At What Age Do Puppies’ Paws Turn Black? Can I Avoid It?

Puppies are born with pink or light color paws, but they turn black over time. At what age do puppies’ paws turn black? Let’s find out

When you bring a cute little puppy to your home, you love to watch its every little move. Newborn puppies tend to sleep most of the time, but you still check them from time to time to ensure they are comfortable.

But as they start to grow, you also notice changes in their physiology, especially in the color of their lips, nose, and paw pads. For example, did you know at what age do puppies’ paws turn black?

At What Age Do Puppies' Paws Turn Black

While each of those changes is interesting in its own right, I will restrict this article to paw pads. If you are a total newbie, you might be thinking, who worries about paw pads? Paw pads are a very important part of a dog’s anatomy. 

Why Are Paw Pads Important?

Paw pads are very important for dogs. They cushion their feet on every step and provide traction so that they don’t slip while walking or running. Paw pads consist of a layer of pigmented skin which consists of fatty tissues. 

These fatty tissues are not just anti-slip; they are insulating as well. They protect the puppy’s paws from cold surfaces.

Why Do Pink Paws Of A Puppy Turn Black?

Paw pads provide traction, shock resistance, and stability to a young pup. But these pads go through a series of processes which are a natural part of aging. 

Puppies tend to wander around. So they come in contact with numerous types of terrains. Their pads are exposed to various environmental conditions as well. So the pink color of paws changes to a blackish color. 

But you don’t have to worry about the change in color. It’s normal, and you should not try to stop it. The discoloration does not stop if you curb your puppies from walking outside or limit them to walk on only smooth surfaces. The skin of the paws naturally evolves to become tougher, so they can comfortably run or walk anywhere they want later on.

At What Age Do Puppies' Paws Turn Black

But you need to remember that the toughening of your puppy’s paws should not be out of control. If you allow your puppy to roam around on asphalt on a hot and sunny afternoon, you might find that their tender paws get burnt. You should avoid this kind of unnecessary toughening. 

Always check the temperature outside before taking your puppy for a walk. If it is too hot, prefer to walk on grass instead of taking a walk on the sidewalk.

Do all puppy paws turn black?

Most puppy paws turn black as they age. However, there are some puppies whose paws turn brownish instead. 

On the other hand, if the puppy suffers from any disease or has an infection, you may notice either white or reddish-brown color in their paws.

At What Age Do Puppies’ Paws Turn Black?

As mentioned earlier, the color of a puppy’s paw pads is usually pink early on, but later, it turns black. But at what age do puppies’ paws turn black? 

At What Age Do Puppies' Paws Turn Black

By the age of six months, you might notice a mix of pink and black stains on a puppy’s paw pads. This is completely natural and means that their skin is getting tougher so that they can walk anywhere they want.

Other Causes Of Discoloration In Puppy Paws

  • Sometimes you may notice the fur between the paw pads has turned reddish-brown because of yeast infection. The paws look inflamed by the yeast infection. So, you should consult your veterinary doctor immediately.
  • Allergies or frostbite can also make the paw pads of your puppy swollen.
  • If you notice white paw pads on your puppy, this may be due to excessive salt exposure or dryness.

Paw Pad Maintenance And Care

You should make a habit of checking the paw pads of your puppy regularly. Gently spread the puppy’s toes and inspect the sides of the paw pads and between the toes to check for injuries or swelling and discoloration. If you find any swelling or blisters on their paws, then you should do the following.

#1. Avoid Walking On Hot Pavements

You should avoid your puppy walking on hot pavements. The hot asphalt or any hot pavement can burn the paws of the puppy.

#2. Use Booties

Winter can be challenging for the paw pad of your puppy. So, you can use a bootie when your puppy goes outside in winter. Your puppy will look super cool after wearing booties. 

At What Age Do Puppies' Paws Turn Black

Some booties are waterproof as well. They will protect your puppy from rainwater or melted ice. Your puppy may feel uncomfortable when wearing a bootie (we have all seen those funny videos on the internet). But with time, the puppy becomes acquainted with it and may even start to enjoy wearing them.

#3. Trim The Fur While Walking In Snow

The snow can cause a lot of pain and other discomforts. You can trim the excess fur by using grooming clippers in between your puppy’s toes so that they cannot collect the snowballs.

#4. Clean And Dry The Paws

If your puppy has walked on salt surfaces, then you need to wash and dry the paws of your puppy.

#5. Use Paw Moisturizer

If you see any cracks or damage on the paws of your puppy, then it’s good to apply a paw moisturizer, as suggested by a vet. 

At What Age Do Puppies' Paws Turn Black

But never apply lotions or moisturizers, which you use yourself on the paws of your puppy. It will damage their paws. Again, don’t over-apply the paw moisturizer as it can tear their tender skin.

#6. Use Tweezers

If your puppy has small debris or stones stuck between its toes, then use tweezers to extract them.

#7. Use Petroleum Jelly

You can apply petroleum jelly if your puppy is going to walk on ice. Petroleum jelly is a natural protectant and a bad conductor of cold.

#8. Use Paw pad Wax

If your puppy is not willing to wear booties, then you can apply paw pad wax, which is a very easy option to protect and moisturize your puppy’s paw pad. The wax acts as a barrier and protects your dog’s feet from ice, salt, dirt, and snow.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Will my puppy paws stay pink?

Some puppies are born with pink paw pads. But the pink color is not going to stay for long. When your puppy starts maturing, the color of the paw pad becomes darker in color.

#2. Do dog paw pads change color?

Yes, the dog paw pads change color. It is because of the exposure to different environmental conditions. Again, discoloration takes place because of grass or mud stains.

At What Age Do Puppies' Paws Turn Black

#3. Do all dogs have black paws?

Not all dogs don’t have black paws. The dogs can have paw pads of brown, pink, black, or a combination of pink and black color.

#4. Do puppy pads turn black?

The puppies have pads on their feet, which act as a cushion at the time of walking. They are usually pinkish during the time of birth. But they turn blackish when these pads are exposed to various environmental conditions or different kinds of terrain.

#5. What color should my dog’s paw pad be?

The paw pads of the dog vary in color. It can be black, dark brown, pink, tan, white, or grey. In some dogs, you may find a combination of some color, or their paw pads may have patches. 

So, you don’t have to worry about the color of the paw pads. If you think that there is a problem with the paw pads of your puppy, then it’s best to consult a good veterinary doctor.

#6. Do puppy paws stay pink?

No puppy paws don’t stay pink for a longer period. Some puppies are born with pink paws, but when they mature, it turns blackish.

At What Age Do Puppies' Paws Turn Black

#7. What causes paws to turn black?

A puppy is born with delicate pink paws. But they turn black with age which happens when the outer skin of the paws becomes rugged and robust. The more a puppy walks, the more black the paws become. 

When a puppy reaches almost six months, you will find pink and black marks on the paws, indicating that the skin has become harder and that your puppy is getting ready to walk.

#8. Do pink noses on puppies turn black?

Puppies are born with pink noses. But when they mature, it becomes darker in color and finally turns black. But this may vary from one breed to another.

Wrap Up

Dog paw pads consist of a thick layer of fatty tissue that protects them while walking on rough terrain. They are usually born with pink paw pads, but the pads turn black with age as the skin hardens and becomes acclimated to harsh terrains.

But yes, you have to check the paw pads of your puppy regularly, and if needed, you need to use paw moisturizer or make them wear booties. It may prevent blisters and swelling.

I hope this article has helped you in knowing about the paw pads of puppies and their maintenance. Please share your suggestions and comments for this article.