Home / natural healing / Dog, Cat Sore Infected Paws – Natural Home Remedies

Dog, Cat Sore Infected Paws – Natural Home Remedies

In this article:

  1. Typical Reasons Why Paw and Skin Irritations Occur
  2. Recipes for Foot and Body Soaks and Rinses
  3. Why You Should Resist Putting Your Dog or Cat on Steroids and NSAIDs
  4. Natural Alternatives to Steroids and NSAIDs
  5. Understanding Food Allergies
  6. Natural Remedies and Treatments, Diets To Resolve Food Allergies

1.0 Typical Reasons Why Paw and Skin Irritations Occur

Dogs and cats can get sore irritated paws for many reasons, including:

  • A symptom of environmental allergies;
    • ‘Hayfever’ or allergies to other plants;
    • Contact with (surface, ingestion, inhaling) toxins;
  • A symptom of food allergies;
    • Resulting in:
      • Irritation, inflammation, infection of the paws, skin and ears;
      • Yeast infection – candida;
  • Fungal infections;
  • Abrasions cuts and wounds;
  • Etc.

If your dog or cat is suffering from allergies and/or resulting yeast infections of the paw or skin on other parts of the body (i.e. candida), or has come into contact with poisonous and/or toxic substances – giving your dog or cat a foot soak or overall body rinse is very important to reduce discomfort, help treat the symptoms, remove harmful residue and stop your dog’s or cat’s need to lick and chew his/her paws and skin Toxins left on the paws can migrate into the dog’s, cat’s blood stream, and over time increase your dog’s, cat’s  toxic load, compromise his/her immune system and trigger the development of cancer.

If your dog’s or cat’s paws have come into contact with road salt, herbicides, fertilizers or pesticides it is very important to ensure that you remove the particulate and/or residue from these substances right away. Even if you cannot see anything on your dog’s paws – if he/she was walked on or brushed against surfaces or plants that are treated with these substances, a residue will be present on your dog’s, cat’s paws, fur or skin. The toxic chemicals found in these substances can make their way into your dog’s and cat’s blood stream by passing through your dog’s or cat’s skin or when he/she licks his/her paws, fur or skin.
The most affective way to remove toxins (road salt, herbicides, fertilizers or pesticides) from your dog’s and cat’s paws is to provide your dog or cat with a 30 second foot soak. Depending on the size of your dog, you can do afoot soak in the bowl or basin, sink, bathtub, shower or in a small children’s pool.
It is important to note that dunking/placing your dog’s or cat’s paws in the soaking solution is not as affective as soaking the paw for 30 seconds. After the soak just pat your dog’s or cat’s paws dry – do not rub them dry as rubbing can cause irritation.
2.0 Recipes for Foot and Body Soaks and RinsesFoot Soak Recipe #1 – Warm Water and Iodine
Remove Toxins, Disinfect Paw Wounds, Treat Yeast Infection
for Dogs and Cats

Iodine is a naturally occurring water-soluble element. Iodine is an excellent disinfectant as it has both anti-fugal and anti-viral properties, it is alsonon-toxic for dogs (but should not be ingested, just used topically). Iodine is a common disinfectant carried by most pharmacies. To remove toxins (road salt, herbicides, fertilizers or pesticides) from the surface of your dog’s paws – this soak can also be used to reduce itchy, inflamed, and other wise irritated paws…
  • Fill the container you are using with warm water;
  • Add enough iodine to make the water turn the colour of ice tea;
  • Have your dog or cat stand in or hold his.her paw in the the water/iodine solution for 30 seconds;
  • Then pat your dog’s or cat’s paws dry.
Paw Soak Recipe #2 – Warm Water, Apple Cider Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide 
Treat Yeast Infections or Irritated Paw 
for Dogs and Cats
Organic unpasturized, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties(primarily from the acetic acid and malic acid in ACV).  To make this paw soak combine:
One gallon of water with;
One cup of hydrogen peroxide, and;
One cup of organic unpasturized unfiltered apple cider vinegar ACV;To apply:

  • Soak your dog’s, cat’s paws or skin for 30 seconds;
  • Allow your dog’s or cat’s paws/skin to air-dry. 

