Why do dogs chew their feet? Causes & remedies (answered!)

Want to know why do dogs chew their feet? I have good news for you! Here you will find causes and treatments for dogs who lick and chew their feet.
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Why do dogs chew their feet? This is a question many dog owners ask themselves when they notice their furry friend constantly gnawing at their paws. While the answer may seem straightforward, there is actually a lot more to it than meets the eye.

One of the most common reasons dogs chew their feet is due to pain or discomfort. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as dry skin, hormonal imbalances, or even cold weather. Additionally, dogs may chew their feet out of boredom, stress, anxiety, or irritation caused by allergies or parasites.

However, the problem is not just the chewing itself, but rather the frequency and duration of the behavior. Dogs who regularly lick or chew their paws over a long period of time may be showing signs of insufficient mental and physical stimulation.

So, what can you do to help your pup if they are constantly chewing their feet?

In this article, we will explore the various reasons why dogs chew their feet and offer some tips and tricks for how to address the behavior.

Whether your dog is experiencing pain or simply needs more stimulation, we’ve got you covered.

So, keep reading to learn more about this common canine behavior and how to help your furry friend feel their best.

How to Tell if Your Dog Is Chewing or Licking Their Feet

Why do dogs chew their feet paw licking in dogs

It’s time to take a closer look at your pup if you think they might be chewing or licking their paws. Although dogs can do both, it is important to know the difference between the two behaviors so that you can address it properly and help them stop.

When a dog starts excessively chewing or licking their feet, it is usually due to an underlying medical condition such as allergies, parasites, or infections. Chewing their paws will cause redness, inflammation, and even bleeding in extreme cases. Licking on the other hand may not result in any visible signs but can lead to skin irritation over time.

Chewing usually involves more aggressive movements and sounds, while licking will often look like they’re just gently dabbing at their toes with their tongue.

To tell whether your pet is engaging in chewing behavior versus licking behavior, observe how often they are doing it and for how long each session lasts.

If your fur baby is constantly gnawing away at their paws then chances are they have an itch that needs scratching! On the contrary, if you find them simply giving themselves an occasional lick every now and again then this could just be a sign of grooming rather than something more serious.

Let’s focus on a dog licking its feet first, as I will discuss the question of why dogs chew their feet in greater detail later.

If your dog is licking its feet, there can be numerous reasons for this behavior.

Firstly, if your dog is only licking one of its feet, chances are something is physically wrong. It may have suffered an injury unknowingly, which is quite common for dogs.

For example, in areas with water, paws can be hurt by stones, glass, or any other sharp debris that is submerged. In this case, the first step is to calm your dog by cuddling and playing. After that, examine the most-licked foot carefully.

You should look under the paw and between the claws. If there is a light cut, it can heal by itself or you can use a soothing paw balm to speed up the healing process. A deeper cut might require stitches.

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However, if there is no bruise or physical damage present, excessive licking in dogs can be a behavioral issue that may point to something more serious. For instance, dogs may lick their feet due to anxiety, depression, stress, boredom, insufficient mental stimulation, or lack of exercise.

If you’re still unsure after monitoring your pooch’s paw-licking habits then it wouldn’t hurt to consult with your vet either way. They will be able to assess the situation better and advise you on what steps need to be taken next.

6 Reasons Why Dogs Lick and Chew Their Paws, Feet, and Nails

Why do dogs chew their paws - paw licking in dogs

Let’s turn our attention to the question: why do dogs chew their feet? Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this question.

Dogs may lick and chew their feet for a variety of reasons. Here is a list of some possible causes to consider.

1. Allergy and Skin Disease

Allergies are a common problem among dogs, and they can cause a lot of discomfort. As a pet owner, it’s important to be aware of the signs of allergies in dogs, such as intense itching and chewing on their paws and feet.

One common question that pet owners have is, “Why my dog chew his feet even if it’s an allergic reaction?” The answer is that when a dog develops an allergy, it can cause a reaction throughout their entire body, including their feet and paws, resulting in intense itching and discomfort.

If you notice your dog constantly chewing on their feet and paws, it’s important to get them checked by a veterinarian to see if they are suffering from any skin condition or allergy. Some common allergens for dogs include pollen, mold, certain types of trees, dust, and specific foods.

