Do you often find yourself wondering how to stop my dog from chewing his paws? Well, as you may have noticed already, dogs have a natural urge. You may find it interesting to know that this helps to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
It may seem like a common behavior to find your dog licking or chewing at their paws. But, why do dogs chew their paws? In this article, we will be highlighting the common reasons as to why your dog chews his paws and how to stop the habit. That said, it’s about time we found out why your dog keeps chewing their paws! Shall we?
1) Paw wash – Making it a daily habit of cleaning your dog’s paw can go a long way in removing allergies from your dog’s paws. You can do this once a day. To do this, you could fill a small container with some lukewarm water and add a good amount of povidone-iodine. Dip and raise your dog’s paw in the solution and wipe his feet dry.
2) Medicated Ointment – Using a good ointment can work magic on your dog’s paws and stop the chewing. Triple-antibiotic ointments always turn out to be a good choice. Also, putting a bandage over the ointment will prevent him from licking it right off!
3) Pest Control – Your dog may usually itch everywhere but, an infestation by pests can cause excessive foot chewing. A good measure would be to treat his living area, just so a re-infested doesn’t reoccur.
4) Chew toys for dogs – Chew toys for dogs can come in handy as a good solution. Chew toys are perfect for distraction your dog from chewing his paws. What’s more? Chew toys come in various shape sizes and colors. This will also serve as an excellent play toy for your dog.
5) Healthy eating – Bad diets for dogs can result in dry and itchy skin. This in turn also translates in licking and chewing of his paws. Do well to consult a vet or perform simple research for the best feeding diets to prevent food allergies.
Reasons why your dog keeps chewing his paws
1) Your Dog may have Dry Skin – Otherwise known as dermatitis, your dog may be suffering a range of skin conditions, which may include dry skin. A common sign of this would be visible flakes of skin through his coat especially when he is scratching. In most cases, your dog’s skin may get red and bumpy. When it comes to this, dogs may lick themselves to reduce the feeling of irritation.
It is important to note that, a common cause of dry skin in dogs is often a result of excessive bathing or an unhealthy grooming schedule. Excessive bathing will strip your dog’s skin and hair of its natural oils.
2) Hormone Imbalance – Your dog is more likely to lick and chew on an exposed skin which results in more common lick granulomas. This lick and chew granulomas can become large in size due to excessive chewing and become an open wound.
You can’t blame your dog’s instinct to lick his wound. Dog saliva contains antibacterial properties which help to aid faster healing. But licking the wound in some cases actually makes it worse.
3) Your dog may be grooming His Coat – Your dog may spend time chewing or licking on his paw for the purpose of grooming themselves. However, the grooming behavior is pretty easy to notice. It often involves your dog licking each of their paws; not focusing on one paw specifically.
4) Your dog may have Fleas or Ticks – Recently, tick infestation has become a growing problem for dogs at risk who walk in areas with wildlife. It is commonly found that the irritation caused by an attached flea or tick causes a dog to lick and chew their paws. Dogs are most likely to chew or lick the affected spot in a hope to remove the fleas and reduce the amount of irritation felt.
5) Your dog is bored – When not played with, your dog may lick their paws to keep themselves busy or cope with the anxiety of being left alone. Boredom for a dog can increases levels of anxiety stress hormone. A dogs attitude to stress can depend on their breed and how active they are. Some particular dog breeds will require far more attention and play time. Spending time with your dog, working, walking and training can do a great deal of good.
Excessive licking and chewing in this case often leads to open sores on the skin. And this is definitely something you won’t love to see on your dog. And, in most cases, the more your dog licks it, the bigger the sore gets.
6) Your dog may have an allergy – Dogs often get allergic to lots of substances ranging from chemicals, pesticides or food to name a few. Reddening skin or raised bumps are common physical symptoms of allergic reaction in dogs. Although it may be an easy sign to miss because of common dog habits, it is important to note that dogs licking paws is may be a sign of an allergic reaction. Especially after a walk, it may be as a result of something in the environment.
7) Fear or anxiousness – For dogs, licking is thought to help stabilize or reduce stress levels. This establishes what is making your dog chew his paws. Cause of fear could be related to age. This may be due to a decline in the ability to think, learn or loss of memory.
So other signs of anxiety that you may notice include: impulsive urinating or defecating, aggression, excessive panting or barking.