, it is important to monitor any changes in a puppy’s paw color and seek veterinary care if necessary.


Caring for Puppies with Pink Paws

Pink paws on puppies can be a sign of natural coloring or developing tougher skin. However, it can also indicate an inflammation of the paws, medically referred to as canine pododermatitis. Inflamed paws look red or pink and swollen and can sometimes produce a discharge. It is important to take care of your puppy’s pink paws to ensure their comfort and health.


Grooming your puppy’s paws is an essential part of caring for their pink paws. Regularly inspect your puppy’s paws for signs of irritation, injury, or infection. Gently clean their paws with a damp cloth or pet-safe wipes to remove dirt, debris, and potential allergens. Make sure to clean between their toes and around their paw pads. Keep their nails trimmed to prevent them from scratching and causing further irritation.

Protection from Sunburn

Puppies with pink paws are more susceptible to sunburn, which can cause pain and discomfort. To protect their paws from the sun, avoid walking them during peak sun hours and provide them with shade when outdoors. You can also apply pet-safe sunscreen to their paws and other exposed areas of skin. Make sure to choose a sunscreen that is specifically designed for pets and does not contain harmful ingredients such as zinc oxide or para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA).

Caring for puppies with pink paws requires attention to detail and regular maintenance. By grooming their paws and protecting them from the sun, you can help keep your puppy comfortable and healthy.

Sources: PawsGeek, American Kennel Club


While pink paws in puppies may be a natural occurrence, it is important to keep an eye on them and ensure they develop the black protective layer. In adult dogs, pink paws may indicate that the paw pads are coming off or be a sign of infection. It is important to keep your dog’s paws clean and take them to the vet if you suspect an infection.

Additionally, allergies can also cause pink paws in dogs. If you suspect your dog has allergies, it is best to consult with a vet to determine the cause and proper treatment.

Overall, it is important to pay attention to your dog’s paws and take proper care of them. This includes keeping them clean, monitoring for any changes in colour or texture, and seeking veterinary attention if necessary.

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