4 Potential Ways To Prevent Or Manage Calluses On A Dog’s Elbows


When it comes to calluses on a dog’s elbow, there are potential ways to prevent them from forming, or managing them if they are already formed.

Although there’s no guarantee to remove a callus completely, there are certain things you might be able to do to soften it, nourish the skin, or pad the callus to prevent further abrasion and hardening.

In this guide, we list 4 potential options for dealing with a dog’s elbow callus if it’s a non serious one (but, you should also seek a vet’s assessment and approval first).

Let’s take a closer look!


(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)

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4 Potential Ways To Prevent Or Manage Calluses On A Dog’s Elbows


Firstly, What Are Dog Calluses, What Do They Look Like, How Do They Form?

Dog calluses are thick and hard skin growth.

They are usually a dark color, scaly and rough, dry and are flatter than say a tumor or hygroma.

They form as an adaptation to protect your dog’s elbow joint – specifically the bone inside the elbow.

In a similar way that human feet develop calluses from repeated exposure to rough surfaces, a dog’s elbows or hocks will develop calluses when they are repeatedly hit against hard surfaces.

If your dog is constantly laying down or sleeping on hard surfaces, like floorboards or tiles inside your house, this could be why.

Bigger and heavier dogs tend to be more prone to calluses as there is more force going through the elbow joint and bones.


1. See A Vet 

Obviously no advice is a substitute for a vet’s advice.

Generally, a callus might be a non serious health issue.

But, if the callus starts bleeding, develops ulcers, has puss oozing, or gets punctured, it might be time to see a vet to prevent infections or manage them with antibiotics.

Some owners may choose to see a vet regardless as they may want to check the skin is actually a callus and not something else like a tumor, hygroma, or pyoderma.

Calluses are generally not removed by a vet via surgery. 


2. Dog Elbow Butter And Cream

Dog elbow cream and elbow butter might not get rid of the callus, but they can help in softening it, and delivering moisture, minerals and nutrients to the skin to help the softer skin to regenerate.

When used in conjunction with a soft bed for example, this could be a good combination.

Natural dog elbow butters and creams might be good a good option if they contain less irritants or harmful ingredients.

The Blissful Dog does an organic elbow butter (on Amazon), whilst a popular topical elbow cream is Naturvet Topical Elbow Cream (on Amazon).

ResQ Organics Pet Skin Treatment (on Amazon) is another option as a general skin treatment product.

Apart from creams and butters, owners might try:

– triple refined non toxic Vaseline

coconut oil

– and liquid vitamin E to soften the callus skin


3. A Padded/Supportive/Soft Sleeping Surface

A good way to manage calluses and protect the elbow joint is to make sure your dog has adequate and soft padding/support underneath their body when they lay down.

A supportive dog bed is good for this – a dog bed with orthopedic padding and support might be a good option.

Orthopedic dog beds in particular are supposed to be great for big dogs and dogs who have issues with joints as they have not only more layers of support, but the layers are made of extra supportive material which is designed specifically to protect the joints against trauma. 

A good and supportive dog bed doesn’t have to cost you the world – there are affordable options which will last your dog years.

Some of the better rated supportive dog beds on the market might include:


4. Dog Elbow Pads, Dog Elbow Sleeves & Dog Elbow Protectors

Dog elbow pads, sleeves and protectors are another option.

You can get these products which can be fastened to your dog’s elbow joints or hocks, and provide soft protection to the bones and joint against other surfaces.

It’s really key to get the pads or protectors in the right size so that they don’t fall down or come loose on your dog’s elbows or hocks. 

Some of the more popular options on the market might be:

You can even use them with a vet wrap tape for extra padding/bandaging.



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