It's fairly common for dogs to periodically chew on their paws a bit. However, if you notice that this habit becomes more frequent, you may start wondering what's going on with your dog. Here are 4 reasons your dog might be chewing.
The most common reason dogs chew on their paws is allergies from seasonal changes, mold, pollen, or specific food ingredients. It's also possible for a dog to develop dermatitis. This skin condition occurs when a dog comes into contact with pesticides, chemicals in soap, or other similar items. While environmental allergies are much more common than food allergies, switching to an high-nutrition food like Pet Wants can help your pet develop healthier skin and coat to resist those triggers.
2. Depression or Anxiety
Dogs are very complex animals and can experience a wide range of emotions. While many of these emotions are positive, some can be negative. If something causes a dog to become depressed or anxious, this condition may manifest itself in the form of compulsive paw licking or chewing. Separation anxiety, a significant change of schedule, or a loss in your family are all examples of events that can cause depression or anxiety in a dog.
Even if it's just a small splinter, burr, glass shard, sticker, rock, or thorn discomfort can be enough to cause increased chewing. Orthopedic issue like arthritis or hip dysplasia can also lead to chewing as a way to help relieve the pain.
Mites, fleas, and ticks are all parasites which can decide to make their home on your dog. If this occurs, your dog may attempt to get rid of them by chewing. With ticks, you should be able to see if there are any on your pet. However, mites are microscopic and fleas tend to go undetected unless there are a ton of them. If you have any reason to believe a parasite is causing your pet to chew its paws, you can have your vet check your pet.
While some paw chewing is a natural part of grooming, any behavior that becomes compulsive, creates hot spots, causes bleeding, or results in loss of fur is worth a prompt trip to the vet.