Do not use pasturized non-organic apple cider vinager such as that typically found on grocery store shelves (i.e. Heinz apple cider vinegar). Pasturized vinegar does not have the medicinal properties that unpasteurized ACV has. 

For detailed information on how to choose a good ACV product and the many health benefits of ACV as both a topical and ingested treatment read here

You can also use just apple cider vinegar between foot soaks – just put it in a spray bottle, spray your dog’s paws and then pat dry. Do NOT use ACV on broken skin as it can sting!

Paw Soak Recipe #3 – Warm Water, Apple Cider Vinegar, fresh squeezed Lemon Juice, Peppermint Essential Oil
Treat Yeast Infections or Irritated Paws  
For Dogs and Cats
Peppermint contains cooling essential oils (such as menthol) and has antiseptic and slightly anesthetic properties. To make this paw soak:

  • Combine:
    • One gallon of water with; 
    • One cup of organic unpasturized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar;
    • The fresh juice of one lemon, and:
    • 20 drops of peppermint essential oil. 

To apply:

  • Soak your dog’s, cat’s paws or skin for 30 seconds;
  • Pat your dog’s or cat’s paws/skin dry. 

Find out more about all of the health benefits of fresh lemon for dogs here.

The Following Herbs can also be Added to the Recipes Above…

Chamomile is a non-toxic soothing all natural additive. Just add a few chamomile tea bags to the liquid solution wait a few minutes and then soak your dog’s feet in the solution. You can also prepare the tea as you normally would (as you would to drink it), just wait for it to cool down and add it to the liquid solution. 
For a detailed list of the health benefits of chamomile read here
Golden Seal
Golden Seal is a non-toxic soothing all natural additive. Just add a few Golden Seal tea bags to the liquid solution wait a few minutes and then soak your dog’s, cat’s  feet in the solution. You can also prepare the tea as you normally would (as you would to drink it), just wait for it to cool down and add it to the liquid solution. You can read more about Golden Seal here.

Green Tea

Green tea (use decaffeinated only) is a non-toxic and rich in antioxidants – an aid to healing. Just add a few green tea bags to the liquid solution wait a few minutes and then soak your dog’s, cat’s feet in the solution. You can also prepare the tea as you normally would (as you would to drink it), just wait for it to cool down and add it to the liquid solution.
The recipes listed above should be used three or four times a week if you are treating a yeast infection, or irritation due to allergies.

Paw Soak Recipe #4 – Warm Water, Rooibos Tea and Lemon
Yeast Infections or Irritated Paws
for Dogs and Cats

Rooibos is a naturally anti-allergenic and also contains a significant amount of AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) making rooibos tea an aid to the healthy growth and maintenance of skin. To see the recipe for rooibos foot soak and read about the benefits of giving your dog rooibos tea as part of a daily diet you can read this article ‘Rooibos Tea for Dogs – Immune System Health, Cancer Inhibitor, Allergy Mediator 

Don’t bother with fancy store bought concoctions. They are not necessary and not better…you have what you need to work an excellent treatment with just the simple off-the shelf items I have mentioned above.
Lathering your dog’s paws with ointments, salves and lotions may make the irritation worse as allergens, toxins and dirt can get trapped underneath the ointment. It is better to use one of these soaks and then keep your dog’s paws dry and clean.
If your dog does have a yeast infection (i.e. candida) you really need to treat the symptom (i.e. itchy, irritated paws that may smell like corn chips), as well as the issue. It is important to note that in the case of a yeast infection Prednisone and antibiotics can make the condition worse as they further suppress the dog’s immune system and antibiotics kill the good bacteria in a dog’s and cat’s gastntestinal tract gut (GI tract)…3.0 Why You Should Resist Putting Your Dog or Cat on
Steroids and NSAIDs
It is far better to resolve the root cause of the condition and use natural alternatives to treat the condition. Natural alternatives have little to no side effects. Steroids, cortecosteroids such as Prednisone and non steroidal ant-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have many side effects including life threatening, life span shortening affects.
To understand more about the dangers of using steroids and NSAIDs you can read here.
4.0 Natural Alternatives to Steroids and NSAIDs
For a list of natural, safe alternatives to steroids and NSAIDs you can read here

5.0 Understanding Food Allergies

If you think that your dog or cat is suffering from food allergies you need to treat the immediate outward discomfort (i.e. irritated paws, skin, ears) and you also need to remedy the root cause of the allergy.

