Which is the Best Dog Chewing Paws Remedy? An Overview of Causes and Treatments
Dogs chewing their paws is another one of those problems that can be worrying and stressful to a dog owner like you. The fact is that your dog, like us, changes as they age and may start up, for no obvious reason, quirky, and sometimes annoying habits. If you are looking for a dog chewing paws remedy or any other problem can I ask you to follow this link and take a FREE look at a download that is available to you right now?
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Dogs are adorable creatures. They truly are man’s best friends. As pet owners, we come across certain behaviors of our furry friends which we may not fully understand. Those behaviors can stem from a variety of causes. More often than not, they do not cause harm. But if we notice that our dog is licking or chewing its paws excessively, it is definitely a red flag. There are many symptoms and sources for the itching sensation that dogs feel. In this article, we discuss some causes and discuss how the best dog chewing paws remedy can vary as per the cause.
Keeping a sharp eye — signs, and symptoms
It is quite common for dogs to lick their paws and chew on them. In fact, it is abnormal if they are not doing it at all. The balance is hard to find — it comes only through observation.
Also, we may not notice a dog chewing its paws at all times. If we scolded a dog in the past for chewing, it is likely it won’t repeat it in our presence. It may seek the solitude of its kennel to indulge in licking, and these trips become more frequent. A dog also chews paws when it is bored or anxious about something, such as the arrival of the owner. We need to keep a sharp eye on dogs with a history of anxiety, and paws that may be unusually moist, swollen or have an open wound. Sometimes, there is also an unpleasant odor and the dog may develop a limp.
Clearly, tracking our pets with all this in mind is not an easy task, as there is no ‘one size fits all.’ As owners, we have to observe very sharply to narrow down on the best dog chewing paws remedy.
Types of chewing behavior
As we already discussed, a certain amount of licking and chewing is normal. However, abnormal levels of such behavior can be alarming. There are two types of abnormal chewing — sudden and chronic. Here’s a detailed explanation.
What do we do if we cut our finger accidentally while chopping a carrot? We immediately suck on the wound in the hope that the bleeding will stop. Similarly, a dog’s first instinct is to lick its wounds if it gets hurt. It may poke itself against sharp objects in its vicinity, scratch or scrape itself. It may also burn its skin against a hot object. We should be very careful about what’s within our furry friend’s reach.
Further, due to its activities, the dog might get something stuck in its paws, like a thorn or twig. While sniffing around the garden, pesky parasites, ticks and fleas can get into the gaps between claws and cause irritation as well. Rarely, boils or cysts may develop due to underlying conditions, causing an itch.
For wounds or injuries, the best thing to do is cover them with bandage or gauze until they dry up. Doing so prevents the dog from aggravating the wound. If something (like a pebble or twig) is lodged in the paws, carefully removing it using tweezers or forceps should stop the chewing. Long hair around the paws can be trimmed until the problem subsides. Dog boots can be another cute addition to our puppy’s outfit. They look great in pictures and keep the paws safe at all times. We can relax while our pet has a great time splashing in the mud, without worrying about what might get into its soft paws this time. If nothing seems like the right option, it is best to consult a veterinary doctor who can suggest the best dog chewing paws remedy.
Dog chewing paws remedy for abrupt onset
Just like humans, dogs are prone to ingrown nails and skin. In this situation, it is very easy for parasites to settle and cause infections. We can maintain our dog’s hygiene by trimming its paw nails regularly and keeping them tidy. It reduces the chance of parasites making them a breeding ground, consequently reducing chewing and licking.
Despite maintaining cleanliness, some parasites might find their way through. They not only cause itching but sometimes also carry deadly diseases. If left unchecked, the parasites can get into the dog’s system and cause a lot of trouble. If the infection is severe, we should take our dog to the vet regularly for treatment, and provide preventive medicines as well. Dogs should be protected from mites, ticks, and fleas. Prevention is always better than cure, especially for our dogs because they enjoy taking part in grubby activities all the time.
