Summer activities and hot sidewalks can mean sore paws for your dog.
The hot summer months are in full swing. Like children, our dogs feel excitement for summer fun. Extra time to play outdoors … exploring mountains, parks, the backyard and everywhere in between … can wreak havoc on dogs with sensitive or dry paws.
We are all individuals and so is your dog.
Some dogs have paws like leather and nothing bothers them. Others are so sensitive that an extra scrape or bruise can throw them off their game.
Sticky ointments or creams can be a nuisance in themselves. Either your dog will try to lick them off … or the ointment disappears once your dog’s foot hits the ground. Not to mention leaving greasy pawprints on your floors and carpets!
I want to tell you a better way to handle mild paw abrasions on your dog. So first, what do I mean by a mild paw abrasion?
Paw Abrasions In Dogs
Your dog’s paws are pretty tough. Think about it … he walks everywhere barefoot and most of the time he’s fine. He walks on all kinds of surfaces … even on rough gravel or sharp rocks … without any discomfort. He goes from one surface to another without even noticing.
His pads have a lot of jobs to do. They provide insulation. They’re shock absorbers and they help him balance. They’re brakes and accelerators. They help him speed up and slow down, change direction or zoom fast around corners … all without slipping or falling over.
These are all things you or I have several different pairs of shoes for! We have walking or running shoes, beach sandals and hiking boots … but your dog does it all on his own 4 paws.
So … proper care of your dog’s paws is essential to keep him active and comfortable.
All Season Paws
Summer temperatures bring new challenges for your dog’s feet!
Hot sidewalks, increased activity, running on unaccustomed surfaces … these can all mean your dog ends up with sore paws.
On a 90 degree day, the sidewalk temperature can be as hot as 120 degrees or more. And that’s searing for your dog’s pads!
Winter brings its own problems. Freezing temperatures, snow and ice balls between his pads … and salty streets and sidewalks that burn.
So I‘ve got a great recipe for you that can soothe your dog’s sore pads at any time of year.
Giving your dog’s paws a good wash or soak can start the healing process. And it helps toughen up his paws .. making it one of your best alternatives as a natural healing and prevention aid.
Solutions To Soothe Your Dog’s Paw
Being natural is one thing … but natural and effective is quite another.
You can buy all kinds of paw healing remedies … but I find most of them are messy and don’t help much.
Many of the ointments or creams on the market for mild abrasion healing claim to be natural or easy on the skin. I’ve found they usually are not!
So that’s when I decided to come up with a solution for your dog’s paw abrasions. And it’s one you and your family can use to heal human feet as well!
Having a simple, easy go to “kit” on hand makes all the difference. Mother Nature has supplied us with such phenomenal natural healers … yet we so often forget about the simplest solutions.
So … let me introduce you to the very basic, but very beneficial, Salt-Chamomile Foot Soak!
Salt-Chamomile Foot Soak Recipe For Paw Abrasions
Here’s why this foot soak works:
- Salt is a natural anti-bacterial and a rapid healer.
- Chamomile calms the soreness
- Aloe is an emollient that lubricates dry pads. It also locks in and reinforces healing from the salt and chamomile.
Combine these three ingredients and you have a miracle healing agent!
You can use this natural soak for many of your dog’s basic paw healing needs. It’ll help with:
- Sore paws from overdoing it
- Abrasions from hot sidewalks
- Mild cuts
- Bug bites
And you can dab the solution on summer rashes that form under the shoulders or on the belly.
So here’s what you’ll need …
- 1 cup sea salt. Use a good quality sea salt, not basic table salt. Table salt is more processed and often contains other chemicals.
- 3-4 cups warm water. Use filtered water without chemicals if you can.
- 4 chamomile tea bags. Or use 3-4 Tbsp dried herb or fresh chamomile flower.
- Aloe gel. Keep an aloe plant on hand so you can use the gel inside the leaves. You can buy aloe leaves at the grocery store too – they’ll keep for 3 days in the refrigerator. Or buy bottled 100% natural pure aloe extract at a health store.
- 1 large bowl
What you’ll do …
- Put sea salt and chamomile tea, herb or flower in your large bowl.
- Combine with warm water.
- Let it sit for about 5 minutes. This allows the chamomile to steep and release its soothing juices.
Next, give your dog a nice foot soak (or relaxing spa treatment)!
Step By Step Instructions
- If I’m indoors, I first lay a towel down to avoid any foot splashing. Outdoors can be easier and less messy!
- Set the bowl on the towel and then walk your dog over to start a quick soak.
- Put the affected paw into the bowl, dipping it in and out of the solution for thorough soak and flushing. This is my soak, lift, soak, lift method to irrigate the paw.
- Repeat for other paws as necessary.
- Once the paw has been soaked, dry with a clean towel.
- Then apply a thin layer of aloe to the affected area. (It’s not greasy and won’t stain your rugs).
To get the best benefit … soak for 5-10 minutes, twice a day (morning and night) for about 5 days or until the paw has healed.
Tip: Limit your dog’s activity (especially on hard surfaces) until his paws have had a chance to heal.
What If Your Dog Doesn’t Like His Paw Bath?
Now I know not every dog will warm up to the idea of standing still and soaking his paws!
Don’t give up! Here are some ideas to get him to cooperate.
- Pick a time when he’s more relaxed … like after a meal or a walk.
- Take it slow. Try one paw first, for a shorter time, and give him breaks as needed.
- Have some yummy treats ready to reward him … or give him a raw bone to work on!
- Incorporate a little massage on your dog’s hip or shoulder. It’ll make it more enjoyable and help him relax.
- Keep it fun and positive. Don’t turn it into a struggle so he dreads seeing that bowl come out!
- If your dog has mobility issues and it’s hard for him to stand for long … do several shorter sessions.
And while you’ve got your supply of chamomile handy, here’s something else you can use it for!
Use this as as a mild eye wash for tearing, allergies or as a calming, cleansing wash on an irritated nose.
- Steep 4 chamomile tea bags in a medium bowl with 3 cups hot water.
- Let it cool, then refrigerate until cold.
You can keep this wash in the refrigerator and reuse it.
There is nothing more gratifying then seeing your dog truly loving the outdoors and all the magic and fun it can bring … even if it means some cuts and bruises!
This remedy is as easy and natural as summer fun and one that your dog will appreciate.