Top 3 Reasons Why Dogs Chew Their Paws and Feet
Is your dog biting or chewing his paws a bit too much? Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs and isn’t necessarily a problem unless the dog is chewing to the point when his paw becomes raw and inflamed. Here are the most common reasons that may explain this behavior.
1. Allergies or other health reasons
Dogs may chew their paws because of itchy skin. It’s no different to us humans not being able to resist a scratch whenever we get a bug bite on the skin. The itchy feeling could be due to a number of medical conditions. It may be due to allergies or a skin infection (e.g. yeast infection) that’s affecting the paws.
A trip to the vet would most likely be needed if the chewing is caused by a health issue. There are a few visual signs to look out for. Is the dog’s paw very dried and crack? Or are there small bumps appearing along the skin? For older dogs, it may also be a result of joint issues like arthritis. The discomfort such diseases can cause may push your dog to chew his paws to relieve some of the pain.
2. Bored or anxious dogs
Dogs may also chew their feet if they feel bored, anxious, or stressed. Is your dog not getting enough stimulation throughout the day? Or is there some kind of event that’s getting your dog anxious? You are likely to notice this during certain times of the day.
Some dogs, for example, may only chew their paws while the owner is away from the house or at night when everyone is asleep. Make sure the dog is getting plenty of play time. A trip to the vet is recommended if sufficient play time isn’t enough of a distraction for the excessive feet chewing behavior.
3. Something is embedded in the dog’s paw
There could be a foreign object that’s lodged inside or in between the dog’s pad and toes. The dog could be suddenly chewing his paws to try and dislodge the foreign object. One dog owner mentioned he belatedly notice a few grass seeds stuck in the dog’s paw and that ended up being the reason for the sudden chewing behavior.
Take a close look at your dog’s paw and make sure there is nothing stuck. Grooming is an important part of maintaining a dog’s health. A dog’s paw should be cleaned on a regular basis, especially after a trip outside.
Book an online vet appointment if your dog has an emergency but your local vet isn't available. Vetster is available 24/7 for video chat appointments.