French Bulldog Itchy Paws: Causes and Treatments

The French Bulldog is one of the most popular breeds of dogs. A descendent of the English Bulldog, they were thought to be brought to France in the 1800s, where they became popular with both the upper and lower classes.

They soon develop their own unique look, with smaller size, longer legs, and a more pointed muzzle. The French Bulldog quickly became a favorite companion dog, and today they are one of the most popular breeds in the world. 

They are a brachycephalic breed, which is a category of breeds that have flattened faces and short snouts like Boxers, Bulldogs, and Pugs, giving them the oh-so-adorable, squished-face look.

Thanks to their loving nature and adorable appearance, French Bulldogs make wonderful family pets and will suit most households, including those with seniors and small children. 

Characteristics of French Bulldog Paws 

French Bullys are typically 11 to 13 inches in height and 16 to 28 pounds. The size of the paw corresponds with the all-around growth. 

A unique thing found in French bulldogs is webbed feet. It is not that prominent, but you can see the webbed membrane that connects the toes if you spread their little tootsies.

Are French Bulldog Paws Sensitive? 

Yes, the French Bulldogs’ paws are very sensitive. They easily get affected by drastic weather conditions or extreme changes in temperatures. Frenchies may suffer from swelled paws, redness, and general irritation easily. A clear sign of sensitivity or discomfort is when they excessively lick and chew on their paws. 

Symptoms Of Itchy Paws In French Bulldog 

There are several ways that itchy paws manifest themselves in all dogs, Bullies included. Your Bully may start by licking and chewing on its paws incessantly, then rubbing the face or suffering from frequent, chronic ear infections that might indicate an allergy.

The paws might be red, swollen, and have patches of missing fur or abrasions. 

Reasons Behind French Bulldog Itchy Paws 

There are several reasons why your Bully might have itchy feet. While most of the causes are not severe, you can always check with your veterinarian when in doubt.

  1. Allergies in French Bulldogs 

One of the leading causes of itchy feet, or any other part of the body for that matter, is allergies. The two most common causes of allergic reactions are food and the environment. 

Just like us hoo-mans, dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies. Things like pollen, dust mites, and even certain foods can cause allergies in dogs, resulting in symptoms like itchiness, excessive licking, and hair loss. While it’s not always possible to completely eliminate all environmental allergens from your dog’s life, there are some things you can do to help reduce their exposure. 

For example, wipe their paws and belly after they’ve been outside, brush their fur regularly to remove pollen and other irritants, and avoid feeding them table scraps or other common allergens. By taking some simple precautions, you can help keep your furry friend comfortable and allergy-free.

Some symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Mild to severe itching
  • Bald patches
  • Hot spots
  • Irritated respiratory system
  • Tearing eyes
  • Chewing, and scratching
  • Redness and irritation of the skin

In severe cases, anaphylactic shock can occur. This is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect your dog is having an allergic reaction, it is important to contact your veterinarian right away. 

  1. Yeast infection

Yeast can be naturally found on everyone’s skin. When the immune system becomes imbalanced, yeast grows more and causes itchiness.

You might want to get to a vet, who is likely to give you a prescription for corticosteroids or some other medications. Do not try to find solutions on your own. As there are different types of yeast, you can choose the wrong meds and incorrectly treat your dog. 

  1. Injury or foreign object

French Bullys are happy-go-lucky, excitable pooches. They like running, playing, and jumping and at some point, might get a stone or another foreign object lodged in their paws. 

Small, sharp pieces might find their way into your dog’s paws and cause some discomfort or pain. Check your pooch’s paws diligently for any foreign objects, especially after a long day out of a big hike. Alternatively, give your pooch a lift in a doggy stroller, or wear some dog boots! 

  1. Separation anxiety in French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs are extremely attached to their humans, and love to be around them. This level of affection usually means a breed is more prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods.

Pooches have separation anxiety in varying degrees, exhibiting behaviors that can range from:

  • Excessive barking
  • Destructive chewing and digging
  • Chewing their paws or grooming themselves obsessively
  • Whining, scratching at the door
  • Panting, drooling
  1. Pododermatitis

Pododermatitis is a condition in which the Frenchie’s paws’ skin swells. This is a serious condition that can be caused by both food and environmental allergies but can be easily prevented by good paw hygiene like cleaning the paws thoroughly after returning from a walk. 

In the worst case, if your dog is unlucky, this condition can lead to other complications. Such as fungal infections, parasitic infections, bacterial infections, tumors, cysts, malnutrition, obesity, and hot or cold pavement burns.

  1. Fungal infections

Fungal infections can reach your dog from anywhere, anytime, and from anything. It can come from another dog, the park, some bush, or natural fungi or dirt. 

Crusty skin around dog nails, skin folds, armpits, and anal areas, itchiness all around the body, and internal itchiness are some of the symptoms of fungal infections. Treatment of fungal infection is a long-term process that can include medication and home remedies like cleaning with medicated soap or shampoo. 

  1. Ringworms

A common infection but highly contagious, this affects a dog’s skin, fur, and nails. Dogs can spread ringworm to humans and to other animals. Symptoms of a ringworm infection include:

  • Hair loss
  • Itchy
  • Flaky skin
  • Brittle, deformed nails
  • Circular, red lesions

Ringworm is most commonly seen in dogs with long coats, but it can occur in any breed. The best way to prevent ringworm is to keep your dog’s coat clean and free of mats. 

