Dogs do have a tendency to chew their feet when they are quite bored, but you might have spotted your dog liking this habit too much! If your dog is licking/chewing his feet for prolonged periods of time, it might be a possible warning sign.
What Do I Do When My Dog Is Chewing Her Feet?
If your dog is chewing his feet, you need to first look for visible signs. External signs such as wounds, infections, and foreign objects might be found near the feet and even between the toes.
However, if you can’t spot any external signs, the cause might be coming from within. Your dog might be chewing his feet due to internal disorders, skin allergies, and even cancer, which can grow to be a serious problem.
Even though you have tried every option, there might be little to no change in your dog’s behavior. If that is the case, seek professional assistance by reserving an appointment with a nearby vet!
Causes Behind Why Dogs Chew Their Feet
As a responsible dog owner, your first step is to keep a careful eye on your dog at all times, and if you see any signs of discomfort, please note down the symptoms since that will help us figure out the culprit in our section down below.
1. Skin Allergies
Allergic reactions have been a common problem for dogs in the past, and you just need to look out for these types of symptoms: itchiness, inflamed patches of skin, and the formation of scabs.
In addition, the itchiness happens to be the worst around the paws if your dog is suffering from skin allergies. But allergic symptoms are not limited to the skin only since your dog might have digestive symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting.
Please be aware that skin allergies can lead to secondary infections due to frequent scratching and licking. As the irritation starts to grow, your dog will start to chew his feet with increased urgency, which can result in open wounds and possible bruises.
Solutions to Allergic Reactions
The best possible solution to skin allergies is to find the allergen that caused the allergic reactions. However, this type of skin testing can only be done with the help of a veterinarian, which is not an option for every household out there.
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from allergies, your best bet is to strengthen your dog’s overall immune system with allergy immune supplements. Made by Zesty Paws, this formula has been reviewed by thousands of dog owners around the US.
In addition to allergy supplements, your dog might need an immediate form of relief for all that itching that he is going through. For your convenience, I have selected a product that can be easily used and also be quite easy to carry around.
Created by Pet MD, this itch relief spray is quite effective for dogs who are undergoing allergies, and it provides immediate relief by reducing skin inflammation and the frequency of itching.
2. Physical Wounds
One of the reasons why dogs chew their feet might be due to external injuries. For example, let’s say that your dog is taking a stroll outside, and during that short period of time, his feet might get scratched by a sharp rock.
Physical wounds can be caused by a variety of factors, and it is not just limited to sharp rocks. Foreign objects such as thorns, pebbles, and tiny sticks can get stuck inside his paw, which can lead to punctured wounds.
As you may already know, open wounds can quickly lead to an infection if it is left untreated for prolonged periods of time, so make sure to check underneath your dog’s paw and between his toes for any visible signs of external injuries.
Solutions to External Injuries
Instead of going to the vet for help, you can easily treat your dog’s wounds at home with the right products. Similar to how you treat your wound, you need first gently wash your dog’s feet in cold water to remove any foreign debris.
After cleaning the area thoroughly, you need to apply an antibacterial ointment to prevent secondary skin infection, and last but not least, you need to cover your dog’s paw with a non-stick pad and lightly wrap it with a vet wrap or with a large band-aid.
Make sure to keep the area around the wound dry and clean at all times! Also, don’t forget to regularly change the dressing around the wound with the application of fresh ointment and clean wraps.
3. Burns / Swellings
You might have noticed this fact from our previous sections, but the common foundation of most symptoms related to your dog’s habit of chewing his feet was connected to some type of skin inflammation.
When you walk your dog on the hot pavement for long periods of time, his paws will be in direct contact with that hot surface, which means his feet will get burned and get quite inflamed by the time he reaches home.
Solutions to Foot Burns
If you have ever done this in the past, please don’t make the same mistake twice! Check the time and the position of the sun before you go out, and never walk your dog on hot pavement and try to refrain from walking your dog outdoors in the heat.
However, your time might only be open during those hours, which might not give you any choice but to exercise your dog during that time. If that is you, try to put on shoes for your dog to prevent the burn and possibility of wounds.
4. Lack of Grooming
If there is an excess of hair around your dog’s paws, he will start to experience mild to severe discomfort depending on his breed. Due to the lack of grooming, his hair will start to grow between the toes.
As the hair between the toes grows longer, it will start to gather foreign debris such as clumps of dirt, small pebbles, and tiny sticks. This type of action can lead to physical injuries to your dog’s foot, which can also lead to a possible skin infection.
Solutions to Grooming Laziness
Since cutting hair near the paws can be quite dangerous for beginners, I’m going to recommend that you go to a nearby pet store and take advantage of the professional grooming services offered there.
Even though the grooming cost might be a little pricey, it can be quite worth it if you don’t have the time to learn the basic grooming skills on your own. However, if you do have the time and the patience for it, try to use these clippers made just for pets!
5. Side Effects of Aging
As your dog starts to age, his entire system will slowly start to deteriorate over time, and his paws will also be affected by this aging process. If your dog is suffering from arthritis, the joints in his paws will start to cause irritation and mild discomfort.
Due to the joint pain, your dog will start to chew the affected area with renewed interest, and the common symptoms of paw arthritis are reluctance to move, signs of limping, and painful response when touched.
Solutions to Arthritis
If the situation worsens to a point where the pain is too severe, you might need to take your dog to a vet for further inspection. For extreme cases, surgical operations might be required, but if the pain is not too severe, you might be open to our 2nd option.
If you want to minimize the pain caused by arthritis, implementing a joint supplement for your dog might be your best option. Formulated by Zesty Paws, this product can slow down the effects of aging by strengthening your dog’s joints and flexibility.
6. Possible Signs of Idleness
Another possible reason that might cause your dog to chew his feet can be due to boredom and lack of exercise. If you don’t regularly exercise with your dog and just stay home for prolonged periods of time, your pet might not have anything left to do.
If you suspect that your dog’s habit is due to the lack of exercise, you already know the solution to this problem. Take your dog out for a walk on a regular basis, and if you can’t, hire someone who has the time and the ability to do it!
7. Internal Disorders / Immunity Impairment
Last but not least, your dog’s habit of chewing his feet can be due to internal reasons that can only be explained with professional help. Internal problems such as immunity impairment and digestive disorders can cause this habit to occur.
If you can’t really pinpoint the cause behind your dog’s behavior, please double-check your fears with the help of your veterinarian. I’m not saying that going to your vet will solve all your problems, but it can be the best option in an emergency situation.
Conclusion: Need Financial Backup?
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I hope that you have enjoyed our post Why Do Dogs Chew Their Feet (7 Key Causes), and thank you again for reading till the end! Have a great rest of your day, and feel free to come back to our website for regular updates.