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Why Do Dogs Bite Their Paws?

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by Andrew Garcia
Sep 08, 2022
2 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • Common Reasons Why Dog Bite Their Paws
  • When Should You See a Vet?
  • Conclusion
Dogs chew on their paws for several reasons. Fortunately, this article discusses why your dog bites his paws and when you should take your dog to the vet.

Common Reasons Why Dog Bite Their Paws

Allergies

Pollens and molds give dogs seasonal allergies. Dogs may also develop allergies to cleaning products and chemicals in your home. The most frequent allergic reaction in dogs is to food, which usually results in skin irritation affecting various body parts.
Proteins like beef, lamb, chicken, wheat, dairy, soy, egg, or corn in dog food are usually sources of dog allergies. Unfortunately, it is pretty challenging to identify the exact ingredient causing allergies. It is important to note that your dog must have had prior exposure to a particular ingredient before developing allergies. This means that one of the ingredients in your dog food is the culprit.

Anxiety

Anxiety, loneliness, and nervousness are common reasons your dog may chew or lick his paws. So when you notice your dog chewing on his paws, look for signs of anxiety. Poor digestion, excessive drooling, and elevated breathing and heart rate are common anxiety symptoms in dogs. Other symptoms include unusual posturing, restlessness, and pacing. Check here to learn more about: Helping Your Dogs With Anxiety.

Boredom

Dogs often nibble on their paws as a treat when they are bored. In the wild, wolves sort out their lives by themselves - they look for prey and find water. Therefore, they don’t stay in a place for long, let alone have the time to sit down and pick at their fee. On the other hand, dogs have more free time than their ancestors. So, they chew on their paws when they have nothing to do.

Parasite

Parasites like mange or fleas make dog paws itch, causing them to lick. If you notice your dog chewing at his feet, kindly examine the dog for mange spots and flea bites. Mites are causative organisms, and they are tiny. So, even if you don’t see these parasites, it is advisable to visit your vet. The vet can ascertain if there is a parasite and also recommend necessary treatment.

Internal pain

Although rare, dogs bite and lick their paws due to severe internal conditions. Some of these conditions include a strained muscle or tendon in the foot or ankle, a fractured bone in the foot, or the onset of arthritis. If you notice any of these symptoms persisting over time alongside your dog limping or whimpering, then you should take your dog to a vet immediately. Without early treatment, conditions like broken bones or arthritis can worsen.

Dry Skin

Your skin may dry out during winter or if you live in a dry climate without much humidity. This is also true for dogs. Adverse weather may dry out your dog’s skin. In addition, if your dog is not getting enough fatty acids, his skin may not be moisturized and protected. And why your dog has dry skin, he may resort to chewing, licking, or scratching.

When Should You See a Vet?

It is advisable to monitor your dog and notice if his paw-biting is severe or not. Sometimes, a small splinter or boredom, which are circumstantial, maybe the reason your dog is biting his paws. But, if you notice that your dog’s paw-chewing is new and consistent, you should visit a vet immediately. Another tell-tale sign to see your vet is if the foot is red or inflamed.
If a food allergy is the cause of your dog’s paw-chewing, your dog must get immediate treatment. Otherwise, your dog may get seriously sick due to continued exposure to the allergen. Furthermore, without the immediate intervention of a vet, infections, parasites, and painful wounds can become more critical. Check here to learn more about How Do You Care for Your Dog’s Paws?

Conclusion

Your dog may chew his paw out of boredom or if he has a slight cut. While these are not severe signs, it is essential to visit a vet if your dog bites his paw consistently. In addition, if you notice redness or inflammation in your dog’s paws, contact your vet immediately.
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