I recently ran across a question in a forum from an owner about sore and red dog paws.
The owner said they’d tried various topical treatments with little or no success.
What concerned me about the post was that the owner never mentioned the vet in any part of the post about the sore, red dog paws.
Irritated Dog Paws – A Symptom of Underlying Issues
Irritated dog paws are almost always a symptom of an underlying allergic issue. That means that you will very rarely if ever be able to effectively ease the irritation without addressing what is causing it.
Talk to Your Vet
If you’ve read any other articles, you know that this is what I always lead with. That’s because it’s your best course of action. If your dog has irritated paws, you need to get to the vet. Irritated dog paws are generally either a symptom of allergies or of a foreign body in the paw. In either case, your vet will be able to diagnose and address the real issue as well as the symptoms.
Even though you should speak to your vet, there are other things you can do to help ease irritated dog paws while you wait for your appointment date and to prevent future irritation.
Wipe Down Pads
If your dog’s irritate paws are the result of environmental allergies, one of the best things you can do is wipe down its pads every time it comes in from outside. Using an all natural baby wipe on the pads after your dog goes potty or is finished playing outside will help ease irritated dog paws by reducing the amount of pollen and mold spores on the pads. These pollens and spores are a major factor in irritated paws of dogs with environmental allergies.
Hydrotherapy is simply a fancy word for soaking your dog’s feet in cool water or running cool water over their paws. Cool water hydrotherapy can help reduce inflammation and soothe irritated dog paws because the cool water constricts blood vessels, impeding the inflammation process. In addition to that, the cool water just feels good on red, inflamed dog paws.
Grain Free Food
Often times, irritated dog paws are the result of food allergies. In cases like these, the only real treatment other than temporary topical relief is to change your dog’s food. If your vet determines that your dog has food allergies, a grain free food will be one of the top priorities for treating the underlying cause of your dog’s paw problems.
Topical Cortisone Creams and Sprays
Cortisone creams and sprays offer temporary relief to irritated dog paws. They are not a long-term treatment. Rather, they are a stop-gap between diagnosis of the cause of your dog’s irritated paws and the long-term treatment plan. You can get cortisone sprays and creams over the counter or from your vet.
Irritated Dog Paws are a Symptom, Not a Condition
Irritated dog paws are almost always a symptom of a larger, underlying problem, so attempting to only treat the irritation is never going to work. If your dog has red, inflamed, itchy paws, get it to the vet immediately. You’re going to need to address the root cause of the issue for a long-term fix. Remember, irritated dog paws are a symptom, not a condition.