A dog’s paws are more delicate than you may expect, but they’re also tough enough to tolerate running about on various surfaces all day. If your dog’s paws are turning pink and black for no apparent reason, there could be a number of causes. Let’s look at some of the possible causes of discolouration in your dog’s paws to see whether you should be concerned.

The 7 Possible Causes of Pink and Black Dog Paws

  1. It’s Common (In Some Breeds)

Some dog breeds, such as Boxers and Great Danes, can inherit a recessive brindle gene that affects their hair, skin, and paw pads. This provides a distinct marbled effect by combining black, pink, and other brindle colors such as brown. That suggests your dog’s paws are fine and you don’t need to worry, but feel free to continue reading if that isn’t the case for your dog.

  1. Peeling Old Skin

Rough-and-tumble dogs who run a lot on hard surfaces can wear down the skin on their paw pads, causing discolouration. In severe situations, your dog’s paws may be fractured, bleeding, or worn more heavily in some areas than others. This is usually not serious, and the best thing you can do for your dog is keep their paws clean and limit their exposure to harsh surfaces.

  1. They’re Getting Older

When puppies are born, their paws are very soft, squishy, pink or sometimes blackish, but those soft paws gradually stiffen and ultimately wear away as they develop into adulthood. This can give your dog’s pads a marbled appearance, but as long as they’re not damaged or bleeding, they’re alright as long as they’re not in pain. However, a puppy’s growing pads are extremely sensitive to environmental risks such as rocks or hot surfaces, so you should keep an eye on where they play for the time being.

  1. They Require More Water

Dehydrated dogs lose moisture first in their softest body parts, including their paws. If your dog does not drink enough water, his or her paws will become dull and turn pink or black. In general, more severe discolouration indicates worse dehydration. In extreme instances, such as hiking paths with no available drinking water, your dog’s paws may become extremely sensitive to harm.

  1. Their Paws Are Sensitive

Some dog breeds, such as the Chinese Crested and Greyhound, have thinner, more delicate paws that are more easily injured. Sunburn, scorching surfaces, and severe temperatures, for example, can cause their paw pads to discolor, turning pink and/or black. It’s critical to keep an eye on your dog’s paws if they’re getting thinner. on the summer, limit their time on hot surfaces like asphalt and encourage them to spend more time on soft grass.

  1. Your Dog Could Be Sick

Skin pigmentation in the paws can be caused by a variety of ailments, including autoimmune conditions and bacterial infections. Autoimmune illnesses occur when your dog’s immune system assaults its own body, resulting in some pretty nasty skin rashes that range from pink to red, black, and even whiteish. Another option is an infection, which occurs when germs accumulate on your dog’s paws and enter their bloodstream. This causes the skin around the infected area to change colors, turning pink, black, and inflamed red.

  1. It’s Excessively Hot Outside

Hot surfaces such as cement, asphalt, and metal can become extremely hot depending on where you live, which is not ideal for your dog’s paws. Excessive time on hot surfaces can burn their paw pads, resulting in painful broken skin if not treated swiftly. If possible, avoid walking your dog on these types of surfaces when it’s hot outside. Instead, try a good area of cool, soft grass.


Pink and black paws are common in various brindle breeds, and most breeds go through the color change as they develop. However, in some rare circumstances, it may indicate that your dog is ill, has an infection, or simply has sensitive paws.