What color should a dog’s paw pad be? [Depends on Age and Breed]

Dogs’ paw colors vary depending on your dog’s age, breed, and where your pets have been walking. Young puppies may have very pink paw pads, which change with age and become darker. Discolouring can also occur due to grass stains. Most owners don’t regularly check their dogs’ paws, so it can be hard to tell whether changes have occurred.

This article will answer the question, ‘what color should a dog’s paw pad be?’ We’ll tell you what caused color variations and why your pet’s paw pads may have become discolored.

What Color Should a Dogs Paw Pads Be?

What Color Should Dog Paws Be

Dogs’ paw pads vary in color from black, dark brown, tan to pink or even white or grey. Some dogs have a combination of colors, or their paw pads look patchy. This is generally nothing to worry about. However, if you think theirs a problem with your dog’s paws, you should consult a vet.

Dogs’ paw pads feel like leather but are made from epidermis, tough outer skin similar to the soles of human feet. The difference is that as dogs walk around with bare feet, their paw pads become tougher. Sometimes dogs develop rough paws if they’ve damaged them slightly. Healthy dog paw pads should feel smooth and be free from abrasions.

Puppies Paw Pads

The color of a puppy’s paw pads, as well as their fur, nose, and skin color, is genetically pre-determined. Some dogs have a mixture of colors, while others have pink paw pads as they carry a gene that means they can’t produce pigment in their skin.

Often puppies are born with pink paw pads or light-colored pads, which will change color or darken over time. A puppy’s paw pads go through a process as they grow that’s known as d “marbling.” As the puppy grows up, the skin on his paws, nose, and inside his mouth changes color from pink to black or brown.

Discolored Paw Pads

Sometimes a dog’s paw pads will look slightly discolored, which could be caused by various things. Obviously, dogs are always walking around, and their paw pads will come into contact with a variety of weather and terrains. Dogs’ paw pads can get discolored due to environmental exposure and can change color slightly because of grass or mud stains.

While grass stains are nothing to worry about, some conditions can cause your dog’s paw pads to change color. If the fur between your dog’s paws looks reddish-brown, this may be a sign of a yeast infection. Yeast infection will make your dog’s paw pads look inflamed.

Allergies, fleas, or frostbite could also cause red, swollen paw pads. Dogs’ paw pads can also become burnt by walking on hot pavements. It’s best to keep your dogs off roads and sidewalks during scorching weather.

If your dog’s paw pads have turned white recently, this may be due to dryness or salt exposure. However, it may also be caused by more severe issues such as hyperkeratosis, hard pad disease, hookworm dermatitis, or an auto-immune condition called vitiligo.

Color changes are common in puppies, but in older dogs may indicate an issue, particularly if your dog’s paw pads also look inflamed. Conditions such as hormonal disorders and cancer can change the color of a dog’s paw pads.

Sometimes a dog will get a cut or scratch on their paw pads which may become infected. In the worse cases, this could lead to discolored lesions.


Dogs’ paw pads are generally pink, brown, black, or grey. It’s common for puppies to have pinker paw pads which will darken or change color as they grow up. If your dog’s paw pads change color, it could indicate a health problem, especially if the pad looks swollen. You should consult your vet if you’re at all worried about the color or texture of your dog’s paw pad.