Is your dog constantly licking or chewing his paws especially after he’s been outside?
A few of my previous blogs focused on environmental allergies. How they impact our dogs’ lives and how we can help them the natural way. I wrote how bathing your dog at home is very effective. It’s a cheap and sensible thing to do in order to remove the allergens from the coat and skin. Bathing provides immediate relief and the guideline is to bath your itchy dog at least once a week.
Environmental allergies are not limited to a certain season of the year anymore. For example, spring and spring pollen. We’re now seeing more and more all-year-round.
If your dog isn’t itchy all over and is just constantly nibbling his paws, especially after walkies, here are some natural homemade remedies you can try. These all-natural, anti-itch foot bath recipes help to heal irritated skin and soothe inflamed tissue.
There are two options on how you can do it. Depending on the size of your dog and your own personal preference.
1) Keep a bucket next to your front door to use after a walk
2) Fill the bathtub with lukewarm water and the ingredients in your chosen recipe.
Recipe 1: Warm water and organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar.
This dog foot soak works to treat yeast infections and soothe irritated paws. Because of its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties.
When choosing an apple cider vinegar go for an organic one that has “the Mother” inside. The Mother is the cloudy substance that you see floating in some bottles of vinegar. It’s believed to be rich in health-boosting natural protein, healthy bacteria and acetic acid. It forms naturally as raw organic vinegar ferments, producing a murky, brownish vinegar. If a vinegar looks crystal clear it’s been filtered and pasteurised to remove The Mother and most of its nutrients.
To make this solution, pour 1 cup (230 – 250ml) of organic apple cider vinegar into 1 gallon (almost 5l) of warm water. Soak your dog’s paws in the liquid for 30 seconds and allow the skin to air-dry. Alternatively, make a 50/50 mixture in a spray bottle and apply directly onto your dog’s paws. Don’t use it on open wounds!
Recipe 2: Herbal foot soak
All-natural herbal teas, like chamomile, sage or decaffeinated green tea can be added to either your dog’s bath water or the above-mentioned apple cider vinegar solutions. The teas’ anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help stop the itching.
Prepare the teas as you normally would for drinking, allow them to cool down, then add to the water/vinegar solution. Place your dog’s paws in this remedy for 30 seconds, then allow to air-dry.
Recipe 3: Oatmeal Bath
A warm water bath with oatmeal allows the natural oils in the oatmeal to moisturize dry, cracked paw pads and reduce the inflammation that causes the constant itching. When choosing oatmeal go for the unflavoured and unsweetened organic variety.
Dissolve a couple of cups of ground oats in warm water in a bathtub and allow your dog to stand in this solution for 10 minutes or so. Don’t forget to put a drain sieve in your bathtub because you don’t want to block your drain!
Recipe 4: Baking soda
Baking soda has been shown to have antifungal properties and may help to reduce irritating germs. It also softens the skin and reduces itchiness.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda to about 5l (1 gallon) of water.
Dunk your dog’s feet in the bucket straight after your walk and keep the feet in the remedy for about a minute or two.
Recipe 5: Epsom salts
The two main ingredients of Epsom salts are magnesium and sulfate. It’s believed that the combination of both ingredients stimulates detoxification pathways. It also contains potassium, nitrates and chloride that helps restore our dog’s natural bacterial balance on the skin on his paws.
For this foot bath, dissolve about 1 cup (225g) of Epson salts in 1 gallon (about 5l) of warm water. For the treatment to be effective a dog needs to stand in the Epsom salts bath for around 10 minutes.
Epson salts is also beneficial for sore muscles, swelling, stiffness and pain… and I’m speaking from my own personal experience here.
Please note: Don’t rinse your dog’s feet after any of these footbaths. The healing properties of each solution need to carry on working on the skin even after the paw soak.
No time to make a foot bath?
Sometimes you may find it hard to find the time for a foot bath or perhaps your dog just won’t keep still. If this is the case then Skin Relief can come to the rescue!
Skin Relief is a combination of all-natural ingredients namely: Calendula oil, Aloe Vera and Essential Oils (German Chamomile, Peppermint and Geranium). These ingredients have all been specifically chosen to target inflamed and itchy areas and allow your sensitive dog to calm down and relax.
Stay safe, Jitka xx