Fortunately, there are many products available on the market to help alleviate the symptoms of allergies in dogs. For example, you can find allergy itch relief shampoos and seasonal allergy supplements that can help soothe your dog’s itchy skin and reduce their discomfort. Additionally, your veterinarian may recommend other treatments, such as prescription medications or dietary changes, to help manage your dog’s allergies and improve their overall health and well-being.

2. Mental Health Issues Such as Depression, Stress and Anxiety

Mental health issues can manifest in various ways in dogs, such as causing changes in their behavior. Chewing on their feet, for example, is a common behavioral change that may indicate a sense of helplessness in dogs.

It’s important to remember that dogs, like humans, can develop mental health issues despite receiving proper care. This is why it’s important to pay attention to any changes in your dog’s behavior and mood.

If you notice that your dog’s behavior continues to be concerning, seeking medical help might be a good option. Alternatively, you could also consider using natural remedies such as CBD oil, which has been known to have a calming effect on even the most anxious, stressed and hyperactive dogs. By providing proper care and attention, you can help your furry friend cope with any mental health issues they might be experiencing.

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3. Injury and Pain

It is important to keep a watchful eye on your furry friend’s paws and feet as dogs can easily injure themselves without even realizing it. In fact, it is quite common for dogs to bruise their paws and feet since their paws are constantly in contact with the ground. Unfortunately, this can lead to your dog feeling pain and discomfort. When your dog is in pain, he might resort to chewing on his feet to relieve the pain.

While it is true that chewing can help your dog relieve the pain, it can also lead to further complications such as infections. The reason being that when a dog chews on his feet, he is effectively washing the wound which can neutralize bacterial infections. However, if the wound is not properly taken care of, it can easily become infected.

Therefore, it is essential to conduct a thorough examination of your dog’s paws and feet to identify any injuries or wounds. This examination can help you identify the cause of your dog’s discomfort, and you can take appropriate measures to alleviate the pain and prevent any further complications.

4. Parasitic Infection

Parasites, mites, ticks, and fleas may be some of the reasons why dogs tend to chew their feet. These microscopic organisms can easily infect your dog and cause various problems. Not only do these pests irritate your dog, but they can also cause severe health issues such as skin infections, diseases, and allergies.

In some cases, your dog may develop an addiction to chewing its feet as a way to soothe the irritation caused by parasitic infections. The more your dog chews its feet, the more severe the infection can become. Therefore, it is crucial to keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and take action if the chewing becomes intense.

If you suspect that your dog has a parasitic infection, it is essential to take them to a vet as soon as possible. A vet can thoroughly examine your dog and come up with an effective treatment plan that will help to cure the infection and prevent it from reoccurring. Regular check-ups and proper hygiene practices can also help to keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

5. Dry Skin

In both dry and humid weather conditions, your dog’s skin is susceptible to becoming dry and irritated. This can lead to excessive scratching, licking, and even chewing of the feet.

One possible reason for dry skin is the lack of essential fatty acids in your dog’s diet. If this is the case, it is important to adjust your dog’s diet to include more of these nutrients. Another factor that may cause dry skin is extreme weather, such as harsh winters or hot summers.

If your dog is experiencing these symptoms, it is important to take action to help soothe and heal their skin. This can include using moisturizing shampoos or lotions, as well as ensuring that your dog is not exposed to harsh weather conditions for extended periods of time. In more severe cases, it may be necessary to consult with a veterinarian to develop a treatment plan that can help your dog feel more comfortable and healthy.

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6. Bacterial or yeast Infection

Bacterial or yeast infections can be another reason why dogs chew their paw pads. If your dog has an infection, it can cause itching and discomfort, which can lead to excessive licking and chewing. Some common signs of an infection include redness, swelling, discharge, and a foul odor.

If you suspect that your dog has a bacterial or yeast infection, it’s important to take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics or antifungal medication to help clear up the infection and alleviate your dog’s symptoms.

Additionally, you can take steps to prevent future infections by keeping your dog’s paws clean and dry, avoiding exposure to contaminated environments, and maintaining good hygiene practices. By doing so, you can help keep your furry friend healthy and happy, and prevent them from engaging in excessive foot chewing.

Tips to Stop Your Dog From Chewing on His Paws and Feet

Tips to stop your dog from chewing on his paws and feet

It’s natural for dogs to occasionally chew their feet. However, if the situation worsens, it’s important to determine the underlying cause of the behavior. If necessary, consult a veterinarian.

Once the problem has been diagnosed, you can try any of the following tips that best suit your dog’s needs.

