It’s Itchy Paws Season!

We don’t know about you, but we can always tell when Spring has truly arrived – it’s Itchy Paws season at our house. This year it’s been particularly wet, with record-breaking rainfall, and it’s worse than usual. 

French Bulldogs are known for allergies, and Torque’s itchy paws are no surprise. The new development this year has been Booker, Fran’s older Boston Terrier, showing the tell-tale sign of redness in his paws. 

We understand that the redness is caused by porphyrin, which is a relatively benign chemical dogs excrete in their tears and saliva. It’s the cause of staining on fur both under the eyes and on the paws. By itself, porphyrin is harmless. It does permanently stain the fur, but if you can stop the excessive tearing, or paw-licking, when new fur grows in it will be the dog’s normal fur color.

The itching is probably caused by allergies and/or yeast. The wet Spring this year creates perfect conditions for both.

We try and we try

We’ve been dealing with itchy paws for a long time. Dax, Hope’s first Frenchie, was actually allergic to grass. And she absolutely refused to “do her business” on cement, so we had to do something with her paws every single time she came in from outdoors. We tried rinsing with water, but she wound up with dry/cracked paws. Baby wipes came next, but something in them made the itchiness worse. We finally wound up using witch hazel, straight up, to give her some relief.

Aside from the fact that we don’t want our dogs to be uncomfortable, or have red paws, the constant licking is really annoying. Especially in the dark in the middle of the night. The constant, repetitive licking is enough to drive us crazy. We love our dogs and we want them near us at night – so we keep at the quest!

Showing between a dogs toes at his red and itchy paws.

When Hope mentioned Torque’s red paws and between-toe goo to the vet, she didn’t really like our coping mechanism of washing his paws with doggy shampoo every day. While the shampoo itself is fine, the frequency could rob his paws of natural oils and change the ph of his skin. She said to reserve the shampoo for once-a-week face washing and the occasional bath. 

She did suggest we use Bactine. Regular, old, over-the-counter “wash your childhood boo-boos” Bactine. So we did. It reduced the goo factor, but didn’t seem to help the itchy paws or the redness. 

Not alone by any means

Of course our dogs aren’t the only ones who are itchy-paw sufferers this time of year. We’ve seen quite a few posts on social media about it in the last couple of weeks. 

One that we took special note of came from a dog nutrition specialist we know. She happened on an answer for her dogs – Gold Bond Foot Powder. She particularly liked that it has baking powder in it. 

So – we’re trying it. If you have any tried-and-true solutions, we’d love to hear about them. We’ll report back on the foot powder. At this point, we’re willing to try just about anything that won’t harm our dogs.

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