While we'd like to think of our yard as lush, soft, green carpeting that is safe to stand and sit on, it can often contain chemicals that are irritating to a Poodle's paws. If you have a Toy Poodle, you may also notice that there is irritation to the stomach after walking over grassy areas.
If you see a consistent pattern of your Poodle chewing at his paws after being outside on the grass, this may point to the lawn containing irritants that are causing either discomfort or itchiness. There may or may not be physical signs such as redness or swelling. Chemicals for growth, weed killers and fertilizers are the most common triggers. Public parks with grassy areas may apply these things as well, so it is not just your immediate yard that you need to think about.
Another element may be pollens that have settled onto the ground and are causing contact allergies.
In the winter, ice melt chemicals are often the course of chewing at the paws. Even if owners do not use this at home, many towns have city municipal services that spread this on major roadways. Vehicles then pick this up on the tires and can bring it onto the roads in your neighborhood.
Another way that the paws can be affected by this is when snow banks start melting as spring draws near. Chemicals that were contained in piles of snow will trickle down into puddles. When the Poodle walks through this, the paws can receive a minor form of chemical burn. This will cause itching that then triggers the puppy or dog to lick at the paws or chew at them in an attempt to find relief.
Both lawn care and wintertime
chemicals and pollen can be tracked into the house and they stick to the hairs of the paws, which mean that the issue will not go away once the Poodle is back inside.
Here are some tips to prevent this:
1) It is best to avoid grassy areas if you suspect that they have been treated and to avoid having your Poodle walk through puddles.
2) If you suspect that an outside surface element is causing the problem, it is best to place doggie shoes on the Poodle. This not only protects the paws from triggers that cause chewing and licking, but also safe guards the paws from hot pavement in the summer, cold icy roads in the winter and tiny pebbles that can cause irritation all year round.
3) If you opt to forgo the doggie shoes, do be sure to rinse off the paws before entering back into the house.
More ahead on treatment to ease itching…