To gain an understanding of the causes and many symptoms of food allergies you can read here.

6.0 Natural Remedies and Treatments, Diets To Resolve
Food Allergies 

While it is important to relieve the symptoms of a yeast infection due to food allergies – if the root cause of the allergy is not resolved the condition becomes reoccuring – chronic.
Your dog or cat can end-up with chronic skin issues and chronic ear infections. This article will help you understand how to resolve food allergies, naturally, safely and effectively – read more here.

Additional Assistance

If you require additional support and guidance I would be pleased to assist you via my In-Person or On-Line Services…

Dog Obedience Training and Behavior Modification Services:

Diet, Nutrition Wellness Services:

  • Unbiased Diet, Nutrition, Product Advice is available via this service
  • Holistic Diet, Nutrition Wellness Plans are available via this service

About Karen Rosenfeld

My name is Karen Rosenfeld. I am an holistic diet nutrition health and wellness practitioner for dogs and cats. I am an holistic behaviorist for dogs. I offer a wealth of real-time, real-life experience. 30 years working and living with dogs and cats. Companion animals are my life, my work, my passion. Maintenance of Health Health Issues and Conditions Custom designed whole food diets, raw and cooked. Recommendations for commercial whole food diets. Consultations available worldwide via FaceTime, FaceBook video and voice, Skype, Phone and email Recommendation and specification of... Species Appropriate: Whole foods Treats Herbs Alternative medicines Supplemental foods Treatment and Remedy Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs Include: Obedience Training Behavior Modification Psychological Rehabilitation In-person Sessions Sessions available worldwide via FaceTime, FaceBook video and voice, Skype, Phone Affiliations to Companies None. I don’t sell food or supplements. I am NOT aligned with any companies. I prefer to select best solutions for my individual clients’ situation. My client services are available around the world. 🇺🇸USA 🇨🇦Canada 🇬🇧UK 🇦🇺Australia 🇪🇺Europe 🇨🇷Costa Rica and other Central American Countries 🇦🇪United Arab Emirates 🇸🇪Sweden and other Scandinavian Countries 🇸🇬Singapore and other Countries in Asia etc. Consultations and Sessions 📧Email: karen@ottawavalleydogwhispererer.ca 📞Phone: 1-613-293-3707 📱FaceTime 📱FaceBook video or voice 💻Skype 📖Holistic Wellness eBooks custom designed to suit 🚶In-person Sessions only available in Ontario, Canada.

Check Also

Fatty Acids for Dogs, Cats – A Complete Guide

My Sweet Boxer x Pit Bull ‘Robbie’ In This Article… The Importance of Providing a …


  1. My dog had serious paw issues with pimply looking sores that
    would pop and bleed. She was in obvious pain walking. My vet was no help. So, I blended coconut oil(which is anti fungal) with tea tree oil(another anti fungal) and added msm(an anti inflammatory). Her paws looked so much better the next
    morning. I could tell she felt better. She walked around the back yard for the first time in months. It was nice to see her not in pain.

  2. Hello, My standard yorkie Ollie has such sore paws. I have changed his diet and tried natural healing creams, special boots etc yet his paws are still very sore.

    I think he has a yeast infection, vets not helpful really suggests food allergies and medication but that wont solve the problem. His feet smell like cheesy crisps and he always licks and sucks all paws. I am convinced its yeast infection, I now have to put baby socks on him when I go out to prevent him doing this as this makes the paws worse.