At times, the dog may stop chewing after a couple of weeks. Such behavior is usually triggered by a particular parasite to which the dog is allergic. Removing the source should do the trick. But it is not as easy as it sounds, especially if the dog spends a lot of time outdoors. After removing the source, we can help the dog recover from unpleasant symptoms.
Gradual, chronic chewing
Dogs may develop the habit of excessive chewing and lick over the course of time. There are many triggers. One of the most common sources is skin disease due to allergies. Paw skin may become hypersensitive, which makes the dog grumpy. We have to handle the dog very carefully since it is already angry and in pain. Even the softest of dogs can become aggressive and bite as they have no other means to vent out their pain and frustration.
Allergens are substances that cause an allergic reaction. Common dog allergens include household dust, microparasites in the garden, mold, pollen from flowers, skin powder, plastic utensils, and chemicals (cleaning liquids, car shampoo). Sometimes, dry skin can also prompt dogs to lick their paws. The sensation is very similar to that of having dandruff on our scalp. The skin begins to flake, and it won’t stop itching! Imagine the same condition, but it’s on the dog’s paws instead. They try to relieve themselves of the itch by licking, worsening the flaky condition in the process. We discuss more causes further in the article.
By now, it is evident that identifying the exact cause is the most important step in helping our friends recover. It takes a lot of patience to determine the best dog chewing paws remedy, especially chronic cases. Most of us leave our dogs at home for long hours at a stretch due to work commitments, which might also be a trigger. Lots of love and affection helps dogs relax and naturally become calmer and happier.
Dog chewing paws remedy for gradual onset
Leaving a dog at home for most of the day can make it feel very lonely and left out. It may run out of options as to what to do and become really bored. In such situations, they develop detrimental habits such as excessive chewing and licking to keep themselves occupied. Once it becomes a habit, it is harder to get the dog to stop doing it. We know it is bad for the dog but cannot convince it to stop harming itself.
Getting a dog-walker or finding a farm that serves as a daycare center for dogs is helpful. The dog is occupied for the entire day, has many friends and gets healthy food and enough rest as well. We can also buy them toys to chew as a distraction. Chew toys are also good for a growing puppy’s teeth. They encourage healthier alternative behaviors. After a hard day, picking up a happier and healthier dog from the daycare is much better than coming home to one that is exhausted from waiting for its owner to return.
Where does it begin?
Irrespective of whether our dogs begin chewing their paws excessively over a couple of weeks or out of the blue, we know by now that establishing the cause is the immediate concern. If we don’t arrive at the cause, there may be more than one dog chewing paws remedy, but we cannot find the best one for our pets. One that will help it recover the fastest and make them happy. Several causes for chewing behavior are described below.
Allergies — lots of itching, licking, and chewing
Doctors run tests to find out all the ingredients in food items or external particles in the environment that we are allergic to. Some of the results are quite surprising — we don’t even realize that something is actually bad for us. Similarly, we may miss noticing allergies in our pups. But more often than not, they trigger excessive chewing and licking behavior. There are various types of allergies that affect dogs.
Types of allergies
The most common allergy responses in a human are swelling of the tongue, difficulty in breathing, etc. But in dogs, allergies reflect directly on the skin. They cause itchiness and dogs become restless because of that. Entire body skin may itch, or sometimes the allergic reaction is confined to the paws. To avoid allergies, people prefer feeding their pups dog food exclusively or mix dog food with another ingredient with smaller quantities. Trying different combinations can give us an idea as to what our dog is most sensitive to. Common allergic foods include meats such as chicken, lamb, beef and pork, dairy products, soy, and a few types of grains.
- Environmental triggers — Minute particles like dust, pollen, and smoke can irritate a dog very much. Again, the response to such allergens is different from humans. While we start sneezing when there’s a breeze of dust or smoke, dogs feel the tinge in their skin. Moreover, if the dog is allergic to something like carpet fibers, its paws are sure to react aggressively because it has to walk around on carpets all day long. There is no way to avoid it.
