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My Dogs Front Paw is Knuckling and Curling Over. What Should I Do?

My Dogs Front Paw is Knuckling and Curling Over. What Should I Do?

Your might have noticed your dog knuckling with their front paw, this is when the paw curls over and the paw pad no longer sits flat on the floor. This can make it difficult for your dog to walk like normal, they can wobble and look unsteady.

When a dog knuckles over with their front paw it can make the skin bleed and the nails get shorter. Your dog can start to damage the wrist joint as they put more weight on the front of their paw than normal.

This is all likely to mean your dog has a medical condition call Paw Knuckling.

Front paw knuckling is usually a sign of an underlying primary medical condition, often it is a neurological condition. This is when the nerves are affected and start to change the paw's position.

The Story of Peter - Front Paw Knuckling

Peter (below) has Steroid Responsive Meningitis. He is slowly deteriorating, showing signs of knuckling in his front left paw. The knuckling in this front paw is causing the front left carpal to get knocked around. It makes him unsteady when he walks and awkward when he wants to jump up on the sofa or sit.


Peter is very active and his owner was concerned purchasing a boot would not solve his problem as it would impede him when running around. A boot would protect the skin but not correct the pad curling.

Instead, Peter needs:

  • Carpal support
  • Paw protection 
  • The elastic mechanism to pull his front paws back up flat, so he is walking on his actual pads again

For front knuckling like Peter, it is best to look at the Front Knuckling Brace made by Maximus here.

The Maximus PawsUp Custom Brace is the best choice if you want a long lasting or premium solution to your dogs front paw knuckling. This is the best front paw knuckling brace on the market worldwide. The brace will protect, de-knuckle and get your dog to put their paw flat on the floor again meaning they reduce nail shortening and skin damage.

This brace will correct your dogs paw position as much as possible. Recommended for dogs who are aggressive knucklers, especially from Wobbler’s Syndrome, FCE and Neospora, arthritis, carpal or hock hyperextension, post-injury or post-surgery weakness.

Find the Maximus Front Knuckling Brace here


How to Help Front Paw Knuckling:

Get your vet to confirm your dog has paw knuckling. Once it is confirmed, you might want to get a brace to help your dog walk normally again.

Read the options below to see what will suit your dog best

1. Front Knuckling Brace by Maximus - brace makes the paw flat again

This brace is great if you are looking for:

  • A long-term solution
  • A premium, well-made design which will fit your dogs paw perfectly
  • Excellent for mild to severe paw knuckling
  • For paws between 1.75 - 3.25" width
  • The brace will put your dog's paw flat again on the floor
  • Can be worn for an extended period of time
  • Machine washable

Find the Maximus Front Knuckling Brace here


2. Front Splint - splint cups the paw to make it flat

The Bootie Splint is ideal for dogs with paw knuckling in either their front or rear paws. This Bootie Splint is hard, it provides support underneath the foot and extends to just below the hock or carpal joint. This Bootie Splint fully immobilises the paw and wrist, it will keep your dog's paw straight so that it can recover from a fracture or injury.

  • The Bootie Splint extends under the paw to stabilise it
  • Excellent if your dog drags their paws or paw knuckles
  • Keeps the paw straight and supported
  • Helps your dog walk longer and with more comfort

Find Front Splints here

3. WagWear Protective Knuckling Boots

WagWear Mojave breathable rubber dog boots are excellent for paw knuckling and paw dragging when you need to keep your dog's paw skin and nails protected. These are the breathable rubber boot design with perforated holes allowing for lots of ventilation when exercising or in the warmer months. These boots have a wide paw opening allowing the boots to slide on and off, the top Velcro straps make sure of a secure and firm fit. These boots are comfortable, easy to wash and light.

  • Excellent breathable rubber boots for paw knuckling, dragging and grip
  • 100% rubber
  • Easy to put on with wide opening and Velcro to securely fasten
  • Easy to wash as made from rubber

Find the WagWear protective knuckling boots here 

Previous article 10 Best Dog Knuckling Boots & Braces 2024 UK
Next article My Dog Has Bad Arthritis. Would a Dog Wheelchair Help?

Read more about Paw Knuckling - Causes, Prevention and How to Help at Home

Read here

Mr Finlay, the Rough Collie dog, Paw Knuckles due to Spondylosis

Read here

Best Dog Knuckling Boots & Braces

Knuckling aids here
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