If you suspect that your dog has a ringworm infection, contact your veterinarian for an evaluation. Ringworm is easily treated with oral antifungal medication, but it can take several weeks for the infection to clear completely. 

In the meantime, keep your dog away from other pets and maintain good hygiene in your home to prevent the spread of the infection.

Treating Your French Bulldog’s Itchy Paws

Don’t worry! It is fairly common for dogs to have itchy paws at some point, and Bulldogs are no different. With some preventative measures, you can minimize your buddy’s discomfort and reduce the risk of more itchiness. 

  1. Proper Bathing & Grooming

While simple, keeping those paws clean is vital to good health. After all, a paw-sore Bully isn’t going to be very active. 

If a dog is affected by environmental allergies, frequent bathing and grooming can provide the dog with little comfort. 

Soothing ingredients like oatmeal can be added to the shampoo to make your dog’s skin feel softer and get some relief from its itching. 

Don’t bathe your Bully too often though! Too-frequent baths can strip the skin of natural oils and cause flaky skin. 

  1. Feed a Nutritious, Wholesome Diet

Dogs face many allergies and infections due to an imbalance in the immune system. A proper diet can improve a dog’s immunity and boost resistance to many diseases. 

If your dog is potentially allergic to food, speak to your veterinarian on how to implement an elimination diet and identify the offending ingredient. 

  1. Try Apple Cider Vinegar

Raw and organic apple cider in unfiltered form is beneficial for dogs suffering from allergies. Dogs with hot spots or itchy skin can be lightly sprayed with a 50-50 solution on organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water.

In addition, the acidity of the solution keeps the growth of yeast restricted. This magic potion can also be used to clean your dog’s ears, however, be sure to dilute it before use as the acidity can be rough on your dog’s skin. 

  1. Manage Heat & Moisture

Humidity and moisture are the breeding ground for bacteria and all kinds of other microscopic creepy crawlies, so try keeping the surrounding environment cool and dry.

The environment of a dog has a huge impact on its health. They can not withstand extreme climate and climate changes. So try keeping your house at moderate temperature. Keeping the room cooler than room temperature can help. 

  1. Add Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplementation

Omega-3 fatty acids can help keep the natural oil in the body in balance and strengthen the immune system. 

They also act as an anti-inflammatory and can lessen the symptoms of an allergic reaction. As a bonus, they keep the skin and coat all smooth and shiny!

How To Take Care Of Their Paws 

Just like our legs and feet, we are supremely dependent on our paws. Any injury or hurt could potentially result in an inability to walk or some kind of restricted mobility.

A few small things can help greatly improve the state of your pooch’s paws. 

  1. Do Paw Checks

It’s crucial to check your dog’s paws regularly, especially after playing outside, as they are the times when the chances of injuries are the most. Check whether anything is stuck in between soft toes, or whether their pads are cracked or dry. 

In addition, keep those nails cut down and not touching the ground. Long nails can curl inward and hurt your pooch.

  1. Moisturize

Dry paws can lead to cracking and bleeding. Moisturizing your Bully’s paws can help prevent painful cracked pads and keep those tootsies in tip-top shape.

Use only moisturizers meant for pet use. Human moisturizers often have chemicals that can be harmful to dogs (and humans!) when ingested. But we don’t lick our hands, do we?

  1. Use Winter Paw Protection

Winter can be a harsh season for a dog’s paws. Ice can collect between the toes and cause some discomfort, or the roads can be salted, making your dog ill if he excessively cleans his paws.

To protect your dog’s paws, you can use dog booties or paw wax to help your pooch avoid some damage. 

  1. Avoid Hot Surfaces In Summer

As with winter, the extreme heat of summer can also be too hot for paws. Try avoiding hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt that can get scorching hot and hurt paws, and stick to grass or trail.

To test the surface heat, hold the back of your hand to the ground for 7 seconds. If you are unable to, the road’s too hot. 

Try going for a walk in the early mornings during these hot days instead, or walk primarily in the shade. The rule of thumb is that if the ground is too hot for you to walk around barefoot, it is too hot for your dog! 

  1. Keep A First Aid Kit 

You can treat minor injuries with a doggy first aid kit. If your dog gets a cut, wash it well, disinfect it to prevent infection, and then wrap it up to quicken the healing process. 

Prevent your dog from chewing off the bandages and licking the wound open. 

  1. Watch The Terrain

When going on a walk, keep your eyes peeled for any sharp, rocky objects that could hurt you OR your dog! 

You’ll have shoes to protect those feet, but your dog would not. Keep your yard clean and regularly inspect the area, walking around on bare feet to check for any hazards, pebbles, or twigs that could hurt dogs and humans. 

  1. Watch For Chewing And Licking

While some chewing and licking are natural, excessively doing so isn’t. If your dog is obsessive about cleaning his paws, it could signify that some other irritant or condition is present.

Final Thoughts 

Imagine if your feet were constantly itching, and how annoying that would be. Whether you have a thorn in your foot or an allergic reaction causing rashes, itchy feet are never a good thing.

Keep a good eye on your Bulldog’s paws and have a reasonably thorough paw care routine. Your Bulldog will thank you for it! 

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