why my dog keeps biting his paws?
Does your dog constantly have its nose in its paws? It repeatedly sniffs, licks and nibbles them? why my dog keeps biting his paws?
Not only does such behavior seem strange, but it can above all reflect a source of concern. But then, how abnormal is this behavior? why my dog keeps biting his paws?
If your dog keeps biting paws intensely and regularly, then you should be worried. Also, if it limps, or if the heavily licked area is red, swollen, bleeding or smelly, it is best to go to a veterinarian.
Why My Dog Keeps Biting His Paws?
Causes and Solutions
Here is a list of the most common reasons Why my dog keeps biting his paws too often:
In the winter months or in arid climates, dogs can have dry skin, just like us.
But instead of moisturizing the area with a good lotion, they will tend to lick their paws to relieve the itching sensation due to the dry skin on their pads.
Dry skin can also indicate that your dog is not getting enough fatty acids in its diet. Fatty acids help to keep the skin supple and the coat healthy.
If you think this might be the case, you can add a few drops of olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or fish oil to your dog’s food several times a week to remedy the deficiency.
There are also moisturizing skin balms specially designed for animals.
Dogs can develop seasonal allergies to pollen and mold. They can also become allergic to cleaning products or chemicals in your home.
Furthermore, food allergies are common in dogs and often cause skin irritation that affects various parts of the body.
Some dogs develop reactions to specific proteins found in their food (beef, lamb, dairy, chicken, wheat, eggs, corn or soy).
However, it is difficult to specifically identify the ingredient that is involved. Note that, for a dog to develop an allergy, it must have already been exposed to the ingredient in question, which means that it is probably one of the ingredients of its usual food that is the source of the problem.
We recommend that you discuss your dog’s diet with your veterinarian. This will allow you to explore any nutritional changes you can make to prevent dog skin irritation.
By licking its legs (sometimes too much), your dog may be trying to heal an injury, such as a sore, a sting, a puncture in the pads, or a broken claw or toe.
If your dog is particularly active or has recently discovered a new playground, this could be the best explanation.
Always be sure to check its legs (or any other area) to find the root cause. Look for visible signs of injury, and pay special attention to splinters, spikelets, or any cuts or tears in the pads and legs.
Fleas, ticks and mites can also cause itchy sensations in dogs, and dogs can try to solve the problem by licking or chewing on small insects.
Ticks are the easiest to find, but mites are rarely seen and fleas are difficult to locate unless they are widespread on your dog.
Do not hesitate to talk to your veterinarian, especially if your dog has not received regular treatment for ticks and fleas.
A psychological upheaval
Dogs, and many other animals, can obsessively lick when they feel anxious, lonely, depressed, or bored.
Dogs biting their feet, because that can temporarily calm the dog’s nervous system when it feels overwhelmed or isn’t getting enough play, stimulation, or affection. If its level of discomfort is even deeper, it may chew its paws as a sign of self-injury.
Of course, some dogs are naturally anxious, especially when their owners leave the house. Also, adopted dogs may have been neglected or abused which increased their anxiety and fear.
Observe your dog’s behavior while at home. This will help you understand it better and possibly discuss it with a canine behaviorist.
If your dog is often alone, a pet sitter or caring dog walker can do wonders for relieving stress.
In conclusion, what if My Dog Keeps Biting His Paws?
It would be weird if your dog never licked. But if it still licks the same area after several days or a week, call your veterinarian.
It is important to act quickly and find a suitable solution to prevent this behavior from continuing. Indeed, what begins with a small injury can lead to frantic licking, and then your dog may discover that it likes this feeling.
The licking process can cause a new, larger paw injury (the dog’s tongue is rough and wet!). It will therefore continue to lick itself in order to heal its wound, while it is only making the situation worse.
This behavior can lead to a granuloma – an inflammatory lesion on the paw or leg – or can be accompanied by an infection of the skin with yeast or bacteria. So it’s best to seek help quickly if you notice that licking and chewing have gone too far.