Skin and Paw Treatment

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DermaPaw Ingredients

When we started trying to find relief for our dog, we didn't care whether something was "natural" or "herbal" or anything else. We just wanted to help our dog. We spent months researching and testing ingredients on our own Sheltie. If there was any possibility of side effects, we ruled it out immediately. And since dogs lick everything, we made sure everything we used was harmless if eaten.

Once we knew it was safe, we would apply each ingredient individually to one leg and watch his behavior, whether he seemed to feel better and stopped itching, or whether he would appear more irritated or bite, lick or chew at his leg. The next morning, after an entire night's exposure to each ingredient, we would compare it to his other legs to see if that leg looked better: less red, less flaky, less inflamed, and then we would watch him throughout the next few days to see if there were any residual side effects.

Several natural ingredients we read about, even some that were recommended by dermatologists had adverse effects, so we chose to leave them out. Two examples are flaxseed oil and safflower oil. Both are recommended for human skin conditions, but in both cases, we found they caused increased redness and itching in our dog when they were applied topically. They are both great when given orally, but not on the skin itself. 

The next problem was how to keep our Sheltie from paw chewing long enough to give them time to heal and to stop him from licking the salve off his legs. We tried a dozen brands of dog socks, but in every case, he was able to pull them off within minutes. There are some dog shoes that don't come off, but they don't cover the entire leg, and they certainly don't look comfortable to sleep in. Eventually we came up with the idea of a harness made from soft elastic. The socks prevent further irritation of the affected area from paw chewing and within minutes, most dogs don't even seem to notice they are wearing them... except Jack Russell terriers and Australian cattle dogs who usually won't tolerate the socks and will chew them off in minutes.

Obviously every dog is unique and we don't know if your dog will be willing to wear socks, but most do. We call them Stay-Put, because they don't come off like every other design we've ever seen or heard about. With that in mind, any dog could chew just about anything off its paw if it wanted to. The idea is that the sock harness doesn't bother the dog enough to bother chewing it off. Big dogs like mastiffs could chew a truck tire off, but for some reason they don't mind the socks and some seem to enjoy them. Even if your dog won't wear the socks, owners say that it works just as well. Most of it has soaked in by the time the dog can lick it off and most people tell us they can't really tell a difference inn effectiveness with the socks. The socks primarily keep your dog from doing further or continuing damage to his or her skin by paw chewing and paw licking. Many owners tell us their dog settles down after they rub DermaPaw on and they don't need the socks. The dog stops licking or chewing on its own. We know everyone won't have the same experience, but sincerely hope your dog feels better.

By using DermaPaw at night, the socks stay dry, and your best friend can get a good night's sleep without itching or chewing. If you're like us, and your dogs sleep in the bedroom with you, it also means their licking and chewing won't keep you up all night as they try to relieve their itching. We hope you'll both sleep better.

DermaPaw Contains: 


  • Lavender oil - works as an antiseptic, itch and pain reliever. The scent has a calming effect which may aid in relaxation and the reduction of anxiety.
  • Chamomile oil - an effective antiseptic, which has also been shown to speed wound healing.
  • Evening primrose oil - contains gamma linolenic acid, used to nourish and build new skin cells. GLA is a fatty acid that helps to heal skin but doesn't itch. 
  • Vitamin E - an anti-oxidant used to promote skin healing.
  • Sage oil - anti-inflmatory and anti-histamine to reduce swelling, itching and symptoms of dog skin allergies.
  • Beeswax - provides a protective layer that covers the skin and helps prevent further cell damage from licking.
  • Emu oil - a source of a wide range of fatty acids which help nourish skin and build new cells, emu oil is also thought to increase blood flow to the area reducing inflammation and helping to speed healing.
  • Shea butter - incredibly effective moisturizer which really seems to reduce itching from dry or irritated skin.
  • Almond oil - helps keep all the ingredients in suspension and makes Dermapaw silky and smooth.
  • White petroleum jelly - we use this to protect skin, keep moisture in, and help keep bacteria out. White petroleum jelly is  used in almost every medical ointment in the world including medicines for ophthalmic use and those designed to be eaten, like hairball treatments. It's chemically stable, which helps keep Dermapaw fresh, and if your dog ingests it, no problem.

    All ingredients have been approved by numerous veterinarians as completely safe for your dog. Additionally, we have tested DermaPaw on ourselves to see what it felt like on abrasions, scratches, insect bites, scabs, heel cracks, small cuts and rashes. We have also tested it in our own eyes by rubbing DermaPaw directly in them and on our eyelids. There was absolutely no sting, irritation, dryness, redness or any unpleasant feeling. The only side effect we could determine is that now Scott barks when the doorbell rings.

DermaPaw DOES NOT CONTAIN these ingredients often found in other animal skin medications, lotions, and balms.

  • Hydrocortisone - commonly found in topical medications to prevent itching and promote healing, if licked or ingested by your dog, can cause colitis, internal bleeding, diarrhea and additional serious, toxic effects.
  • Tea Tree oil - Although it has a well-deserved reputation for excellent anti-microbial, anti-fungal and flea killing properties, it is dangerous for dogs and cats. According to National Animal Poison Control Center, the use of tea tree oil in dogs has been associated with hypothermia, muscle weakness, ataxia, tremors, altered behavior, and paralysis. According to the American Cancer Society: "Tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed. It has been reported to cause drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, coma, unsteadiness, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset, blood cell abnormalities, and severe rashes. It should be kept away from pets and children."
  • Alpha linolenic acid - although this fatty acid has been found to have beneficial effects on human skin, it can cause increased itching in dogs when applied topically, causing them to bite and chew on their paws and legs, preventing healing and often making the problem worse. We recommend giving dogs fish oil, flaxseed and other sources of Omega fatty acids orally, but they usually have itchy results when applied topically in dogs.
  • Grape seed oil - Toxic to many dog breeds. In some breeds a very small amount can cause permanent liver damage.
  • Benzocaine - although this is relatively safe topical anesthetic, it can quickly cause contact dermatitis when applied to skin.
  • Clove oil - also an excellent topical anesthetic with other favorable properties, clove oil causes dermatitis and is allergenic.
  • Coconut oil and Safflower oil - both of these contain omega fatty acids that have been found to have significant results when ingested orally in dogs and applied topically in humans. In dogs, however, when applied topically they can cause redness, further inflammation and itching. They are fine to give orally, but not applied directly to the skin.
  • Learn as much as possible about your dog's condition and bring up concerns with your vet. Dermapaw is not a substitute for a veterinarian. If your dog develops serious symptoms, always consult a veterinarian. Dermapaw is meant to be an additional option for symptom treatment of certain skin disorders and allergic reactions. Serious infections, sores, obsessive licking and all skin problems can have uncountable causes, and if in doubt, always take your dog to the vet for diagnosis and treatment. 
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