  1. Parasite prevention is an essential part of keeping your dog healthy. If parasites attack your dog, it can cause serious problems. Your dog’s vet can recommend some good products to help you eliminate parasites from your dog’s body.
  2. Food allergies can be a real problem for some dogs. If your dog has allergies, changing your dog’s food and going for healthier and simpler diets can help. Be sure to consult with your dog’s vet first.
  3. Physical activity is important for dogs to maintain their health and happiness. Make sure to give your dog enough exercise, attention, and playtime to address stress, anxiety, and frustration in your dog. This can include daily walks, visits to the dog park, and interactive play sessions.
  4. If your dog has a bad habit of chewing on furniture, shoes, or other household items, you can use bitter spray on the required area. This will help your dog learn that it’s not okay to chew on those items.
  5. Keep your dog’s feet clean and dry: Wet and dirty paws can become itchy, so it’s essential to keep them clean and dry. Wipe your dog’s paws with a damp cloth after they’ve been outside, and dry them thoroughly.
  6. Provide toys and chews: Providing your dog with toys and chews can help redirect their chewing behavior to something more appropriate. Make sure the toys are sturdy and safe for your dog to chew on.
  7. Medication should only be used if your dog’s vet prescribes medication as a treatment. Be sure to follow the vet’s instructions carefully and monitor your dog’s reaction to the medication.
  8. Consider a cone: If your dog’s chewing behavior is severe, you may need to use an Elizabethan collar (cone) to prevent them from reaching their paws. Make sure to supervise your dog while they’re wearing the cone.
  9. Seek professional help: If your dog’s chewing behavior persists despite your efforts, it may be best to consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to determine the underlying cause and develop a plan to stop the behavior.

Medical Interventions: When to Seek Veterinary Care for Paw Chewing

If your pup’s paw licking and chewing has become overly excessive, it might be time to take them for a veterinary visit. Although every dog is different, you should notice that your dog is licking or biting their feet more than normal or if they are causing wounds, this could indicate an underlying medical issue.

It’s important to identify the cause of the behavior in order to treat it effectively and prevent long-term damage.

Signs & SymptomsWhen To Seek Veterinary CarePossible Causes
Unusual Licking/ChewingImmediatelyAllergies/Infections/Skin Conditions
Redness/SwellingWithin 24 hoursPainful Joints/Bones
Open WoundsASAPBehavioral Issues

It’s critical to recognize when something isn’t quite right with our canine companions and seek out help if necessary. If you can catch any signs early enough, there may be quick steps you can take at home before seeking professional care. See your vet as soon as possible if you suspect a problem – waiting too long will only make matters worse.

Once we understand what is going on with our furry friend, then we can begin developing a plan for preventing foot chewing in dogs: best practices and preventive measures.

Preventing Foot Chewing in Dogs: Best Practices and Preventative Measures

 It is important to take steps to prevent your dog from chewing or licking their feet.

While it can be difficult to determine the exact cause of paw chewing, knowing what signs and symptoms to look for can help you intervene before the problem becomes severe. One way to tell if your dog is chewing his paws is if he licks them excessively.

If you see him doing this, it could be a sign that he is trying to soothe an itch or other discomfort in his paws. Dogs sometimes chew at the tops of their feet as well – this behavior is particularly common on the front paws.

To reduce the likelihood of foot-chewing episodes, make sure your pet’s nails are trimmed regularly, keep his coat clean and free of mats, and check for any foreign objects between toes like pebbles or burrs. Checking your pup’s feet after walks helps ensure there are no cuts or injuries that may have been caused by rough terrain.

Additionally, try switching up his diet with a high quality protein source and provide supplements such as omega fatty acids which will help promote healthy skin and coat condition.

Finally, providing plenty of mental stimulation throughout the day through interactive toys and puzzle feeders can also help curb unwanted behaviors like paw-licking. The key here is prevention: identifying potential causes early on can go a long way toward keeping your pup happy and healthy!

Effective Remedies: How to Stop Your Dog From Chewing His Paws

Recent research suggests that as many as 25% of all dogs have a problem with chewing on their feet or paws. Whether your pup is dealing with an itch, boredom, anxiety, or some other underlying issue, it’s important to make sure he stops the behavior before he causes any further damage to his skin. 

Fortunately, there are several effective remedies you can use to stop him from biting at his front paws.

For allergic dogs, limiting exposure to allergens and using anti-itch medications may be enough to keep them from gnawing away at their fur.

