Basset Hound Paws Complete Guide (Size Problems, Duck Feet)

Basset Hounds are very distinct in many of their features. Not only do they have gorgeous long ears, but they also tend to have very adorable large paws that may turn outward when standing causing them to look comical when sitting or standing upright.

In this article, we will discuss this and other important issues you may be having with your Basset Hounds paws.

Why Do Basset Hounds Feet and Legs Turn Out

Many Basset Hound owners are perplexed by their dog’s feet turning outward and wonder if will cause problems.

Basset Hounds often have feet that turn outward, or what is known as Duck Paws. This is a genetic trait intended to help a Basset hound keep its balance. Because of their broad shoulders and heavy ears, a Basset Hounds posture is different than other dog breeds.

I’m sure you have noticed by now that a Basset Hound is built very differently than a lot of dog breeds. From their wrinkly skin to the extra-long ears they have a look that sets them apart from many of their canine friends. This includes how many Basset Hounds tend to sit with their legs turned outward.

Unfortunately, this once helpful trait is beginning to cause more deformities and issues in the general Basset Hound population. Basset Hounds have shorter legs than other breeds, they also have stout heavy bodies. With the short legs and extra weight along with the long ears, it can be difficult for them to stand or walk in the same way as normal dogs.

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The slight difference in the way Basset Hounds legs are turned can give them added leverage to hold their body upright. It may also help them avoid stepping on their ears.

Breeding a dog with this genetic trait can be very tricky. A slight turn is fine, but a more exaggerated turn can lead to them having very crooked legs, or even a deformity.

ALD or (Angular Limb Deformities) is diagnosed in dogs like Basset Hounds whose breeding and genetics lean too greatly towards the turning and bowing of the legs.

It tends to happen while the dog is still a growing puppy. When their legs go from a slight turn to an appearance of being twisted, crooked, bowing outward, or curving inward it can cause pain or other problems in your dog.

Some problems that may develop from ALD

Chess Dog 300 x 600
  • Arthritis to the joints
  • Limping or lameness
  • Pain
  • Paw pain and problems
  • Fragile and/or broken bones

Most cases of ALD can be fixed with surgery. The surgeon will align the bone properly and place orthopedic implants such as screws or a plate to stabilize and fix the bowing of the bone.

Basset Hound Puppy Feet

Basset Hound puppies are often known for their long ears and wrinkly skin, but most importantly their adorably big paws. Basset Hound owners often wonder why their puppies’ paws are so big. The fact is, looking at a puppy’s paws is a great way to indicate what your dog will look like as an adult!

A Basest Hound puppy’s paws may look huge compared to their bodies; although, their bodies typically catch up to those big feet eventually. Puppies that have larger paws typically indicate that they will be taller and weigh more as an adult. 

It is easier to determine how big your Basset Hound will be a little farther into their growth, but don’t worry, puppies grow so fast you should be able to get a better idea of their adult size at around 16 weeks!

Why Are Basset Hound Paws So Big? 

A lot of Basset Hound owners become concerned after realizing their puppies’ paws are so large; however, after seeing multiple other Basset Hound owner comments, it is widely known that these pups having large paws is a very common occurrence!

Basset Hounds often have front and back paws that are different in size. It is quite common for the front paws to be bigger than the back ones; although every dog is different, they might be perfectly even!

Even though it is common for Basset Hound puppies to have large paws, if you notice a difference in your dog’s paw size that is abnormal, there could be a more serious issue. It is best to get your dog to the vet right away if you notice any of their paws looking larger than they normally are.  

Do Basset Hounds Have Webbed Paws? 

Basset Hounds do not have webbed feet. It may look as though they do have some connecting skin between their toes they don’t have fully webbed feet like that of a wading dog. Basset Hounds generally do not enjoy the water or swimming, they were bred for hunting land animals and not animals in the water.

Water breed dogs like Cocker Spaniels have webbed feet in order to help them swim. f you separate a cocker spaniel’s toes you should be able to see the unique connected skin and tissue that causes the paws to be webbed.

Basset Hound Paw Problems

There are several reasons why your Basset Hound may be having issues with its paw(s). Factors such as cuts, tears, dry or cracked paw pads and nails, bacterial and fungal infections, burns, allergies, bug bites, etc. 

It is normally pretty easy to tell if your dog is struggling with a paw issue, these are some behaviors and symptoms that indicate you may want to have your dog’s paw(s) looked at: 

  • Licking the paw
  • Lesions
  • Bleeding
  • Limping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Red or inflamed 
  • Bad odor
  • Ulcers
  • Blisters
  • Discharge
  • Hair loss
  • Pododermatitis (when the paw skin gets inflamed and affects the nails and between the toes/paw pads.)

Although these symptoms are normally easily treatable, it is important to get the dog help right away seeing as some of these symptoms could be painful to your dog. 

If your Basset Hound licks its paws a lot Check out this article that can help you know why and what to do.

Basset Hound Paw Pad Burns 

Although dog paws are very resilient, hot surfaces are one of the most dangerous encounters for the well-being of a dog’s paw pad. It is best to avoid hot pavement, gravel, dirt, blacktop, streets, parking lots, and any other surfaces that are hot, and take precautions such as:

  • Walking your dog when it is cool outside or there is shade available
  • Stay on grass
  • Use paw moisturizer, wax, and balm 
  • Use dog shoes 

There are several telling signs that your dog may have burnt paws, these include:

If your dog’s paws have been subject to burn there are several immediate actions you should take:

  1. Bring them inside right away
  2. Use a cold compress or cold water
  3. Don’t let the dog lick the paw pad(s) (this could cause infection)

It is best to visit a vet right away if your dog’s paws have been burned. The vet can offer solutions that will prevent further damage, infection, or discomfort to the paw(s). 

