Dogs are adorable creatures. They, indeed, 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 a red flag. There are many symptoms and sources for the itching sensation that dogs feel. This article discusses some causes and how the best dog chewing paws remedy can vary as per the cause.
Keeping a sharp eye — signs and symptoms
It is standard for dogs to lick their paws and chew on them. 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 its paws when it is dull or anxious about something, such as the owner’s arrival. 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.
Tracking our pets with all this in mind is complex, as there is no ‘one size fits all.’ As owners, we must observe to determine the best dog chewing paws remedy.
Dog Chewing Paws Remedy. Types of chewing behavior
As we already discussed, a certain amount of licking and chewing is average. 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 fingers accidentally while chopping a carrot? We immediately suck on the wound, hoping 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 thing. We should be 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 irritate. Rarely, boils or cysts may develop due to underlying conditions, causing an itch.
The best thing to do for wounds or injuries is to cover them with a 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 feet 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 feet 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 straightforward 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 much trouble. If the infection is severe, we should take our dog to the vet regularly for treatment and provide preventive medicines. Dogs should be protected from mites, ticks, and fleas. Prevention is always better than cure, especially for our dogs because they enjoy participating in grubby activities.
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 licking over 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 must handle the dog carefully since it is already angry and in pain. Even the softest dogs can become aggressive and bite as they have no other means to vent 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. We discuss more causes further in the article.
Identifying the exact cause is crucial in helping our friends recover. It takes a lot of patience to determine the best dog chewing paws remedy, especially in 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 help dogs relax and become calmer and happier.
Dog chewing paws remedy for gradual onset
Leaving a dog home for most of the day can make it feel lonely and left out. It may run out of options as to what to do and become bored. In such situations, they develop detrimental habits such as excessive chewing and licking to keep themselves occupied. Once it becomes a habit, getting the dog to stop doing it is more challenging. We know it is terrible 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. We can also buy them toys to chew as a distraction. Chew toys are also suitable 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 exhausted from waiting for its owner to return.
Where does it begin?
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 reason, 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 all the ingredients in food items or external particles in the environment that we are allergic to. Some surprising results — we don’t even realize something is wrong with us. Similarly, we may miss noticing allergies in our pups. But more often than not, they trigger excessive chewing and licking behavior. Various types of allergies affect dogs.
Types of allergies
The most common allergy responses in a human are swelling of the tongue, difficulty 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. People prefer feeding their pups dog food exclusively or mixing dog food with another ingredient in smaller quantities to avoid allergies. Trying different combinations can give us an idea of 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. 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. When they move around on the 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 irritate 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 wet and can be a 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 onto the paws, they can spread to the rest of the body very quickly. It can even prove to be fatal.
Dog Chewing Paws Remedy. 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 from on the market to soothe our skin, but dogs decide 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 quickly catch onto such conditions. A vet can prescribe medication that will solve the problem.
Dogs face hormonal imbalances too.
The skin becomes very dry and itchy. The skin becomes very dry and itchy if there is too little thyroid or excess cortisol (which results from stress)); the skin becomes very dry and itchy. 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 marks 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 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 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. It might lick its paws to tackle boredom, temporarily calming its nervous system. Such behavior is a sign that the dog is heading towards anxiety. It needs stimulation daily to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Some of them are naturally anxious and develop negative habits faster. It helps us understand what our dogs do when we leave them alone.
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 licks 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, it might suffer from a wound inside.
While it is natural 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 tiny splinter can cause a lot of pain. In contrast, our pet may start running uncontrollably as if someone is chasing it. In such cases, it usually tries 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. Examining the paws returns negative results, and if the dog has difficulty walking around, sitting, or running, it is best to go to the vet.
Dog chewing paws remedy — simple and easy
We know many reasons for dogs chewing or licking their paws for long durations. The chewing and licking can be exceptionally irritating even for us — imagine hearing the noise when 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 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 must be clipped often to ensure they don’t break due to a collision. It is rare for a dog’s nails to die, 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 essential 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. This is not good for the healing process. We can gently distract our pet from licking a wound or coaxing it into not doing it. If it continues to lick and never lets the damage 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 the grass is an excellent place for dogs to enjoy frolicking. But, it is also where they can get things stuck in their paws and toes. If we get something stuck in our toes, we can shake it 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.
Small pebbles, stones, burrs, or twigs commonly lodge themselves tightly in gaps found in a dog’s paws. While the dog certainly feels the irritation, it cannot pull the object out. If we see our dog running around frantically trying to rub its paws against rough surfaces, we should check its feet 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 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 mentioned 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 also be allergic to the food container’s material. 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. After running a few tests, the vet can identify the allergy’s source. 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. Initially, if it begins chewing its paws due to a pebble between its toes, it will stop the behavior after removing the stone. 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, so we should take the steps and precautions mentioned above to prevent that.
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 friends 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 an excellent way of reassuring it that we will not leave. If the dog has already practiced chewing its paws to relieve itself of its anxiety and its feet are itchy, these baths help. If our dogs hate baths, lowering the water level to ensure only their paws get wet is excellent. It does not make their coat wet, but they also get the benefits of a warm bath. It is a win-win situation.
Managing dogs is quite a task. They need a lot of warmth, care, and attention, which can get tiring. But at the end of the day, unconditional love and loyalty are worth it.
For more information about the best dog chewing paws remedy and tips to become the best dog parent, do click here!