If your dog bites because of boredom or anxiety, try providing more mental stimulation in the form of interactive toys and puzzle games that offer rewards when solved correctly.

Additionally, addressing any environmental stressors like loud noises could help reduce anxious behaviors such as paw licking and foot chewing.

Finally, consider teaching your pooch positive commands like ‘leave it’ and redirecting his attention elsewhere whenever he begins biting at himself too much. 

You might also give him something else to chew on; rawhide chews or Kongs filled with peanut butter are great options for occupying a pup’s mouth instead of her feet! 

With these steps in mind, you should be able to find ways to stop your dog from nibbling at her paws and enjoy long walks together again soon.

Frequently Asked Questions: Dog Chewing Paws

why dogs chew on their paws

First off, there are certain allergies that may cause a dog to excessively lick or chew on its paws or other areas of their body. Allergic reactions can range from mild skin irritation caused by pollen, grasses and molds to more severe food sensitivities due to ingredients in their diet.

If you think your pup has an allergy, it’s best to consult with your vet so they can help determine the root cause and recommend remedies accordingly.

Another potential reason why your furry friend might be chewing on their feet is because of boredom or stress. Dogs need adequate amounts of stimulation throughout the day – both mental and physical – so if they don’t get enough attention from us humans, they may turn to self-soothing behaviors such as foot-chewing as a way to cope with any feelings of anxiety or frustration. Make sure you’re providing plenty of opportunities for playtime and exercise every day!

It’s also possible that something else entirely is irritating them like an injury or foreign object stuck between toes, fleas/ticks biting at their fur or even just dry skin due to lack of moisture in the air. Check over your pup each time after walks especially around those sensitive paw pads for anything out of the ordinary – thorns, splinters etc., which might have got stuck while out exploring outdoors.

If all else fails then it’s worth consulting with a veterinarian who will be able to offer further advice tailored towards helping resolve this issue quickly and safely!

If your dog chews its paws on a regular basis, then you should worry about it. Dogs that chew their paws excessively can cause damage to their skin, causing it to become raw and irritated. If this behavior persists, it may lead to an infection. Therefore, it is important to address this issue as soon as possible to prevent further complications.

It is also important to observe whether your dog is chewing only one foot or not. If your dog is chewing only one paw, it is highly likely that it might have gotten a physical bruise. However, if it is chewing on all paws, then it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as allergies or anxiety. In such cases, it is best to consult a veterinarian to determine the root cause of the behavior and to develop a treatment plan.

In general, dogs may lick their paws for several reasons. While we have listed some possible explanations below, it is essential to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.

  1. Allergies: Dogs with allergies may lick their paws excessively. This is because allergies can cause itching and inflammation in the paws. Licking can provide temporary relief, but excessive licking can exacerbate the problem.
  2. Pain or discomfort: If your dog is experiencing pain or discomfort in their paws, they may lick them in an attempt to soothe themselves. It is important to identify the cause of the pain, as the licking can slow down the healing process.
  3. Boredom or anxiety: Dogs who are bored or anxious may lick their paws as a form of self-soothing behavior. This type of behavior can be difficult to address without the help of a professional trainer or behaviorist.
  4. Skin infections: Certain skin infections can cause dogs to lick their paws excessively. This behavior can make the infection worse and lead to more severe health problems.
  5. Parasites: Parasites such as fleas or ticks can also cause dogs to lick their paws. If your dog has parasites, it is essential to treat them as soon as possible to prevent further health issues.

It is important to note that excessive licking can lead to other problems such as hair loss or infections. Thus, it is crucial to keep an eye on your dog’s paw licking habits and consult with a veterinarian if necessary.

Bleeding and swelling are common physical responses to injury, and can be caused by a variety of factors including accidents, bites, and even overexertion. In cases where your dog’s paw may be bleeding, it’s essential to provide prompt first aid and carefully clean the wound to prevent infection.

While it’s true that a light cut may heal on its own with time, it’s important to observe the area carefully and keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior for any signs of discomfort or distress. In more serious cases where the cut is deep, it may be necessary to seek veterinary care and have the wound stitched up for proper healing and to minimize the risk of complications.

Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your pet’s health and well-being.