- Insects — Dogs love to spend time outdoors. They run just about everywhere, and especially get excited in places that are dirty. When they move around on grass or fallen leaves, all types of insects can cling onto their paws and not let go. Lice, bugs, fleas, and mites can find a cozy spot and settle down in the dog’s paws, which can be very irritating and cause severe itching. Since these insects are small, removing them proves to be quite a task. Some of them even bite.
- Microscopic organisms — Several types of bacteria and fungi (such as yeast, which causes yeast infections) thrive in moist places. A dog’s paw is very moist and can be a very conducive breeding ground for such organisms. Many of them are harmless, something that dogs have grown immune to. But others can cause infections and carry diseases. After getting on to the paws, they can spread to the rest of the body very quickly. It can even prove to be fatal.
Skin problems — From dry skin to atopic dermatitis
In winter, just like human skin, dog skin dries up too. It becomes flaky and it cracks. We have a variety of lotions to choose on the market to soothe our skin, but dogs choose to lick their skin to ensure relief. However, that does not last very long. Dogs haven’t evolved yet to tackle extreme temperatures caused as a side effect of global phenomena called climate change. Also, the dog’s diet may not be well balanced. If oils and fats are less present, it shows in the dog’s skin. As we explore these conditions, it becomes more evident that dogs are just like humans. It’s just that they cannot talk!
Dogs can also get atopic dermatitis (a form of eczema). Since paws are easily the most vulnerable part of their skin, they catch onto such conditions very quickly. A vet can prescribe medication which will solve the problem.
Dogs face hormonal imbalances too.
If there is too little thyroid or excess cortisol (which results from stress), the skin becomes very dry and itchy. In fact, a lot of hair starts dropping too, creating bald spots. These bald spots which were not previously exposed are more sensitive to the atmosphere. So, dogs tend to lick such spots to relieve themselves, increasing the risk of spreading infections.
Anxiety and other psychological disturbances
There is a reason a dog is called a man’s best friend. It is because they too have feelings, they too understand what it means to love and be loyal. Unlike fish in an aquarium, which can survive with just food, dogs need a lot more than that. They need constant care, attention, love, affection, and a lot of cuddling.
A dog never ‘gets used’ to its master’s absence from the house. It might find something to occupy itself during the first few days, but it will surely get bored after that. To tackle boredom, it might lick its paws, which calms its nervous system temporarily. Such behavior is a sign that the dog is heading towards anxiety. It needs stimulation on a daily basis to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Some of them are naturally anxious and develop negative habits faster. It helps to understand what our dogs are doing when we leave by themselves.
Accidents and injuries
A dog’s paws are very soft. They are also moist. So, when a dog is running around the house or outdoors, it is prone to injury. Sometimes even a blunt stone can hurt the sensitive paws deeply. If the dog steps on something sharp and steps away just before it could cause a puncture wound also, it still hurts its skin because it is spongy. If the dog is licking the paws too many times, it may be nursing an injury. The injury may or may not be visible – in case of a fracture or muscle tear, it is internal but the dog will still lick and chew the paws. If the dog resists or shows signs of pain when we touch, it might be suffering from a wound that is inside.
While it is natural for us to assume that a dog is less sensitive to rough environments since it is an animal, we must understand that its paws are its weak point. Even a small splinter can cause a lot of pain. In contrast, our pet may start running uncontrollably as if it is being chased by someone. In such cases, it is usually trying to get rid of the pain by shedding the source — a thorn or twig.
Excessive chewing might also be a symptom of a condition like arthritis. In examining the paws returns negative results and the dog has difficulty walking around, sitting or running, it is best to go to the vet.
Dog chewing paws remedy — simple and easy
By now, we know that there are many reasons for dogs chewing or licking on their paws for long durations. The chewing and licking can be particularly irritating even for us — imagine hearing the noise when we are trying to fall asleep. Of all the issues that dogs face, anything to do with their paws makes them extra cranky because they are restricted from moving about freely. As dog owners, we feel the pain too. There are a few ways to ease the situation. Let us see some of them and determine the best dog chewing paws remedy for our pet.
