Why Do Dogs Chew Their Feet?

Why do dogs chew their feet? Dogs chew on their feet for a variety of reasons. In some cases, they may be trying to groom themselves and remove any dirt or parasites that may be living on their skin. In other cases, dogs may chew on their feet because they are experiencing pain or discomfort in that area.

There are also a number of medical conditions that can cause dogs to chew on their feet, so it is important to take your dog to the vet if he is exhibiting this behavior. As a dog owner, you should always be vigilant when it comes to your dog’s behaviors.

Why Does My Dog Chew On His Feet?

There are times when you notice your dog licking or chewing on his feet and you may wonder why he’s doing it. After all, dogs typically don’t have the best hygiene habits. There are plenty of reasons as to why your dog is chewing on his feet. Let us explore them below:

Grooming

Grooming is one of the reasons dogs lick and chew on their feet. When dogs groom themselves, they typically start at the head and work their way down. They use their tongue to remove dirt, debris, and anything else that may be on their fur. As they make their way down, they will eventually get to their feet.

Itchy skin

Another reason dogs may lick or chew on their feet is because of itchy skin. Just like humans, dogs can have allergies that cause them to itch all over their bodies – including their feet. If your dog is constantly licking or chewing on his feet, it could be a sign that he is dealing with an allergy.

Dry skin

Dogs can also develop dry skin – especially during the winter months. When the air is dry, it can strip away the natural oils in your dog’s skin, leaving their skin feeling dry and irritated. This can lead to your dog licking or chewing on their feet in an attempt to soothe the irritation.

Anxiety

Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from anxiety. And for some dogs, this anxiety manifests itself in the form of compulsive licking or chewing – including on their feet. If your dog seems to be excessively licking or chewing on his feet (or any other part of his body), it could be a sign that he is dealing with anxiety or stress.

Getting rid of parasites

Last but not least, dogs may also chew on their feet in an attempt to get rid of pesky parasites. If your dog is constantly licking or chewing on his feet and you’ve ruled out the other possible causes, it’s worth taking him to the vet to check for parasites.

why do dogs chew their feet - dog lying on the floor and touching his foot

Medical Conditions That Cause Dogs To Chew On Their Feet

There are also a number of medical conditions that can cause dogs to lick or chew on their feet. If your dog is licking or chewing on his feet and you can’t figure out why it’s always best to consult with your vet. Some medical conditions that may cause dogs to lick or chew on their feet include:

Allergies

Allergies are one of the most common reasons dogs lick or chew on their feet. Allergies can be caused by a number of things, including environmental allergies (such as pollen or mold), food allergies, and even allergies to their own shampoo or soap. If your dog is licking or chewing on his feet and you think he may have allergies, it’s best to consult with your vet.

Skin infections

Skin infections are another common reason dogs lick or chew on their feet. If your dog is licking or chewing on his feet and you think he may have a skin infection, it’s best to consult with your vet. Symptoms of skin infection include red, inflamed skin; hot spots; and pus or discharge.

Interdigital cysts

Interdigital cysts are small, fluid-filled cysts that form between the toes. If your dog is licking or chewing on his feet and you think he may have interdigital cysts, it’s best to consult with your vet. Symptoms of interdigital cysts include limping; red, inflamed skin; and pus or discharge.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition in dogs that can cause pain and inflammation. If your dog is licking or chewing on his feet and you think he may have arthritis, it’s best to consult with your vet. Symptoms of arthritis include limping; stiffness; and difficulty moving.

Foot injuries

Foot injuries can also be a reason why your dog is licking or chewing on his feet. If you think your dog may have injured his foot, it’s best to consult with your vet. Symptoms of a foot injury include limping; red, inflamed skin; and pus or discharge.

Dogs may also lick or chew on their feet for other reasons, such as boredom, stress, anxiety, and excitement. If you’re concerned about why your dog is licking or chewing on his feet, it’s best to consult with your vet. Symptoms of these conditions include panting; pacing; and whining.

When Should I Be Concerned About My Dog Chewing On His Feet?

While most dogs will occasionally lick or chew on their feet, if your dog is doing it excessively, it could be a sign of an underlying problem. If you’re concerned about your dog’s licking or chewing habits, be sure to consult with your vet. You should be concerned about your dog’s licking or chewing habits if:

  • Your dog is excessively licking or chewing on his feet.
  • Your dog is showing other signs of stress or anxiety, such as panting, pacing, or whining.
  • Your dog’s licking or chewing habits are causing him discomfort.