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Thankfully if a paw burn is given time to heal there should not be any long-term damage to the paw pad. Depending on the severity of the burn, healing can take up to 21 days or even longer in some cases. 

How To Heal A Basset Hound Paw

A veterinarian can usually heal an irritated paw very fast. Oftentimes the use of antibiotics, creams, ointments, or sprays is given to help eliminate any discomfort your dog is feeling while also healing the paw and any infection that may be there. 

The paws are also one of the best hiding places on a Basset Hound for mites, ticks, and other parasites. Keeping check between your dog’s toes and all over their body, especially after being outside can help prevent this. Using anti-parasite methods such as tick collars, creams, and medicines can also help in avoiding these parasites. 

If your Basset Hound is licking their paws a lot, this could be due to any of the factors listed previously; although, it is normally itchiness caused by allergies. Basset Hounds are prone to skin allergies. Certain medicines can normally be given to prevent bad allergies.  

Tip: Keeping your Basset Hounds paws clean is key to preventing a lot of the issues above!

This portable paw washer can be useful to help your dog’s paws stay clean and healthy.

How To Groom My Basset Hounds Paws At Home

Our dogs are our family, we take care of them and give them as much love as possible. Although Basset Hound owners are great at maintaining their dog’s fur, dental health, etc. the dogs’ paws are sometimes forgotten as a key part of grooming. The truth is, keeping their paws clean, trimmed, and healthy is necessary for providing your Basset Hound with the most comfort possible!

Grooming a Basset Hounds paws is quite easy! There are several tools you will need: 

  • Dog clippers/trimmers
  • Haircutting scissors 
  • Nail clippers
  • Brush/comb 

Steps for grooming the paw: 

  1. As you hold the paw, it is important to comb the paw hair in the direction of hair growth. 
  2. Turn the paw so the pad is facing upward.
  3. You can use the clipper/trimmer to rid the hair between the toe pads — using the trimmer removes more hair between the toes so it is less likely for your Basset Hound to get debris, mud, snow, etc. stuck in their paws. 
  4. Using the scissors, gently clip the hair down to the top of the toenails — by using scissors during this step, you will get a nicer shape to the paw. 

Grooming Tip: Start early! If you begin touching your Basset Hounds’ paws often when they are a puppy and introducing them to the grooming tools, they will be less anxious when the actual time to groom them arrives. 

If you notice your Basset Hound’s paw pads are suffering from dryness, it may be time to consider a paw balm, wax, or moisturizer which can help hydrate the paw pad and ease any discomfort your dog may be feeling! 

Some Basset Hound owners wonder why their dogs’ paws pads have a coarse hair-like covering. This can be due to a protein called keratin that produces what is named hyperkeratosis, or what people often call “hair feet.” This condition occurs mostly in middle-aged or older Basset Hounds and is nothing to worry about!

Basset Hound Nail Care

Keeping your Basset Hound’s nails trimmed is essential in maintaining their health. Seeing as this is one of the most sensitive parts of the paw other than the pads, it is important to keep their nails nice and healthy to avoid tears or fractures that could cause more complicated issues like ingrown toenails. 

Ways to keep your Basset Hounds nails healthy and strong:

Always visit your vet to see what diet and other methods are best for your dog in particular! 

How To Clip My Basset Hounds Nails At Home

Cutting a dog’s nails is a necessary task to avoid ingrown toenails, posture issues, skeletal damage, etc.; however, some owners want to avoid the price of taking their dog to the vet or groomers every 1–2 months or so to have their dog’s nails trimmed; which can cost between $10–$40 for nails and $40–$100 for full grooming depending on the groomer. Some owners wonder, why take them to the groomer when they could clip their nails and groom their paws at home? 

Basset Hound owners that choose to clip their dog’s nails at home often worry about accidentally hurting them. There are several things to watch out for so you don’t injure your pup:

  • Don’t clip the nail too short (Exposing the nail quick can be dangerous seeing as it is filled with blood vessels and nerves.)
  • Don’t force your dog to cooperate (Providing a stress-free environment for the dog while clipping its nails will allow for it to trust you and result in an easy and quick nail trimming session. Distracting your dog with treat of a lick mat with peanut butter on it can be useful.)
  • Go slow while clipping the nail! There is no reason to rush, rushing may cause an accidental slip with the nail clippers resulting in unwanted injury. 
  • Like grooming the hair of the paw, it is important to introduce the dog to the nail tools early on to ease their stress. 

Your dog’s nail type and length will determine which nail tools are best to use:

  • Scissor clippers
  • Guillotine Clippers
  • Grinder
  • Dog nail file 
  • Dog nail buffer

Steps to cutting your dog’s nails: 

  1. Identify where the quick of the nail ends. On white & light colored nails you can see where the nail turns from pink to white. This is where the quick ends. On black or brown nails it’s harder to see. With dark colored nails only cut a small bit at a time.
  2. Cut at least 2 millimeters away from the end of the quick.
  3. Grip the paw and steady the nail trimming tool in place, cut firmly and smoothly. 
  4. As you trim, the dead nail will appear dry and powdery, keep cutting until you begin to see a darker circle in the center of the nail which indicates you are approaching the quick and should stop trimming. 
  5. You can file your dog’s nails after trimming to ensure there are no sharp edges. I use this nail grinder for my dog and find it has done a really great job for smoothing my dogs nails out.

Nail Trimming Tip: cutting slowly and taking a small snip at a time is recommended if you are not too confident about where to cut the nail!

While we strive to give the most accurate and helpful information about your pet’s health that we can, this article is meant to be informational only and not medical advice. Never disregard, avoid or delay in obtaining medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified veterinary health care provider regardless of what you have read on this site or elsewhere.