3 Reasons to Pay Special Attention to Your Dog’s Paws in Spring

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By guest blogger, Zara Lewis (@ZaraELewis on Twitter)

As you know I blog a lot of Sherman’s allergies which are terrible  year round so when writer, Zara Lewis, contacted me about this topic I thought readers would love to learn about ways to protect your dog’s paws this spring. Enjoy this contributed article! Let us know what you think in the comments section below! Remember I’m not a Vet! If you find that your dog is experiencing any issues please see your Veterinarian.

If only dogs could talk! It would be much easier for us as pet parents to understand their pains, troubles and fears, and of course, nurturing their health would be incredibly simpler. Fortunately, their body-language and everyday behavior are excellent indicators of their overall health and potential issues that might arise in near future. That’s why it’s crucial to be tuned in to your pooches’ needs and changes of behavior.

Spring can be a particularly tricky time for certain dogs, and taking a closer look at their squishbeans can make all the difference between turning spring into a joyful playground or a painful period of perpetual troubles. Here’s why you need to be mindful of your puppy’s paws and how you can alleviate its “pawblems” with these health tips!

Paws Are Prone to Skin Issues

Even though it’s most common to expect patches of red, dry skin and losing fur in certain spots on their body, the skin of your puppy’s paws can be equally sensitive to infections and inflammation. Most common symptoms that arise especially during warm months are itchiness, redness, pain and swelling, sometimes even loss of skin and small lumps.

Since these issues can have many different causes (bacteria, fungi, allergies or viruses among others), it’s important to consult your vet and decide on a treatment plan after the diagnosis. Paws are especially sensitive to these seasonal changes, so take precautions by checking them every day to make sure they are healthy. Of course, you can also use paw soaks and baths to help your pet cope with potential harmful substances.

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Biting and Chewing Can Indicate Allergies

As the warm days arrive and your dog eagerly spends every second of every day examining all of those new scents and spring fragrances, digging around, sticking their noses in mud and dirt, their paws are the first to get into contact with potential allergens, causing irritation and itching.

While it’s perfectly normal dog behavior to clean themselves every now and then, if your dog is constantly stopping to lick, nibble and chew on his paws, then you might have an issue on your hands. You’d be surprised how many allergens we share with our four-legged friends, such as weed, insect bites, pollen, grass, feathers, and dust being only a few on the list!

Including certain preventative measures can be extremely helpful. As soon as I know that spring is just around the corner, I start giving my pup first-rate Net to Pet flea and tick protection chewables, which will keep your pooch safe and sound. I also use some homemade foot soaks at the first sign of irritation, or even to prevent allergic reactions when we spend plenty of time outside.

Paw Licking Can Indicate Joint Pain

Sometimes, your pet pooch can exhibit signs of anxiety by excessively licking its paws, or it might be simply healing a burn from hot pavement, or an ingrown nail. By grooming your dog regularly and caring for its emotional and physical well-being, you’re ensuring that your dog’s licking isn’t caused by any of those issues. If the licking persists with no visible causes, you’ll need to consider some other options.

It’s particularly tricky during spring to distinguish between a slight allergic reaction causing excessive licking and an underlying issue, especially with older dogs, so it’s critical to pay extra attention during warmer months of the year. If you see that regular foot baths, herbal remedies and other preventative measures aren’t reducing the licking, then you should consider checking if it has joint pain caused by arthritis.

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Your pooch might be trying to mitigate the pain in in their joints by licking them constantly. If you’re having trouble distinguishing between the subtle signs and symptoms, or you have a tendency to panic, you can always ask your Veterinarian to put your mind at ease, and make sure you have all the information before picking out the right treatment plan for your pup.

There’s nothing quite like caring for your dog’s health and needs and making it happy, so it’s essential to stay cautious and aware even when sunny days kick in, no matter how tempting it is to devote all of your time to running around and playing with your four-legged best friend. Keep them healthy and happy to make sure it enjoys every sunny day of the spring carefree!

Thank you Zara!

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There are 17 Comments

  1. I feel so bad for doggies that have paw allergies. I know some dogs that can’t even walk in the grass or their feet get swollen and itchy. Poor babies. I tend to think of protecting paws as a winter thing – from ice and salts – but this is a good reminder that they need attention in warmer weather too.

    • Us too – Sherm is on Apoquel as his allergies are year round. I cannot imagine how painful it is for some of our munchkins! It’s just allergy season for so many – hi to your doxies!

  2. Diana says:

    One of my dogs gets flare ups between her phalanges, so I have to keep an eye on them and constantly check them. This was an interesting article and I hadn’t really heard about the possibility of joint pain associated with excessive licking. Thanks now I have some more research ahead of me!

    • Ugh us too – our doxie has interdigital cysts and it’s the worst… we have to watch him from licking all the time. I think licking excessively tells us so much!

  3. Mr. N has been licking his paws a little bit. Time to up foot baths!

  4. Ruth Epstein says:

    Such a great post as Layla always licks her paws when we come home from the park, so I wipe them down with a warm wet cloth as that is what the vet told me to do. On really hot days I actually carry Layla over the hot parts of the sidewalk or road and make sure we walk in the shade only. I am so scared of her getting burnt from the heat

    • Thank you! That’s such a good idea – I should be better about wiping paws even when it’s not wet out and raining. I hate when the pavement starts to heat up – me too. I’ve seen pads that should have been wearing boots and it’s not pretty.

  5. Great post! I have my Siberian Huskies’ paws groomed regularly (their fur between the pads grows likes wildfire!) When my one girl kept licking and biting at her paw, it turned out she had an infected dew claw that eventually had to be removed as there was a tumor under it. The licking was the first sign. Sharing your post on my Bark About Pinterest board!

    • I bet those paw pads get really hairy! UGH – I hate those dew claws. The doxies both them and Sherm doesn’t thankfully. I’m so glad she showed you by licking — especially since there was a tumor underneath. That’s really scary – thank you for sharing/pinning! I appreciate it!

  6. Heather Reid says:

    Thank you for this information. My parents have a senior lab with lots of skin allergies, so I’ll be sharing this post with them. I’ll have to find a recipe for a homemade paw soak for Max too. Thanks again.

  7. Pamela says:

    We have to keep an eye on Honey’s paws because she’s been picking up sand burrs in the fur between her toes. Those things are nasty.

  8. Beth says:

    My dog Nelly has allergies. When they flare up, she starts licking her paws. I think I might invest in some of those booties for her this summer.

  9. Anna Sakila says:

    A dog’s feet are the foundation for their ability to stay active and healthy! Thank you for sharing good tips.