Have you started to notice that your pup has been a little too preoccupied with its paws and wonder why do dogs lick and chew their paws? There could be multiple reasons for this behavior.
You are not alone if your pup has been licking its paws or biting them constantly, and you have no idea why.
If you wonder whether or not you should be worried, the short answer is that it could be a cause for concern.
Why Do Dogs Lick and Chew Their Paws?
Dogs lick or chew their paws for various reasons which may indicate underlying health issues like allergies, injuries, infections, and even parasites.
Dogs may also lick and chew their paws to soothe stress, combat boredom, or to self-groom. If your dog is persistently licking and chewing its paws, it’s important to monitor and address the behavior to prevent further health problems.
None of this necessarily means that you should panic, and it also doesn’t mean you should rush them to the vet right away, especially if it just started. After all, it could be that your dog is simply scratching an itch!
Or perhaps, they recently got injured or cut themselves, in which case they could be licking their paws to help soothe the wound. If you didn’t know already, dog saliva has antibacterial properties.
It could be just helping the healing process. In such cases, it is always best to make sure that they wear dog boots when going for walks outside to be safe.
On the other hand, if they start to actively chew on their paws instead of licking, that is a problem.
If you have noticed this behavior keeps recurring over an extended time, then there are usually a few reasons to explain why this is happening to your dog. Some of the leading causes include;
- Stress or Anxiety
So, we’re going to quickly dive into these possible causes to help you better understand whether or not you urgently need to take your pooch to the vet.
Most significantly, if they seem to be limping or the licked area seems infected, swollen, bleeding, or smelly.
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One of the most common reasons your canine may be chewing their paws could be an allergic or environmental reaction. Like humans, dogs also develop seasonal allergies, which we all know are never fun.
Things like pollen, mold, and even mildew could trigger irritation, which is causing excessive chewing. Other symptoms to watch out for include sneezing, dry skin, running eyes, and rashes.
You can also try to clean them using dog wipes to remove any excess pollen or dander from their furs and face in such instances.
Alternatively, they could be suffering from a food allergy, which can often cause an immediate reaction that would be noticeable.
Some of the foods you should watch out for include beef, dairy, and chicken.
If they have consumed these foods, they could start to feel itchy and start licking or chewing their paws to alleviate the symptoms.
It is also possible that they may be suffering from a flea, tick, or mite infestation that often results in itchiness. In which case, they will naturally start licking or chewing at their paws.
Your dog could have contracted them while out for a walk in the park or any other wooded areas that often contain such parasites.
In such cases, you can try to give them regular baths to get rid of the parasites or take them to your vet, and they can prescribe a proper treatment.
But always make sure you apply proper grooming treatments to reduce the risk of such a problem. 4It is also essential to have the necessary dog grooming tools to keep their furs clean and well-trimmed.
3. Stress or Anxiety
In some cases, it could be that your dog is feeling psychologically upset for some reason. It could be stress, anxiety, depression, or even boredom.
Stress or Anxiety is a common problem for pets who are left alone at home for extended periods.
You can help alleviate the problem by trying to change the state of their mental health positively.
You can start by taking them out for more walks, spending more time with them, making sure they get more exercise, or even taking them out to the park to socialize with other dogs.