Talk to anyone who shares their home with a dog and they’ll tell you that they don’t consider themselves so much as a dog owner but the parent of a furry, four-legged child; thanks to the joy and companionship they can provide every day, dogs are often considered cherished members of the family than a pet. This makes it an incredibly stressful and emotionally painful experience when your dog is injured or is suffering in some way.
One of the more common problems that dogs can develop is itchy, irritated or painful paws. Here’s some crucial information as to why your dog’s paws might be itchy and what you can do to soothe those poor paws while protecting them from further damage or injury.
You’ve seen the signs: your dog has been constantly licking or chewing at their feet, especially after they’ve been outside for any significant period of time. Taking a look reveals that the pads of their paws are calloused, inflamed, and possibly even dry, cracked and bleeding; not a pretty sight.
The truth is that irritated, itchy paws are quite common. Unlike humans, dogs don’t put on shoes before they go outside; this means that their feet are exposed to the elements. Any number of things can cause itchy and inflamed paw pads such as seasonal allergies, rough terrain, or even temperature extremes in the winter and the summer. Other sources can be exposure to pesticides, chemicals, or excess salt used to melt icy sidewalks and driveways.
Providing Some Relief
Whatever the core reason behind your poor dog’s itchy, irritated feet, it’s actually not as important as what you can do to stop them from constantly chewing or licking their paws as this can make an already bad situation that much worse. Your first task in dealing with itchy paws is to make sure you provide your suffering pet some relief, and that means finding a way to reduce the pain and inflammation.
Many veterinarians recommend gently cleansing the feet of a dog with itchy paws by providing a foot bath. A simple solution of cool water with a few drops of iodine is usually a good idea, as the water will help wash away any irritants left in the dog’s fur or stuck to their paw pads. The iodine acts as a safe and natural – not to mention non-abrasive and non-stinging – disinfectant for abused puppy paws. You can also soak some clean gauze or cloth in a water-iodine solution and wrap the paws for a few minutes at a time if your dog will let you, though this depends on the temperament of your pet. After you’ve cleansed your dog’s feet, be sure to pat them dry gently but thoroughly – and then consider ways to protect their feet from further injury.
Keeping Hurt Paws Safe
There are many ways to keep sore paws clean and protected so they can heal. One such method is to get some booties for your pet for them to wear when going on extreme hikes and adventures. Though, if you’ve seen the youtube videos, most dog won’t tolerate those little booties – but don’t lose hope: there are excellent all-natural ointments out there that can help protect your pet’s feet while also encouraging them to heal. PawTector by Natural Dog Company is a blend of natural waxes that provide a nourishing barrier to guard the skin against drying and damage. Applying this before heading out will help reduce the damage caused by allergies and harsh elements. Their sister product, Paw Soother is the perfect natural healing solution for dry, damaged, and irritated paw pads. Paw Soother is a blend of all natural butters that deeply moisturize and soften scratchy paws. All their ingredients are sourced from non-toxic plants, making them safe for your dog if they decide to lick their feet clean – a major advantage over synthetic salves and ointments that use toxic ingredients like petroleum jelly.