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Why is my dog licking and chewing their paws?

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

Dogs are prone to many different types of health issues, and one of the most common issues is paw licking and chewing. If your dog is excessively licking or chewing their paws, it's important to figure out the root cause of the behavior in order to help them feel better. In this post, we'll explore the top reasons why dogs chew and lick their paws, along with some tips on what you can do to help.


dog licking paws
dog licking paws


Allergies

One of the most common reasons why dogs chew and lick their paws is due to allergies. Dogs can be allergic to a variety of things, including food, environmental factors, and even flea bites. If your dog is licking their paws excessively, take a look at the skin in between their toes. If it's red, inflamed, or irritated, your dog may have an allergy. Other symptoms of allergies in dogs can include scratching, chewing, sneezing, and watery eyes.

If you suspect that your dog has allergies, it's important to take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis. Your vet may recommend allergy testing or a food elimination diet to help determine the cause of your dog's allergies. Once you know what your dog is allergic to, you can work on reducing their exposure to the allergen and treating their symptoms.



 

TIP: Try out a paw balm to help soothe irritation! Our soothing rose clay dog balm is perfect for itchy paws and hot spots!




 



Anxiety

Dogs can experience anxiety just like humans do, and one of the ways that anxiety can manifest is through excessive licking or chewing. If your dog is anxious, they may lick or chew their paws as a way to self-soothe. Other signs of anxiety in dogs can include pacing, panting, and restlessness.

If you think your dog may be anxious, it's important to try to identify the root cause of their anxiety. This could be anything from separation anxiety to fear of loud noises or new environments. Once you know what's causing your dog's anxiety, you can work on creating a safe and comfortable environment for them. You may also want to consider working with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to help your dog overcome their anxiety.


Boredom

Dogs are active animals, and if they're not getting enough exercise and mental stimulation, they can become bored. This boredom can lead to destructive behaviors, such as chewing and licking their paws. If your dog is licking their paws out of boredom, you may notice that they're also more likely to chew on furniture or other household items.

To combat boredom in dogs, it's important to provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. This could include regular walks, games of fetch, or puzzle toys that challenge your dog's mind. You can also try providing your dog with new and interesting toys on a regular basis to keep them entertained.


Injury & Infection

Sometimes, dogs may chew or lick their paws because of an injury or infection. If your dog has a cut or scrape on their paw, they may lick it as a way to clean the wound. However, if your dog's paw is infected, they may lick it excessively as a way to relieve the discomfort. If you suspect that your dog has an injury or infection, it's important to take them to the vet right away. Your vet can examine your dog's paw and provide the appropriate treatment to help them heal.


Habit

Finally, some dogs may lick or chew their paws simply out of habit. This could be due to boredom, anxiety, or even genetics. Some breeds are more prone to obsessive behaviors, such as excessive grooming or licking.

If your dog is licking or chewing their paws out of habit, it's important to try to break the habit. This could involve redirecting your dog's attention when you notice them licking or chewing their paws, providing them with a distraction such as a puzzle toy.


Conclusion If your dog is licking or chewing their paws excessively, it's important to identify the root cause of the behavior in order to help them feel better. Whether it's allergies, anxiety, boredom, injury or infection, or a habit, there are steps you can take to help your dog overcome the behavior.

Remember, if you're ever unsure why your dog is licking or chewing their paws, it's always best to consult with your veterinarian. They can help diagnose the underlying issue and provide the appropriate treatment.




















This article is brought to you by Mutt Fresh Dog Care. Shop all your pups grooming and everyday care items at hellomutt.com






tags: dogs chew and lick their paws, excessive paw licking, paw chewing in dogs, reasons why dogs lick and chew their paws, dog paw health, allergies in dogs, anxiety in dogs, boredom in dogs, dog paw injuries, obsessive behaviors in dogs, breaking dog paw licking habit, dog paw care.


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