How You Might Prevent Or Manage Calluses On Your Dog’s Elbows: 4 Ways



This will be a helpful guide if you are looking to manage, or want to know how to prevent  calluses on your dog’s elbows

Although there’s no perfect way to actually remove the callus instantly, there are certain things you can do which may help gradually reduce the size of one, soften it, and prevent calluses from forming in the future.

In this guide, we list 4 options you might choose to explore in dealing with ugly dog elbow calluses, in consultation with your vet of course.

Let’s check them out!


(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)


How You Might Prevent Or Manage Calluses On Your Dog’s Elbows: 4 Ways

The products for preventing or managing calluses we mention in this guide are:

Dog Elbow Creams & Butters

Dog Elbow Sleeves & Protectors

Supportive 4 Inch & 7 Inch Foam Dog Beds


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 is going to be ok and cause a healthy dog no harm.

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. Soft Dog Bed

A good way to manage calluses and protect the elbow joint is to make sure your dog has adequate soft padding underneath them when they plonk themselves down, and when they are laying down or sleeping.

A supportive dog bed is good for this.

You can check out this guide on a range of good dog beds.

Orthopaedic 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, and are easy for you to throw in the washing machine and wash!


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

Dog elbow pads, sleeves and protectors are another option.

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

They basically have the same effect as human volley ballers that wear knee or elbow pads in providing added protection.

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 are:

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


4. Dog Elbow Butter And Cream

Dog elbow cream and elbow butter won’t get rid of the callus, but they can help in softening it, and delivering minerals to the skin to help the softer skin to regenerate.

When used in conjunction with a soft bed or elbow pads, this could be a good trio to reduce the size of existing calluses.

Natural dog elbow butters and creams are usually best as they don’t have the synthetic ingredients which can irritate of dog’s skin, and natural ingredients usually have beneficial side effects for pet skin.

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

Apart from creams and butters, owners have also tried triple refined non toxic Vaseline, coconut oil and liquid vitamin E to soften the callus skin.


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You should always consult your own veterinarian, animal expert, or health care professional and follow their advice before making decisions on all matters.


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