Ive been known to put my foot in my mouth. But dogs do it on purpose. So, why do dogs chew their feet? The answer isnt as straightforward as you might think. Sure, theres a simple explanation for the behavior. A dog is essentially trying to scratch the itch, says Christopher Pachel, DVM, owner of the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland, Oregon. But finding the cause of foot chewing can be complicated. It can be multiple different things, Dr. Pachel says. This is not one size fits all.
How can I get my dog to stop chewing his paws?
Eliminating parasites. There are a variety of flea and tick products that your veterinarian can recommend. ….Changing foods. ….Using medication. ….Preventing the behavior. ….Addressing anxiety or boredom.
Why is my dog suddenly chewing her feet?
When dogs are anxious or depressed, they tend to chew their paws or lick and scratch compulsively. Dogs may react that way due to common separation anxiety, or anxiety caused by lack of proper exercise. Dogs who are ill, generally sad, or depressed will often lick their own paws obsessively.
I was living a stress-free and happy life with my two dogs when Selma, a female Belgian Malinois, suddenly got into the habit of chewing her feet. I ignored her at first, considering it an ordinary dog reaction.
If you are searching the web for the same question why do dogs chew their feet, and you are not finding a satisfactory answer, I can understand your frustration. The most common reasons dogs chew their include pain, dry skin, hormonal imbalances, cold weather, boredom, stress, anxiety, or irritation caused by allergies or parasites.
Chewing or licking paws regularly over a long time can be a sign of insufficient mental and physical stimulation . If your dog is either chewing or licking his feet, one thing is pretty straight. However, if your dog is repetitively chewing or licking his feet or paws, there can be many possibilities.
In areas underwater, for example, paws can be hurt by stones, glass, or any other sharp debris that is submerged. If there is no bruise or physical damage, licking can be a behavioral issue pointing to something more serious. For example, it is commonly found that dogs lick their feet because of anxiety, depression, stress, boredom, less mental stimulation, or lack of required exercise.
If you think your dog needs your attention and some quality time, treat him on a regular basis and keep him happy. If your dog chews its paws and feet, chances are it has developed an allergy. The answer to this question is that after a dog catches any allergy, its whole body gets itchy, including the feet and the paws.
Your dog can get an allergy from pollen and mold, certain types of trees, dust, or it might be allergic to any specific food. Dont feel upset at the thought of your dog being in depression and stress when you actually take care of his every need. Chewing helps your dog relieve the pain and wash the wound to neutralize bacterial infection.
Parasites, mites, ticks, fleas may be the answer to why dogs chew their feet . A vet will thoroughly examine your dog for any possible parasitic infection and will recommend a cure. To bring behavior changes in your dog, you can use bitter spray on the required area.
The most common reasons for dog feet chewing include pain, hormonal imbalance, dry skin, cold weather, boredom, anxiety, or irritation due to allergies or parasites. However, if the licking grows intense, you need to take it seriously and find out the reason to start the cure. If your dogs paw is bleeding, give him first aid and clean the wound.
#2 If you want to bring a behavioral change, use bitter spray on the most chewed paw. #3 If your dog has allergies, changing food for simpler ones or eliminating potential trigger ingredients can make a huge difference. But I am sure after reading this piece, you have gathered enough knowledge and tips to avoid your dog from chewing its feet.
Its vitally important for pet owners to know when a behavior is normal and when its something to worry about. Dogs self-groom by licking their paws. If your dog is occasionally licking for the purpose of cleaning, then thats normal and nothing to be concerned about. If your dog is biting their paws or is excessively and intensely licking their paws, then thats a cause for concern and you may want to consult your veterinarian.
If your dog has a parasite, such as mange or fleas, their paws may itch, causing them to lick. Check your dog for flea bites and mange spots, which are caused by mites.
Food Dust Grass Trees Mold Insects Weeds Lawn treatment chemicals Fish oil (naturally anti-inflammatory) Medicated shampoos Antihistamines Oral antibiotics (for severe cases) If you see that your dog is biting or excessively licking one paw in particular, check to make sure theres not a small injury-causing irritation.
Speak to your veterinarian if you cant figure out why your dog is excessively licking or biting their paws. Your vet should be able to help you pinpoint whats going on and if theres a health or behavioral issue they can advise you on how to manage it. The first thing that you should do if you notice your dog licking or biting at their paws is check for visual clues of the cause.
Sometimes you can see discoloration or a rash, so you know exactly what is causing the pain or discomfort and can inform your vet about it during your visit. Punctures Burns Foreign bodies such as ticks or fleas Glass Splinters Bleeding Swelling Redness Odor Be on the lookout for any other behavior that may be a sign of pain, such as limping or lack of movement.
Plenty of owners observe this common behavior in their dogs and wonder if they should be concerned. In some cases, dogs will gently but insistently lick one or both paws, but other canines will go so far as to chew on their toes, which can be disconcerting for any pet owner.
In these cases, the feet (especially of light-colored dogs) will often look stained a pink or rusty color, which is the result of chronic contact with porphyrin pigments found in saliva.
#1 Allergy & Skin Disease
In dogs, allergies cause much itching. If your dog chews its paws and feet, chances are it has developed an allergy.Now you might ask, even if it is an allergic reaction,The answer to this question is that after a dog catches any allergy, its whole body gets itchy, including the feet and the paws.So, if you examine your dog and find no physical bruise,Your dog can get an allergy from pollen and mold, certain types of trees, dust, or it might be allergic to any specific food.
#3 Injury and Pain
Your dog might have unknowingly injured his feet. And out of sheer pain, it might be chewing out those feet. It is quite common for dogs to bruise their paws and feet.A dog’s paw is constantly in contact with the ground where he can hurt himself.A thorough examination of the paws and feet will tell if there is any injury on the dog’s feet.
#4 Parasitic Infection
Parasites, mites, ticks, fleas may be the answer toThe parasitic infection irritates your dog, and as a reaction, your friend gets addicted to feet chewing as an option of last resort to soothe his irritation.
#5 Dry Skin
In dry and humid weather, your dog’s skin is vulnerable to drying out. For example, extreme winters can cause dry skin.Another cause may be theWhen the skin dries out, your dog nourishes it by licking, scratching, and chewing. See a vet if the skin does not heal.
An occasional foot chewing is natural in your dog. But if the situation worsens, you need first to find out the cause of the trouble.Once the problem is diagnosed, you can go for any of the following tips that suit your dog well.
Your Dog Has Food Allergies
If your dog is excessively licking or biting their paws, one possibility is that your dog has food allergies. Food allergies can make your dog’s paws itchy, which can lead them to bite or lick. Talk to your vet about your dog’s food for recommendations on specific food and potential ingredient allergies.
Your Dog Has a Parasite
If your dog has a parasite, such as mange or fleas, their paws may itch, causing them to lick. Check your dog for flea bites and mange spots, which are caused by mites. These parasites are tiny, so even if you don’t see physical evidence of them, it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian, who can determine if there’s a parasite involved and recommend any necessary treatment.
Possible Causes for Sudden Licking and Chewing
There are a variety of reasons why your dog would suddenly lick or chew his feet, including puncture wounds to the toes or paw pads, fractured claws or toes, burns, corns (especially common in Greyhounds), and foreign bodies that may be lodged between the toes, such as ticks, grass awns and burrs.