Canine foot infections are quite common. Dogs walk outside and can get a piece of debris lodged in their foot or cut it on the sidewalk. These cuts and scrapes often turn into infections, which can sometimes be treated at home without a trip to the vet. It is important to watch your pet if you suspect a canine foot infection, as even the smallest infection can become much more severe if not treated properly.
Examine the dog's foot to be sure there is no debris lodged in the paw. Clip the fur away from the paw, if necessary, to fully examine the skin.
Remove any small, embedded material in the foot using tweezers or even your fingers. If the object lodged in the foot is large, do not remove it. An immediate trip to the vet will be necessary. Removal may cause excessive bleeding, so do not attempt to do this yourself.
Mix 8 cups of hot water with 8 tsp. of table salt into a bucket or small washtub until the salt is completely dissolved, assuming the infection is not the result of a large object in the foot.
Soak the dog's foot in the saltwater while it is still hot, but not scorching. Do this for 20 minutes at a time, three times daily.
Use an antibacterial, antifungal dog shampoo to soak the foot in if the saltwater formula proves ineffective. This works well in treating foot and skin infections in dogs.
Pat the foot dry with a clean, soft towel. Be sure to dry the foot as thoroughly as possible, as many types of infections thrive in moist places.
Wrap the foot in a clean bandage or cloth if possible. Watch the dog closely to ensure he does not chew or bite through the bandage.
Change the cloth or bandage daily until the infection has healed. If the bandage becomes mangled or torn, change it immediately.
Take the dog to the vet if no improvement is seen within three to four days. The infection may be more serious and require an antibiotic for treatment.