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Follow these tips to treat a dog who has itchy paws

Itching can be distracting, uncomfortable, and downright annoying, so it’s easy to relate to your pup’s frustration when they’re dealing with itchy paws. It can be tricky to narrow down what’s causing dog paw infection and itch from observation alone, so it may take a little trial and error before you find some relief for your buddy. Once you do, though, you’ll be so glad!

Don’t be afraid to make a call to your local veterinarian if you’re having trouble figuring out what’s behind your pup’s paw irritation. They’ll get to the root of the problem before you know it, and they’ll have plenty of suggestions to get you started. Until then, though, here’s what you’ll want to know.

A Husky puppy lies on a blanket and licks his paws

Causes of itchy paws

Though itching, licking, and biting are symptoms of skin discomfort, it’s not always easy to tell what’s going on. Here, we’ll break down a few of the main causes of paw irritation so you can help figure out what’s up with your best bud.

Dog paw infection

Yeast infections in dogs occur when the naturally occurring yeast on a dog’s body begins to overpopulate. According to Pawlicy Advisor, this can be due to allergies, moisture buildup, or bacterial infections.  While not life threatening, it can cause a number of distressing symptoms for your pup, including itching, inflammation, flaky skin, and even discoloration around the base of the nail (via betterpet). You’ll likely notice your furry friend chewing and licking at their paws, and you may even catch a whiff of a pungent, yeasty odor.

Allergies

If you notice your pup scratching their paws more than usual, allergies could be the culprit. They can be tricky to hone in on, though, as allergies can come from food, nature, or even products in your home. Good Hope Animal Hospital notes that allergies can manifest as a yeast infection or other skin condition. Your vet will be the best option to help identify allergies as the main cause of the discomfort and to decide how to treat those allergies.

Dry paw pads

In some cases, your four-legged friend may be licking their paws due to dryness and peeling. Whether this occurs from heat, friction from long walks, or even normal wear and tear,  it’s important to help them out before your buddy chews or licks them too much. Open skin is also a breeding ground for infection, so don’t wait to treat cracked paws. We’ll let you know below what you need to treat these conditions, so keep reading.

Dirt and trapped moisture

Sometimes, a lack of consistent paw hygiene can cause a buildup of sweat, dirt, and all that gross stuff. As you can imagine, this gets uncomfortable, so it’s no wonder why dogs may start licking and chewing their feet when this happens. Luckily, the solutions for dirty paws are simple, so these symptoms are easily avoidable.

A closeup of a white dog licking his paw

How to treat itchy dog paws

No matter what’s behind your dog’s discomfort, there’s something you can do about it. Don’t be afraid to ask your veterinarian for advice if you’re not sure where to go, but here are some places to start.

Paw balm

To treat dry and cracked paws that aren’t causing significant problems, a number of paw balms and ointments will do the trick. There are tons of paw balms available on Amazon and in pet stores, including the ever-popular Musher’s Secret, and environmentally friendly, vegan options like Paw Soother.

Practice good paw hygiene

Simple habits like washing paws and keeping up on grooming can go a long way toward preventing skin conditions and discomfort. Keeping paw fur trimmed will prevent your pup from picking up unwanted items while out and about, and items like the Paw Plunger make washing your dog’s paws as easy (and mess-free) as possible.

Treat allergies

If you suspect allergies are behind your dog’s itchy paws and infections, the most helpful thing you can do is find the cause of the irritation. This may involve changing your dog’s diet, environment, or medications, though you shouldn’t change your pet’s medicine before checking in with your vet. Steroids and antihistamines can be helpful in battling allergies, but skin testing and further treatments may be available through your veterinarian.

Medicated products

For effective treatment of fungal and yeast infections, you’ll need to enlist the help of some medicated products. If your veterinarian does not prescribe a specific medication, look for ingredients like miconazole and chlorhexidine in the sprays and shampoos you choose. There are plenty of hygienic treatment wipes, anti-fungal shampoos, and medicated moisturizing sprays for pets that might do the trick.

Oral medications

If your dog’s yeast infection, allergies, or dryness does not improve enough with over-the-counter products, visit your veterinarian for some advice. They will be able to give your buddy a thorough look-over and prescribe the most appropriate medication for Fido’s skin.

Whatever is behind your dog’s itchy paws, there’s plenty you can do about it. What’s even better is that most of these remedies are available over the counter and for an affordable price, so you won’t have to shell out a ton just to treat your dog’s paw infections or allergies. Even if you’re not sure about intense treatment, there’s no harm in trying out a medicated wipe or simple paw wash, so what are you waiting for?

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