Swollen dog paws are a really common problem for dogs and they can be really uncomfortable & even seriously painful depending on the cause and how long they've been suffering! Read more about what causes swollen paws and how you can help your dog with treatment & prevention...
Understanding how to spot swollen dog paws...
There are a number of different factors that can cause a dog's paws to become swollen, sore or irritable. Dogs who have swollen paws may start limping, favouring a particular leg or hobbling around. Spotting these signs is key in quickly establishing the cause of the problem and dealing with it quickly so it doesn't get any worse!
Checking your dog's paws for the cause of the irritation...
If you notice that your dog has any strange symptoms, like those we've described above, then it's time to have a thorough check over the paws and investigate exactly what the cause might be!
Check the top and underside of each paw pad and note any swelling. Inspect carefully for signs that could be causing swelling or irritation.
Foreign objects are usually the primary cause as they can easily become trapped between toes & paw pads. Foreign objects can easy to spot depending on the size of the object but they can also be elusive so it's important to carefully check each individual paw pad closely.
Other causes of paw swelling which are more difficult to spot could insect bites and stings, broken toes & nails or even wounds. During the hot summer months, paw burns from hot pavements are a real issue as the burnt skin causes pain, irritation & swelling.
Treating the cause of the swelling & soothing irritated paws...
Once you've found the cause of the swelling, it's important to treat it in the most careful and appropriate way.
Depending on the size of the object and the way it's embedded, you can carefully remove it with a pair of tweezers before gently cleaning any wounded areas thoroughly to avoid the risk of infection. Soapy water works great.
Keep an eye on the area and check that any swelling subsides with the object removed - if not, seek the advice of your vet.
Insect Bites & Stings (... & nothing visibly obvious)
More often than not insect bites & stings don't visibly stand out but it's important that you still work to soothe the irritation and swelling. If you can't see anything obviously causing the issue, even after a close, thorough inspection, an effective treatment is to carefully wash and paws with warm, soapy water before soaking them in Epsom Salts dissolved in warm water.
Using Epsom Salts to treat swollen and inflamed paws couldn't be simpler - use around a handful of salt per 4.5 litres of warm water. Clean the paws carefully before soaking them for around 10 minutes, up to 4 times a day. This should relieve irritation & itchiness. It's important to not let your dog drink the salt water as this can lead to diarrhoea.
During the hot summer months, burns from hot pavements are a very real possibility. We talk a lot about the issues of understanding how hot the ground can become in the height of summer - burned paws are can be incredibly painful yet are entirely preventable by checking the ground first to ensure it's comfortable for your dog to walk on.
We'd always recommend a natural summer dog paw balm to keep your dog's paws feeling their best throughout the hot summer months.
Wounds, Sores & Prolonged Swelling
If you happen to spot an open wound or lesion, the swelling remains even after you'd soothed & treated, or the dog starts preferring another leg; it's time to call your vet for advice and seek their expert attention.
It's important that if there is an obvious open wound to seek expert attention as soon as you can so that it can be properly treated!
Prevention & ongoing care with 'Soft Paws'
Soft Paws dog paw balm is the ideal soothing, moisturising treatment for paws that are dry, cracked, damaged or swollen. The organic, natural ingredients that make up our paw balm lock-in moisture and deliver essential, healing oils deep into the cells to soothe against the cause of the irritation and swelling.
We've handcrafted Soft Paws dog paw balm to contain ingredients which are proven to make a real difference to a dogs health. Coconut oil is an amazing soother for dry, itchy paw pad skin and is known for reducing the effects of allergic reactions such as those that cause paw swelling.
We also use healing vitamin E oil which is carrier deeply into the paw by the plant oils and allows the cells to absorb nutrients. Vitamin E oil helps with canine dermatitis and sores, particularly on the delicate, sensitive skin of paw pads.
The natural peppermint oil in Soft Paws paw balm is a proven antiseptic meaning it helps to protect from infection which can enter through sores, cracks & damage. This wonder oil is also a fantastic insect repellent so keeps away ticks and fleas from already irritated paws.
The wonder element of Soft Paws has to be Neem oil. Now, you might never have heard of it - but listen up! Neem oil is a powerful antifungal, antibacterial, antiseptic & anti-inflammatory - we've chosen Neem as it protects and heals swollen, irritated pads!