If your dog is constantly licking and chewing their feet they’re telling you that their paws are irritated.
Let’s talk about simple home remedies to provide your dog with some much-needed relief.
Foot soaks for your dog are a great way to disinfect your dog’s paws. Foot soaks are beneficial for dogs that have itchy inflamed irritated paws and also for dogs that are exposed to certain contaminants in the winter.
If you live in a cold climate, winter can be hard on your dog’s paws. Snow and ice can cause cracked and sore pads. Rock salt, sand, and other chemical de-icers are commonly used to clear ice and snow that come with cold winter weather.
Salt and chemical de-icers can be very irritating for your dog’s paws. Always rinse off your dog’s paws (all four) after winter walks or play to keep your dog’s feet decontaminated.
In the summer months, it’s important to remember that your dog sweats through the bottom of their feet. When the temperature rises in the summer months, their pads on their feet become moist and damp.
Your dog will come in contact with grass, mud, streams, parks, leaves, etc. and all of these environments potentially offer a bunch of microscopic allergens that your dog’s feet are exposed to. Your dog’s feet may also come in contact with pesticides, herbicides, and sprays that are used on lawns.
A lot of irritants and allergens are picked up on your dog’s feet on a daily basis and if you don’t remove them your dog will come inside and begin licking, licking, licking. You know that sound.
The best option to keep your dog’s paws happy and healthy is to plan ahead and disinfect your dog’s feet before they begin obsessively and compulsively licking.
Set up a foot soak for your dog. There are numerous ways to do this. If you have a small dog you can actually do this in your kitchen sink or in your laundry sink.
For larger dog’s you can try your bathtub or designate a plastic tub that is large enough to accommodate at least two feet at a time if not all four. Place this in a mudroom, garage, or under a covered area outside your main door.
Fill your tub, container or sink with warm water. The water level should cover the top of your dog’s feet. Add warm water with a little bit of iodine. You want your water to look like iced tea in color. Iodine is non-toxic, non-stinging, antifungal, and antiviral. It’s an inexpensive home remedy to disinfect your dog’s feet.
Soak your dog’s feet in the water and iodine solution. Ten to thirty seconds is ideal. When done, pat your pooches feet dry.
If your dog’s feet have cuts, wounds, or abrasions or smell yeasty, use betadine with warm water instead of iodine.
If your dog’s paws just seem to be irritated, try one of the following recipes and apply topically to your dog’s feet.
- Chamomile tea diluted with water
- Green tea diluted with water
- ½ cup vinegar per gallon of water
Pick one of the above remedies and put in a spray bottle. Spray on your dog’s feet and pads to disinfect and soothe your dog’s paws a couple of times per day.
Your dog will instinctively want to lick their paws after being sprayed. Discourage this for the healing properties but rest assured your dog is not in any danger. The ingredients above are diluted and will not harm your dog.
It is not recommended to apply creams, SAVs or dips unless prescribed by your veterinarian.
By disinfecting your pet’s paws you’re reducing the chemical exposure to environmental toxins by rinsing those chemicals off. You’re also providing a means of keeping your pet’s feet clean, dry and free from allergens which can stimulate irritation and abrasion in your pet’s feet.
There will be instances when you don’t have the time or access to soak or treat your dog’s feet properly. Rinsing your dog’s feet with plain old water from the hose will work in a pinch.