If your dog chews her paws, licks, and bites the padding it could be mean she is having a reaction to something she is in contact with, but determining what it is can be difficult. Anything from food allergies, substances on the sidewalk that bug her, elements in the soil, to anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorders can all cause this type of behavior. It can be irritating to her and you. She might even end up chewing through her outer paw pad and giving herself a raw blistery spot that is then exposed to dirt and germs and could become infected. She might also end up with red, sore, hairless areas on her feet that then need to be treated.
Finding out what is causing the irritation on her paws can take a lot of trial and error and can become costly, take a long time to find the trigger, and may not always be solved. So what can you do to address the problem at hand while you try finding the source?
You can try a simple foot bath. Yes, a foot bath for your dog, but not just any foot bath, try an iodine foot bath. You can get iodine at your local pharmacy. Now, while this may not solve the cause it will help provide some comfort for your dog.
In a wash tub or small tub, mix warm water and iodine together. It should end up being the color of iced tea. You can eyeball this, keep it light. Once you have the mixture ready, get your pup to stand in it and soak her feet. She may try to jump away so you might have to bribe her with some treats and ask a friend to help keep her still. This is a short foot bath and doesn’t need to last longer than five minutes. The whole point of the bath is to get the feet submerged in the solution to wash away the bacteria, allergens, and any external elements that are making her uncomfortable.
You don’t need to rinse her feet after the bath, simply pat them dry and let her romp. You can reuses the solution a few times before having to make a new mix, it will last about two or three days. This can be an end of the night routine after she’s gone outside for the last time.
During the day, while on walks or after playtime in a dog park, you can wipe her feet when she comes with pet wipes that you can find at your local pet store or using a damp towel. It won’t remove all the bacteria and allergens but it will remove some dirt and also save your carpet and floors from dirty muddy paws.
The iodine bath may not work for all dogs who chew and lick their paws but it can offer some comfort to those have reactions to their environment. It won’t hurt them and doesn’t take long. It may just make them wonder what’s going on and why they have to soak their little paws once a day.