Why do dogs chew their paws? Dog tend to lick their feet or paws sometimes just to alleviate itching but some dogs go as far as biting on their own paws, which can be disconcerting for any pet owner. There are lots of reasons that may cause this behavioral obsessiveness in our canine friends. We will be looking at the most common reasons for this strange but common behavior in dogs.
Dogs use their paws to scratch itching area of their bodies but can’t manage to scratch their paws when it’s itching. Their best solution to stop the itch in their paws is to use their sharp teeth. Though this itchiness may be as a result of Allergies or skin infection but the paws chewing create a temporary relief of the itch but do not solve the problem. Dogs’ owner need to pay attention and try to know what might be causing the itchiness in the dog’s paws.
Like in most people, dog too are allergic to a number of things. Allergies are actually the most common cause of paw chewing. The cause of this allergic reaction might be from the food they eat, seasonal changes, change in their environment, rugs and even chemicals they are exposed to from soap or pesticides. Your dog may also develop skin condition, dermatitis due to allergies. In this condition, the poaching and chewing of the paw is due to the discomfort they feel in the area and then trying to chew off the offending substance in the area.
Parasites like mites, ticks, and fleas are another common cause of paw chewing in dogs. Parasite bites are can be very sharp and sudden to a dog that their instinctive reaction is to stop biting by chewing on the area. By chewing on the spot, they are trying to kill the offender and the continuous bite to the area might be because the parasite is still there or due to the site’s itchiness and soreness. But if the chewing gets out of hand, it might just be the time to take your dog to the vet for proper checkup and treatment.
Since dog paws are constantly in contact with the ground and their path is not always free from invaders. Glass shards, small rock, sticker, splinters can puncture his paw pads or fractured his claws or toes and Dogs only known solution to injury is to chew or lick the area that hurts. If you notice your dog chewing his paws, you might want to check them to see if he’s injured. The paw chewing might also be tied to orthopedic issues like hip dysplasia or arthritis.
Anxiety or Depression
Dogs tend to chew or lick their paws compulsively in a situation when they are depressed or anxious. This may be as a result of improper exercise or common separation anxiety.
Another common reason why dogs bite at their paws is boredom. A dog can simply start biting at his paws just to get a little excitement, and this can lead to a serious problem because it can turn addictive if they start enjoying it. Try to engage your dog by increasing his play time, or playing fetch or Frisbee with him and give him something more appropriate to chew on, like a fill-able rubber toy with peanut butter inside or rawhide.