Flat Feet In Dogs

Flat Feet In Dogs – UPDATED 2022 – A Complete Guide

Dogs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and features. It is no surprise that they have different types of feet as well. While some types of paws are desirable as they meet certain breed standards, others are highly undesirable and considered major faults. Just as humans are prone to conditions affecting the feet like plantar fasciitis and others, pups have some problems, one of which is flat feet.

In this guide, we talk about flat feet in dogs, the treatment options available and everything else pet owners should know about this condition.

Flat Feet In Dogs – A Complete Guide

Some types of feet in dogs are considered faulty for dog shows. For a pup to be eligible to enter an event, all its body parts should work in proper harmony for an efficient gait. Structural faults in the paws can compromise the synchrony and result in abnormality of the gait, ultimately damaging the pet’s feet and health. Flat feet is one such condition often considered a problem for many breeds of dogs.

Flat feet in canines generally result from trauma or genetic predisposition. Let us discuss the conditions associated with this problem in dogs.

Carpal Subluxation

The carpus in the dog’s feet is just like the human wrist. When a canine suffers from a carpal subluxation, this joint is dislocated which is why the dog starts walking on the carpus over time. Walking on the dislocated joint results in ligament hardening and tendon swelling and it looks like the pup has flat feet. This condition is more common in male dogs than females and affects specific breeds like Irish setters, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Doberman Pinschers more than others.

Carpal Hyperextension

This condition generally results from falls or accidents like jumping from a height. Such incidents can result in instant lameness and swelling of the carpal along with a flat-footed appearance from walking on the carpal joint. Any symptoms of carpal hyperextension after an accident should be reported to the vet who can confirm a trauma with the help of x-rays.

The treatment plan for this condition includes pain management and splinting but the pup can sometimes need surgery to improve symptoms. Such dogs may not regain a lot of range in the carpus after surgery but can ensure a pain-free, normal gait in the long run.

Problems in Young Pups

Young puppies that are likely to be affected by a problem of the carpus start showing signs between the age of 6 to 12 weeks, though such symptoms can appear later as well. The pet may not show much pain but have difficulty walking. If the condition is not too severe, the pup can be treated with steroid injections in the affected feet. Severe cases may need surgical treatment.

How To Treat Flat Feet In Dogs?

The treatment method for flat feet in dogs depends on the severity of the condition. Some of the most common options include over-the-counter medicines, surgery, and splinting of the affected feet. Some pups have flat feet right from their birth which is not a serious problem. It can be easily addressed by trimming the nails regularly and taking some measures to relieve the pressure. If not trimmed well, the nails can break and result in pain for the pup. The position of the toes in flat feet exposes the nails more, resulting in several injuries for the dog.

If the pet shows symptoms of carpal subluxation or carpal hyperextension, you should take it to the vet who can rule out the possibilities and suggest the best treatment option. X-rays help determine the severity of the condition. The vet may prescribe pain killer medications and advise splinting of the leg for relief. However, if the condition is serious, the dog may require surgical treatment and recuperation.

Vitamin C For Dogs Feet – What You Should Know?

Vitamin C is a key vitamin for a pup’s health and is beneficial in several ways. It is effective at reducing inflammation and improving cognitive decline. It supports joint health and speeds up recovery from injuries. Most dogs produce the vitamin naturally on their own with a balanced diet. However, some pups may need vitamin C supplements and the vet may prescribe the right dosage based on its condition and requirement.

Pet owners can consider adding some superfoods into their pup’s diet to provide vitamin C in its purest form. Foods like blueberries, carrots, pumpkin, kale, and sweet potatoes are good sources of this vitamin and should be added to their daily diet. It is best to consult the vet before supplementing the pup’s diet with vitamin C for its feet health and recovery.

Puppy Walking Flat Footed? Here’s What To Do

There are many reasons a dog can walk flat-footed. A large dog can experience this after some type of traumatic injury affecting the leg joint. It should be reported to the vet to determine the severity and treatment options. Smaller breeds suffer from carpal hyperextension with age if they are overweight or have abnormal paw structure like pointing inward or outward.

Some pups are born with a predisposition or develop weakness of the ligaments from lack of nutrition. Weak ligaments in the carpal joint result in its stretching with time, eventually making the pup flat-footed. Anti-inflammatory medications generally help relieve pain and swelling of the joints. Surgery is sometimes required to stop the pet from relying on the ligaments. Some pups are advised braces for support to normalize the stance.

In any situation, if you find your pup walking flat-footed, it is best to take it to a vet to find out what exactly is wrong. The vet can determine the underlying condition and recommend the ideal treatment options to avoid further complications and to relieve the pain and discomfort your pooch is experiencing.

Most Common Flat Footed Dog Breeds

Flat foot is one of the types of feet dogs have. It is considered a normal trait in certain breeds and faulty for some others. For example, Tibetan Terrier has flat feet as a standard. They are known to have broad, rough-textured feet with hair between their toes. Such a shape makes it easy for them to climb mountains.

On the other hand, flat feet are considered to be a problem in certain breeds, and dogs with this condition are not allowed to enter shows. Some of the breeds most affected by this condition include Irish setters, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Doberman Pinschers. Flat feet are more commonly experienced by overweight, large dogs.


While flat feet in dogs is not always a matter of concern, it is best to take precautionary measures to prevent any complications. As falls are the most common cause of carpal hyperextension, it is advisable to keep your dog’s environment safe. If your home has a staircase, you should limit the pup’s access to the upper floor. Avoid uneven grounds and steep slopes when taking your pet out for a walk or run. Consult a vet immediately if you notice any abnormality in the pet’s feet or stance.