Licking, slurping, chewing and the red staining – it’s enough to drive you insane. And
your dog feels the same. So why is your dog chewing on his paws so much?
Paw licking is a relatively common behaviour in dogs, but a healthy pet should not be licking his paws excessively. So, we need to look at the problem. If left long enough, dogs can be compulsive about licking their paws. However, it is far more likely to have a physical cause.
The most common cause is allergies causing dermatitis. This feels itchy and sore, so dogs relieve the itch and pain with chewing and licking. Given time this becomes infected. And the cycle continues. Occasionally we see other causes like grass seed abscesses, glass or splinters in the pads and burnt feet in Summer.
In humans, allergies (such as hay fever) cause itchy eyes and a runny nose. In dogs, allergies can cause itchy, inflamed skin and ears.
To stop your dog from chewing on his paws, you need to first find out the cause.
Take your dog to the vet for a check-up. The sooner we start on the correct
treatment, the more likely we are to resolve or control the problem. And then we can all get a good night’s sleep without the chewing and licking.
For more questions, please contact Dr Katie Hankins @ Savvy Pets Behavioural Vets
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