Is your dog continually chewing and licking his paws? It’s not only a harmless pastime for them. It’s possible that their paws are scorching, itching, or have little cracks. Paw soaks for dogs can be beneficial in relieving the inflammation and irritation your dog is experiencing.
Why Paw Soaks for Dogs
This can be caused by a variety of factors, including harsh weather or chemical irritants that your dog steps on. Because dogs only sweat through their nose and feet, all kinds of things can get caught on their paws. Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian, says that rinsing your dog’s paws to get rid of irritants and allergens will cut licking and chewing by 50%.
Rinsing their paws rather than wiping them down is important since wiping does not reach all of the spaces in between your dog’s toes.
Dogs spend a lot of time on the ground, so their paws are exposed to all kinds of things, like dirt and sand. They can also get dry and cracked, or even get infected. Because their immune systems aren’t as strong, dogs with diabetes are more likely to get infections in their paw pads.
Paws are important to dogs because they help them navigate rough terrain and support their weight when running around. Therefore, it’s important that they’re cared for properly.
Dogs with Diabetes
Foot baths are helpful not just for dogs with dry, cracked feet but also for dogs that spend a lot of time outside, those that have allergies or infections in their paws, and even dogs with diabetes.
Dogs with diabetes are more prone to foot infections because they have poor circulation. This is especially true if they have lost sensation in their paws, which can make it hard to feel when there is an injury or irritation. Dogs that spend lots of time outdoors can get dirty paws, small cuts, and other infections, while those with allergies can develop paw irritation from allergens like grass or pollen.
Make a Paw Soak
The first thing you should know about making a foot bath for your dog is that it’s very easy and inexpensive. You can make one using just a few common household items: a bowl, warm water, apple cider vinegar or olive oil (or both), and something to stir with.
If your dog suffers from allergies, diabetes, or has dry paws, then regular foot baths will help keep their feet clean and healthy.
A few different ingredients can be used in a foot bath, depending on what you want to accomplish.
- Anti-fungal foot baths
- Vitamin C foot baths
- Moisturizing foot baths
If your dog has dry, cracked feet, coconut oil will help soften them and has antibacterial propertiesl.
Coconut oil can be used to moisturize the paws of your dog, even if they have dry, cracked paws. It is antibacterial and helps to soften their paws. You can massage it into the paw, or dip them in a cup of coconut oil mixed with other ingredients, like CBD salve.
Make sure whatever you use is safe for a dog’s skin.
While there are many dog-safe options on the market, it’s always a good idea to do a patch test on your dog’s skin before using any new product. Some products contain ingredients that can be harmful to dogs, and it’s important that you know what those ingredients are so that you can avoid them.
Examples of potentially harmful ingredients include:
- Detergents and surfactants (like sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate)
- Thickeners (allantoin or glycerin)
- Undiluted fragrances (lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, etc.)
Olive oil will also soften and moisturize the paws, but it can make things slippery, so use it in combination with some cornstarch to keep your dog from slipping around in the tub.
Cornstarch helps keep the dog’s feet from sliding across the bottom of the tub by providing friction, allowing them to grip better.
Paw Baths for Infection
To manage an infection, soak the feet every other day in warm water with a few drops of CBD oil or apple cider vinegar added to it.
Soak for 10 minutes at a time and repeat, then add a CBD salve (CBD salves have antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties). If you don’t have either of these products on hand, simply use warm water and make sure your dog is comfortable.
Oatmeal for Irritation
Oatmeal is one of the best, natural treatments for dry and irritated paws. Oatmeal has anti-itch properties, which can help your dog to feel better after a bath. In addition to its use in baths, oatmeal can also be used as an exfoliant or added to other topical remedies.
You can also use oatmeal in conjunction with chicken broth or warm water as a base for your dog’s foot bath. This will work best if you soak their feet first and then apply the oatmeal directly onto their skin with a soft cloth before rinsing them off well with clean water again.
Simple and Relaxing
Dog foot baths are good for dogs, and they’re simple to make at home.
If you’re bathing your pooch, keep the bath warm by adding hot water as needed. Dry the feet, especially between the toes, with a towel before applying oils or lotion if they have roughened skin or cracked paws. You could even use full-spectrum CBD salve on top of regular moisturizers to soothe dry feet in-between baths.
Add water slowly until it reaches his ankles (or whatever level is comfortable). Soak his feet in there for about 5 minutes before rinsing off any residue and drying again very thoroughly with a clean towel.