Is your dog obsessively licking and chewing on his paws? Your pet pal probably has itchy paws. The itching can be so maddening that he completely ignores you when you try to get his attention. What causes itchy paws and what are the best home remedies for dogs with itchy paws? Read on to learn more.
What causes itchy paws?
Itchy paws usually occur alongside other symptoms, including itching in other areas of the body, as a result of allergies. Allergens that can cause itchy paws include:
- Food proteins
- Insect bites
A yeast infection may also be the culprit; yeast growth may occur when your dog’s paws are left damp, in which case the itching typically affects only the paws.
Home remedies for a dog’s itchy paws
You may ask your vet to recommend an over-the-counter cream or balm to help treat your dog’s itchy paws. As much as possible, choose products that are specially-formulated for pets and that use natural ingredients.
Look for these natural ingredients which are known to help soothe itchy, cracked, and dried paws and skin:
- Green tea
- Coconut oil
These ingredients can provide relief from itching by providing much-needed moisture to cracked and dry paws. They also contain anti-microbial properties, so they are effective in treating or preventing yeast infection, or other fungal or bacterial infections that may develop from an open wound.
Alternatively, you can create your own home remedies using these same ingredients.
Tea spray or bath
Simply steep a few bags of chamomile, calendula, or green tea. Let the tea cool to room temperature. Place it in a spray bottle and spray on your dog’s paws; make sure to also spray in between his toes. You can use the tea as a paw bath, as well. Just place your dog’s paws in a shallow basin filled with the tea, and let his paws soak for at least 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water after. Make sure to thoroughly dry his paws. You can then also apply an anti-itch cream or balm.
Oatmeal paste or bath
Blend a cup or two of oatmeal into powder. Add warm water to make a paste, and apply the paste to Fido’s itchy paws and between his toes. Leave the paste on for about 20 minutes and then rinse with cool water. Dry his paws thoroughly. Or make an oatmeal bath by mixing the oatmeal powder with more water; use the solution to soak your pet’s paws.
This can be applied directly to the paws. But make sure that your buddy doesn’t lick it off. Let his paws soak in the oil for about 15 minutes, and then rinse them off.
Another option you may want to try is CBD cream. CBD oil from hemp is known to have anti-inflammatory properties which may help soothe irritated skin. Take note that you should only use CBD products that are specifically manufactured for pets. CBD products made for human use are more potent, and may contain high amounts of THC — which is toxic to animals.
If your dog experiences chronic or prolonged itchiness, even with home treatment, and if his itchy paws are making him miserable, causing him to chew his skin raw so that he develops wounds, and especially if he develops a secondary infection, it’s time to take him to the vet.
Proper hygiene is key to preventing itchy paws. Wash Fido’s paws after taking him outside; check for any signs of irritation while you clean them; and dry his paws thoroughly. If you notice him licking and chewing one or all of his paws more frequently than usual, carefully inspect them and look for dry, cracked, cut, or inflamed skin, and other signs of irritation.