    When walking outside he wears special boots as his paws bleed and weep otherwise plus I am trying to prevent wetness and dirt.

    I will try the soaks as advised above.

    Can you recomend any probiotic suppliments?

    We are UK based.

    • Yes, your dog has a yeast infection (candidia).

      When you say you have changed his diet do you mean that you have removed all grain from his diet? The most common food allergy is to grains. Grains are not part of a species appropriate diet and casue many dogs to develop candida.

      If you do not fix the root casue all the probiotics in the world are not going to solve the problem. The root casue IS diet.

      To Fix His Diet
      Go to my index page http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/p/index-of-articles.html read all of the articles on nutrition and get your dog on a truly good diet. If you need assistance I can create a diet for him but I do charge for that service.

      Also read my articles on probiotics. I prefer to use probiotics from natural sources – yogurt, kefir, saurekraut. If you want to purchase a probiotic supplement get one from Dr. Mercola’s website. His is one of the few I would recommend. Most are junk.

    • Thank you very much. I will look to change his diet, Im based in UK so food makes are different so I need to do alot of research. I will look at introducing Kefir and saurekraut. :) much appreciated.

    • Once again I could not get in through the link you provided – I did however do a goggle search and picked-it up that way.

      The food is OK, however every dry food manufacturer cuts corners and indulges in – un truths.

      They put a few strains of probiotics at the end of the ingredients list and then state ‘an aid in the establishment, maintenance and restoration of a balanced gut flora in dogs’. Absolute crap as these micor-organisms cannot take the intense processing and heat – it kills them. Probiotics must be alive to have any efficacy. The pet food industry is so unethical. So yes you need to add probiotics to your dog’s diet.

      They also do not provide a breakdown between Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. They do this because – as all dry dog foods I have encountered) the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio is way out of kilter…which is seriously bad for your dog. So you will also need to add Omega 3 fatty acids to your dog’s diets. You can read my articles on Omega 3 fatty acids and then supplement accordingly.


      Chicken 66% (from Dried Chicken), Chicken Mince 8%, Peas 8% (from Dried Peas), Potato Starch 6%, Poultry Oil 2.5% (Source of Omega 6), Beet Pulp, Poultry Gravy, Whole Egg (from Dried Egg), Cellulose Plant Fibre, Minerals, Vitamins, Salmon Oil (source of omega 3), Tomato (from Dried Potato), Carrot (from Dried Carrot) Chicory Extract (F.O.S), Alfalfa Meal, Seaweed/Kelp, Yeast Extract (Purified Beta Glucan 0.1%), Glucosamine, Methylsulfonylmethane, Chondroitin, Carrot, Peppermint, Paprika Meal, Turmeric, Thyme Extract, Citrus Extract, Taurine 1000 mg/kg, Yucca Extract, Cranberry, Fennel Extract, Carob Extract, Ginger, Rosehip Extract, Dandelion Extract, Rosemary Oil Extract, Oregano, Probiotic: Contains E1705 Enterococcus faecium cernelle 68 (SF68: NCIMB 10415) 1,000,000 cfu/kg as an aid in the establishment, maintenance and restoration of a balanced gut flora in dogs.


      Protein 37% Crude Oils and Fats 20%, Crude Fibres 4.5%, Crude Ash 8.5%, Calcium 1.6%, Phosphorous 1.33%, Carbohydrates <23.5% No added artificial colourants flavourings or preservatives.

    • AND BTW – they are messing with % to make the food look better than it truly is.

      A dog’s diet should be between 57% and 60% protein, 30% fat and 10% to 13% carbs.

      In the ingredient list they note that chicken represents 66% of the ingredients in the food – but that only translates to an actual end product which contains 37% protein.

      Pet food manufacturers are very sneaky. If I was you, I would add some whole food protein to your dogs diet. Read my article on “Fresh Whole Foods for Dogs’.

  3. what is a good grain free, low carb, anti yeast dog food??

