Why Do Dogs Chew Their Feet?
Written by FOTP Team
Most dogs will perform a bit of maintenance on their feet from time-to-time. But it’s important to keep an eye on your pup. Any paw chewing and licking might be a sign of an issue, especially if they do it repeatedly or for long periods.
Always get veterinary attention in you spot other symptoms and you’re worried about your four-legged friend. If the area is visually sore, red, swollen, has a bad odor or is bleeding, get your dog to the vet right away. Similarly, if you find that your dog is struggling to put weight on it, there could be an injury to inspect.
Foot chewing isn’t always easy to get to the bottom of. If there are no obvious visual symptoms, but your pup won’t leave the area alone, there are other potential causes to keep in mind.
Dry or Irritated Skin
Your dog might be trying to relieve irritation in their paws. If you notice a lot of licking, the cause could be dry skin. Like humans, in extreme temperatures, dogs are more likely to get dry skin. If it’s been really hot or really cold, this could explain it.
If this is the reason for paw biting, you can help your dog! The One supplement contains krill, a rich source of Omega 3 which is scientifically proven to improve moisture levels in your dog’s skin. On top of this, krill can help joint health and promotes a healthy coat.
If you notice severe dry skin on your dog, causing a lot of distress, vets may be able to prescribe balms and lotions that can help. A healthy diet and Omega 3 supplements are a great preventative measure.
Your dog might be experiencing an allergic reaction. These reactions usually come in one of three forms:
- Seasonal. Allergies like pollen might be more prevalent at some times of the year.
- Food. Like us humans, dogs can have allergies to food. Wheat, as well as beef and dairy products, are common dog allergies.
- Household products. Cleaning products, floor cleaners, and detergents can potentially cause a reaction. It’s not common, but it is possible.
Some breeds are also more at risk. Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, and German Shepherds all have a high risk of food intolerance. If your dog is one of these breeds it could explain biting at their paws.
When a dog experiences an allergic reaction, the immune system starts telling the dog to use its defenses. Dogs get the urge to lick and bite their paws.
If you’re a dog owner, this is the real “F word”.
Flea bites cause itching all over your dog, and they can spread to other animals or even to other surfaces. An infestation is a nightmare.
A further complication is Flea Allergy Dermatitis. This is a condition a lot of dogs experience. It’s an allergic reaction to flea saliva, and if they have any bites around their legs or feet it can cause your dog to obsess over the area.
Be proactive and keep your dog up-to-date with flea and tick treatments.
Dogs often over-groom to try and soothe themselves. This can take place if they are lonely, depressed, or feeling anxious. You can try to prevent this in a number of ways. Stimulating your dog and providing plenty of interaction is a good way to prevent anxiety setting in.
Some anxious feelings can’t be solved with attention. Separation anxiety, for example, is quite a complex issue. Paw licking and biting can be a sign of this.
Of course, you should support your dog psychologically. Providing them with plenty of attention and removing anything that triggers anxiety. On top of this, dietary supplements can be an effective treatment. The One by Front Of The Pack includes Ashwagandha, an adaptogen, that supports your dog’s ability to deal with stress.
Of course, dogs can get injured in their paws. Active dogs, who walk in a variety of terrains, are susceptible to injuries.
You should regularly check the feet and claws. Be on the lookout for wounds, or anything that doesn’t look quite right when compared to the other paws.
A lot of small seeds and splinters can get stuck in their paws, and it can be hard to get them out. Licking and biting might be your dog’s solution to this. Luckily, humans normally find it easy enough to remove them.
Another injury that can occur is burning. In a hot area, or on a hot surface, dogs can burn their pads. If this is the case, bathe the feet in cold water.
Some dog breeds, such as brachycephalic breeds, are also susceptible to cysts between the toes. Vets can usually treat these, but they can reoccur. Regularly inspecting the paws is vital.
Some Dogs Enjoy The Sensation
Dogs might discover that they like the soothing effect. Unfortunately, they need to be discouraged. Dog tongues are rough and if they keep licking at their feet then they can even cause themselves an injury.
If they’ve picked up the habit, and you are confident that it is not because of an injury or reaction, it’s important to try and limit the behavior
What About a Dog Chewing Nails?
The same visual checks are needed if your dog is chewing at their claws. However, it can just be a sign that they’ve got too long. A simple nail trim might be your solution.
Overgrown nails can be uncomfortable for dogs as they can dig into their paw pads. Biting at the nails might be their way of trying to remedy this. Furthermore, long nails can be prone to infections.
Head to the dog groomer to get the issues sorted and ensure that your dog is comfortable.
Why Fluffy Dogs Chew Their Feet
Fluffy breeds such as Poodle crossbreeds are more common than ever. If the fur grows out, it can get stuck in between their toes. You might be able to do a bit of trimming yourself, but only attempt this in a calm dog, who doesn’t mind his feet being touched. If not, the groomer can help. Regular trips are a must to ensure it doesn’t become a persistent issue.
You don’t need to worry about a bit of licking, or even a tiny bit of chewing. Dogs groom themselves and they might just have an urge to try and tackle their feet. Keep an eye on it, and when it becomes a concern you should take them to the vet.
Being proactive is the best way to avoid the problem. Use supplements to offer your dog support, and ensure anxiety or dry skin aren’t the causes. Also, keep up-to-date with grooming. Your dog biting their feet might be their way of telling you it’s time for a trim.
Find out more if Front Of The Pack supplements could help your dog with chewing their feet.