Dog chewing paws remedy — Fixing broken nails
One of the things we as dog owners should take care of is a dog’s claws. They need to be clipped often to ensure they don’t break due to a collision. It is rare for a dog’s claws to break, but it can happen. Breakage or tearing of claws can be extremely painful for dogs. They are also prone to immediate, severe infections.
First aid is very important if our pet’s nails break, especially if they’re bleeding. To stop the blood flow, we can apply pressure, just like how we would handle a person. If the nail is broken in half, it’s best not to pull it or attempt to clip it. We should rush them to the vet immediately.
Dog chewing paws remedy — Wounds
Dogs can suffer from many types of wounds. A few of them are puncture wounds, scratches, and penetration. In the case of puncture wounds, we have to examine the paw and see if we can remove the object carefully. A dog might show sudden chewing behavior a few days after the accident. The sudden onset is triggered when the wound begins to heal, as it becomes itchy and dry. Because it is dry, the dog tends to lick it to soothe the tension. Obviously, this is not good for the healing process. We can gently distract our pet when it is licking a wound, or coax it into not doing it. If it continues to lick and never lets the wound to dry, it will not heal. It can get infected soon and that’s harder to recover from.
Dog chewing paws remedy — Particles stuck between toes
A big backyard filled with bushes, shrubs, and grass is a great place for dogs to enjoy frolicking around. But, it is also the place where they can get things stuck in their paws and toes. If we get something stuck in our toes, we can shake with all our might and try every trick in the book to get rid of it. But our furry friend cannot do that by itself since it has only two other paws.
Commonly, small pebbles, stones, burrs or twig lodge themselves tightly in gaps found in a dog’s paws. While the dog certainly feels the irritation, it is not capable of pulling the object out. If we see our dog running around frantically trying to rub its paws against rough surfaces, we should check their paws to see if there’s something.
We can gently separate its toes and quickly check whether there is something. The most important thing to keep in mind here is that the object might not be visible at first glance if it is small or if the dog is hairy. So, running our fingers in the gap is more effective. We should use tweezers carefully since paws are sensitive, and remove the object.
Dog chewing paws remedy — Food allergies
If we notice that our dogs are not eating properly, or that they are uncomfortable after eating, there might be an issue with the food. One or a few ingredients of the food can cause allergies. We can try food combinations as mentioned previously in the allergies section or cut items from the diet and experiment. Eventually, if the allergen is removed, the dog will stop chewing its paws. But this process takes a long time — experimenting, noting down the results and trying to make deductions are tedious. Sometimes, dogs can be allergic to the material of the food container as well. We cannot adopt a “try-it-all” strategy as the allergy can get worse quickly.
We should not try to induce medication thinking it will lessen the allergy, we are not experts. The vet can point out to the source of the allergy after running a few tests. Prescription medicines are the best bet for safely recovering from an allergy, for dogs and us alike!
Dog chewing paws remedy — Spread of infections
A dog chews its paws for many reasons. Originally, if it began chewing its paws due to a pebble in between its toes, it will stop the behavior after the pebble has been removed. But if there was a scratch or harsh removal, there is scope for infection. We will feel that the dog’s behavior is back to normal, but only until the infection spreads and shows up again. It is a vicious cycle, which is why we should take steps and precautions mentioned above to prevent that from happening.
Dog chewing paws remedy — Helping with anxiety
Like humans, dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are strong hearted, while a few others are anxious and jumpy. Nevertheless, they all deserve the same amount of care and affection.
There are a few ways to help our furry friend unwind gradually and return to their best version. We can draw a bath with some homemade recipes. Natural bath salts, Epsom salts, and iodine salts help soothe itchy paws and the aromas are relaxing. Staying around the puppy as it soaks in is a great way of reassuring it that we are not going to leave. If the dog has already practiced chewing its paws to relieve itself of its anxiety and its paws are itchy, these baths help. In case our dogs hate baths, lowering the water level to make sure only their paws get wet is great. It does not make their coat wet, but they get the benefits of a warm bath as well. It is a win-win situation.
Managing dogs is quite the task. They need a lot of warmth, care, and attention, which can get a bit tiring. But at the end of the day, unconditional love and loyalty are worth it.
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