There are several different reasons why your dog might be chewing or licking their paws. It may be that there is food residue on them, they’re itchy from an environmental irritation, from boredom or they could be simply grooming.
Most common reasons include:
Dogs with food or environmental allergies may chew their feet to relieve itching and discomfort.
A cut or scrape on a dog’s paw can cause pain, inflammation, and itching, leading to excessive licking and chewing.
Anxiety or boredom
Dogs may chew their feet as a way to self-soothe when they are anxious or bored.
Fleas, ticks, and other parasites can irritate a dog’s skin and cause excessive licking and chewing.
Dogs that are not provided with enough mental and physical stimulation may develop compulsive behaviors such as excessive licking and chewing.
If your dog is experiencing itching and chewing their paws, there are several things you can do to help:
Book in a vet consultation
If your dog is consistently licking or chewing their feet, it’s important to consult with your local vet to rule out any underlying medical conditions and determine the best course of treatment. Treatment may include parasite prevention, change of diet, injections (such as Cytopoint) and topical treatments.
Change of diet
Feeding your dog a high-quality, balanced diet can help support their overall health and immune system, reducing the risk of allergies. Your vet may suggest limiting certain foods to rule out the possibility of food allergies. The most common food allergies are from chicken and beef and can usually be replaced by lamb, kangaroo and fish.
Maintain good hygiene
Regular grooming and bathing with oatmeal shampoo and conditioner can help keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy and reduce the risk of infection.
Use topical treatments
Your vet may recommend a topical treatment, such as a medicated shampoo or spray to help relieve itching and promote healing.
Provide mental and physical stimulation
Providing your dog with enough mental and physical stimulation can help prevent boredom and anxiety-related behaviours such as excessive chewing. Some popular enrichment toys to prevent boredom include Kong toys, licki-mats, snuffle mats and long lasting chew treats.
Stay up-to-date with your dog’s parasite prevention
As well as vaccinations and worming, make sure your dog is kept safe from parasites. Ask your vet about which parasite treatment is best for your pooch.
Consider allergy testing
If your vet suspects that your dog’s itching is due to allergies, they may recommend allergy testing to determine the specific allergens that are causing the reaction.
It’s important to always follow your vet’s recommendations for treating your dog’s itching and chewing.