Monday, January 14, 2013

Why Does Your Dog Chew, Bite or Lick his Paws?

Dogs do things for a reason and since they can not tell us what is wrong, we need to figure it out.

If you see your dog chewing, biting, or licking his paws often, a few things could be going on with those paws. He could be simply bored and this is his way of passing time. He could have an allergy to his food or possibly an allergic reaction to the carpeting he walks and lays on all day long. There may be more to his paw licking and you will need to inspect his paws when you see such behavior.

A dog's paw pad is exposed to many different objects as well as surfaces that could injure or irritate his feet.

A small stone may have gotten stuck in the paw pad or he may have cut himself on a rock while out on his daily walk or run in the park. Ice, snow or even the salt used on sidewalks and roads may be building up within his paw pad. If the hair around the paw pad gets too long, a mat may form which is very uncomfortable and a dog will try to remove any foreign object from in-between his paw pad.

If you see your dog biting or chewing to remove an object from his paw pads, I would not worry to much. Dogs will do this and it is normal.  It becomes a problem when every time you look at him he is chewing or licking away at his paws. You should take him into the vet for a check up on his feet to make sure there is not a medical issue that needs attention. After all, too much licking and biting could cause a raw or hot spot which could lead to a bacterial infection.

Check your dog's paws often especially after walks. You could even wipe them down with a damp cloth to clear away any trapped debris.  Make sure the paw pads are not red, swollen, cracked, or dry. It is up to us to help keep our best friends feet healthy!

I like to use Dog Paws before we head out for our nightly walk. It keeps my dogs paws conditioned and prevents dry or cracked paw pads. 

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