Pet parents frequently bring their dogs to the veterinary clinic to be treated for red, itchy, infected, and painful paws. What were signs of mild foot licking will commonly turn into a full-blown paw infection in a matter of days. But why do dogs do all this paw licking and cause themselves to develop painful infections and what can we do to help them? The most common underlying cause of paw licking is allergies. If you have ever seen your dog’s paws turn a reddish-brown color, that is a discoloration from the licking that we refer to as ‘saliva staining’ and can be a sign of an underlying allergy. These allergies can be from the environment, the food they are eating, or a combination of both. Obviously, dogs do not wear shoes and they do not take daily baths, so wherever they walk (even in the house) they are picking up pollens and environmental allergens which stay in between their paw pads and cause skin irritation. Food allergies can also cause the skin to become inflamed and itchy. The resulting inflammation from either underlying allergen then causes your dog to lick their feet to try to soothe the irritation. The more they lick, the more the skin cells become inflamed, and the protective cellular barrier is impaired. When the skin barrier is broken down this allows naturally occurring bacteria and yeast to invade underneath the skin and cause an infection.So, what can we do to help our itchy fur babies’ feet? You can follow a proven treatment regimen called “Foot Soaking” that can cure irritated skin and help treat infection. This simple technique which was pioneered on horses to help cure hoof infections and involves soaking your dog’s paw(s) in a medicinal solution usually filled in a bowl or a low filled bathtub for 5-10 minutes. This can be done as often as needed to treat discomfort and infection but usually owners will see some healing effects after the first treatment. To help you create your own medicinal solution, I have developed a new homeopathic mixture called Replenish Natural Paw Healing Solution which is a combination of several scientifically proven natural ingredients that are both antibacterial and antifungal as well as a natural anti-inflammatory.  Additionally, my product does not contain any added fragrances which can irritate your dog’s extremely sensitive sense of smell and quickly dissolves in water. The best part of using my foot soaking solution is it can prevent the need for a vet visit or the use of strong medications which ultimately saves you both time and money.Please visit www.replenishdog.com to read more about this Natural Paw Healing Solution and learn about my Replenish Dog Water Supplement to keep your dog hydrated, healthy, and feeling great!

By Dr. Rachel Walsh, ReplenishDog.com