Asha, the mascot of The Laker News. (Healey photo)

APRIL 13, 2020.

Andrea Francheville asked a question about her French Bulldog, Benedict: “Good morning, I have a question for Dr Ashton. As the warmer weather is starting to show, my pups paws are getting itchy. What is that from? What can I do to help them?”

Dr. Juanita: Great question Andrea!

Many dogs have itchiness this time of the year.  Let’s first ask how do you truly know if your pet is itchy? Licking feet yes can be a sign of itchiness, however, if your pet is licking one paw only for example this maybe a stress response. If it is all the paws and specifically, the bottom of the feet the pet is licking and chewing, then this is most consistent with allergic breakouts. When dogs have allergic issues it mostly shows up as skin problems.

Some dogs, if the allergies are mild, and can be treated with antihistamines and foot baths with medicated shampoos.  Now is the time to start that regimen if it gave you success in the past. Your vet will have safe and effective treatments if things worsen however.

Whether you’d prefer supplements, essential fatty acids or safe medicine for allergies, your vet will have it!

Other less common reasons for itchy feet can be food allergies. You should really consider talking to your vet about this as it is not as straight forward as changing the food.  Most pet foods have multiple ingredients and often people feel very frustrated dealing with unsuccessful food changes. There are many factors to consider.

Other things that can cause itchy feet are parasites such as fleas. Fleas are very elusive critters and are hard to spot even for the trained individual.  They are around all months of the year, but start to increase this time of the year especially so call your vet for a flea preventive for your pet.

Thanks once again for the great question and stay safe everyone!

Dr. Juanita Ashton