The specific steps you need to take to stop your dog from chewing his paws depend on the original cause. However, here are some of the most common causes and solutions:

  1. Your dog may have a parasitic or bacterial infection. Talk to your vet and use the appropriate medication if this is the case.
  2. If you want to bring about a behavioral change, use bitter spray on the most chewed paw.
  3. If your dog has allergies, changing to simpler food or eliminating potential trigger ingredients can make a huge difference.
  4. Give your dog enough attention, exercise, and playtime to address anxiety, stress, and frustration.
  5. If none of these solutions work, take your dog to a vet.

 If your pooch is constantly gnawing away at his paws, it’s time to take action. There are a few things you can do before resorting to more extreme measures like sedatives or professional help.

First of all, make sure your pup has plenty of stimulating toys and activities available so that he won’t chew on himself out of boredom. Providing regular mental stimulation through interactive games such as hide-and-seek will keep him entertained and prevent the need for self-soothing behaviors like foot licking or nibbling.

Additionally, provide ample exercise opportunities including walks and playtime with other dogs in order to burn off excess energy which could manifest itself in destructive habits.

Another option is to try using natural products like bitter apple spray or coconut oil as deterrents for undesired behavior. These have proven successful when used consistently, but be aware that some pups may not find them unpleasant enough to deter them from continuing the habit.

If this is the case, then you’ll want to look into alternative solutions such as pet anxiety wraps or calming collars which utilize essential oils or herbs known for their soothing properties. 

Ultimately, though it may take some trial and error, finding an effective solution will require patience and dedication from both you and your furry friend!

First off, it’s important to identify why your dog is chewing their feet in the first place. Usually, this kind of chewing occurs because of a skin irritation or infection.

If this is the case for your pet, then getting them examined by a veterinarian and treating any issues they may have is key.

Additionally, if allergies are causing itchiness on their paws, switching up their diet could also be helpful.

In addition to addressing underlying medical conditions, providing distractions can be useful too. Giving them chew toys or interactive puzzles will keep them occupied and away from their feet! 

Plus, taking time each day to play with them and give them exercise will help tire them out so they’ll be less likely to indulge in foot-chewing activities when left alone.

Making sure that your furry friend has plenty of mental stimulation and physical activity throughout the day should go a long way towards curbing paw-licking behaviors over time – keeping both you and your pup happy!

If your dog is consistently chewing their feet, it’s important to take them to the vet. This kind of behavior can be a sign of many underlying issues that need to be addressed.

 Here are some things you should consider when deciding whether or not to visit the vet:

  1. Is the foot-chewing causing any external damage?
  2. Are there any other symptoms present in your pet such as limping, redness, swelling, tenderness and/or excessive licking?
  3. Does this behavior appear to be related to pain or discomfort?

When dealing with an issue like this it can be difficult to know where to start.

If your pup has been exhibiting these behaviors for more than a few days and you haven’t seen signs of improvement, then taking them to see a professional may help provide much needed relief. 

The vet will likely perform an examination and possibly recommend further tests if they think something else could be going on internally. They might also suggest dietary changes or medications depending on what they find during their evaluation process.

It’s important that you pay attention to how your pup behaves after visiting the vet so you can catch any potential problems early before the situation escalates. Make sure you keep up regular checkups even if everything appears normal because prevention is always better than treatment! 

Plus, having a good relationship with your veterinarian means that when something does go wrong, they’ll have all the necessary information about your pet’s health history at hand – making diagnosis and treatment easier and more effective overall.


The question of why dogs chew their feet is a complicated one that does not have a straightforward answer. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to this behavior, and it can be difficult to determine the exact cause.

One possible explanation for why dogs chew their feet is that it is a natural behavior that they engage in from time to time. However, if your dog is engaging in this behavior excessively, it could be a cause for concern.

To help prevent your dog from chewing its feet, there are several tips and strategies that you can try. One of the most important things you can do is to make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation. Additionally, you may want to take your dog to the vet to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be causing the behavior.

By taking these steps, you can help keep your dog healthy and happy, and prevent it from engaging in excessive foot chewing. And if your dog does need help with this behavior, you now have the knowledge and tools to assist it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I wish you and your furry friend all the best.

Until next time,

Best of luck to you both!

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Housam Ayouni
Housam Ayouni

I am a professional in the field of canine behavior and care with many years of experience. Through my dog blog, which has reached over one million dog owners, I offer practical tips and guidance to support dog owners in creating strong, positive relationships with their pets and promoting the well-being and happiness of all dogs. My goal is to help dog owners create a harmonious and fulfilling life with their furry companions.

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