    • That can really depend on what your dog has food sensitivities to – however, by far the majority of yeast infections are caused by grains in the dog’s diet. But just because a dog kibble does not contain grain does NOT mean that it is a) going to stop the yeast infection and b) is a good quality product. Read this http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/how-to-choose-good-kibble-for-your-dog.html

      Don’t take the advice of staff in pet food stores as I have yet to find one who actually understood what good and safe nutrition really is. Don’t purchase food from your veterinarian’s office – as the kibbles typically sold in vets offices are some of the worst products on the market (i.e. Hills Science Diet, Royal Canine).

      You can either make your own dog food – read here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/how-to-choose-good-kibble-for-your-dog.html or for those who would like to use commercially manufactured kibble I suggest using Acana’s ‘Wild Prairie’ dog kibble. This particular product does not contain GMO Oils, Fish Meal or grains. Fish meal should be avoided at all costs – read here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/02/fish-fish-meal-and-ethoxyquin-danger-do.html

    • Omg – didn’t know about fish meal. I’ve been feeding this to my dog since she was a pup at the recommendation of a vet. She has a skin condition where she was losing fur (tail & side of her body) for no apparent reason. – this fixed it (fish & sweet potatoe…) I feed her the Kirkland wild/natural brand – any suggestions on what to sub this for as I think she might not be able to tolerate lamb/rice …? All are wheat free (used to feed her nature’s recipe). Btw – on here because I’m looking for remedies for her inflamed paw that she’s licked into a sore – doing paw soaks so thanks for that!

    • Hi Adrienne, Kirkland Lake (made by the Diamond Food Processing Plant) – after meany years of refusing to make a clear statement on the matter (as they were purchasing from suppliers that use ethoxyquin), have recently posted on their website that they do not purchase fish meal from suppliers that use ethoxyquin – however unless they are ready to issue a 100% guarantee on that I personally would not trust them. Diamond Food Processing also have a long history of product recalls and I personally would not be comfortable with saying that they use quality products.

      Acana and Orijin products are much better quality as are Evo products.

      Ollie definitely has food allergies – you can read my articles on that and if you find you require assistance I would be pleased to do a consult with you to: properly address and re-design his diet, treat/resolve the symptoms and remedy the condition.

      His diet needs to be changed, he also needs some items added to his diet that will assist in remedying his allergies and boosting his immune system.

      Cheers, Karen

  4. You don’t say how often to soak the paws. Hourly? Daily? Thanks.

  5. I tried the apple cider vinegar and hydrogen peroxide remedy for my 2 year old pitmix pup’s irritated paws. They were pinkish and only ever so faintly raw but she seemed quite uncomfortable because of the salt on the sidewalk and a plain water footbath didn’t seem to help. I wanted to help keep on top of it before it got worse. WELL… if I ever wanted cold hard evidence that she would not ever bite the hand that feeds her – this was it. She screamed in pain and pulled her paw away limping and screaming around the house until I immediately wrangled her into the bathtub to wash it off. Thank God I didn’t do an all 4 paws bath !!

    After she calmed down still standing in the luke warm water, I poured the 3 cups mixture into the bathtub which had about two inches of water in it at that point. Even that diluted, she still picked up her other paws in discomfort until I had about 3 inches of water in the bathtub. I’m hoping that letting her soak a while in the *more* diluted solution was beneficial. Basically, even though her feet were only slightly irritated to look at, this recipe was not diluted enough not to cause pretty severe burning.

    I think i’ll try something a little less acidic if it doesn’t improve – like peppermint oil and chamomile.


    – Nick

  6. Thank you SO much for this post.

    I really appreciated that you gave several options for foot soaks. My guy gets paw infections and makes them worse by licking them. I have had success with homeopathic tablets before, so today I have given him some arnica 30, soaked his paw with apple cider vinegar and water (I didn’t have peroxide), and put a sock on his foot (held in place by a ring of duct tape.

    We’ll see how it goes, but I instinctively knew I needed to soak his foot to get the road dirt off that stuck to the already-irritated skin.

    Thanks again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.