How Do I Stop My Dog From Chewing On His Feet?

If your dog’s licking or chewing habits are causing him discomfort, you’ll need to consult with your vet to find the underlying cause of the problem and create a treatment plan. In some cases, dogs will need to be on medication to help relieve their symptoms.

If your dog’s licking or chewing is due to allergies, your vet may recommend a change in diet or allergy shots. You can also try using an Elizabethan collar (also called an “e-collar”) to keep your dog from being able to reach his feet.

While it’s important to get help from your vet if your dog is excessively licking or chewing on his feet, there are also some things you can do at home to help prevent the behavior. Here are a few tips:

Keep your dog’s nails trimmed.

Overgrown nails can cause pain and make your dog more likely to lick or chew his feet.

Inspect your dog’s feet regularly for cuts, sores, or other injuries.

Make it a habit to check your dog’s feet after walks or anytime he’s been outside. If you find any injuries, clean them with warm water and contact your vet.

Use a pet-safe paw balm or cream to soothe your dog’s paws.

There are many products on the market that can help heal dry, cracked paw pads.

Give your dog plenty of chew toys.

Chew toys can help dogs with boredom, anxiety, and even teething pain. Make sure the toys are safe for dogs and that they can’t be easily destroyed or swallowed.

Give your dog regular baths.

This will help remove any dirt, pollen, or other irritants that could be causing your dog to lick or chew his feet. Just be sure to use a mild shampoo made specifically for dogs.

why do dogs chew their feet - dog's foot

Avoid using harsh chemicals on your dog’s feet.

Harsh chemicals can irritate the skin and make your dog more likely to lick or chew his feet.

While there are many possible reasons why dogs chew on their feet, the good news is that there are also many things you can do to help prevent it. By following the tips above, you can help keep your dog’s feet healthy and free from irritation.

If your dog is still licking or chewing his feet after trying the tips above, then it’s time to consult with your veterinarian. The vet can help you determine the underlying cause of the problem and develop a treatment plan that’s right for your dog.

FAQs About Dogs Chewing On Their Feet

How can I get my dog to stop chewing his paws?

There are a few things you can try to help stop your dog from chewing his paws, including:

  • Checking for and treating any underlying medical conditions.
  • Keep your dog’s nails trimmed.
  • Provide your dog with plenty of chew toys.
  • Use an Elizabethan collar (cone) to prevent your dog from reaching his paws.

If your dog continues to chew on his paws despite your best efforts, it’s time to consult with your veterinarian. They can help you determine the underlying cause of the problem and develop a treatment plan that’s right for your dog.

Is it normal for a dog to chew on its foot?

No, it’s not normal for a dog to chew on his feet. If your dog is chewing on his feet, it’s important to find out why and get him the help he needs. However, there are times when your dog is chewing on his feet because he’s bored, stressed, or anxious. If this is the case, you can try to provide him with plenty of chew toys and/or get him an Elizabethan collar (cone) to prevent him from reaching his paws. If your dog continues to chew on his feet despite your best efforts, it’s time to consult with your veterinarian.

What is your dog trying to warn about when they lick their paws?

When your dog licks his paws, he could be trying to warn you about something. For instance, he could be trying to tell you that his feet are itchy or that he’s in pain. If your dog starts licking his paws more frequently, it’s important to take him to the vet to rule out any medical conditions.

Should I stop my dog from licking his paws?

No, there’s no need to stop your dog from licking his paws altogether. In fact, licking can be beneficial for dogs as it helps keep their paws clean and free of dirt and debris. However, if your dog is excessively licking his paws, it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition and you should take him to the vet to get checked immediately.

Why is my dog biting the fur off her paws?

There are a few reasons why your dog might be biting the fur off her paws. It could be that she’s experiencing allergies or hot spots, which are painful patches of skin that can develop from excessive licking or scratching. If your dog is biting her fur off in large chunks, it’s important to take her to the vet right away as this could be a sign of something more serious, such as mange.

Why do dogs bite their paws and nails?

Dogs bite their paws for a variety of reasons, including boredom, anxiety, or stress. If your dog is constantly biting his nails, it’s important to take him to the vet to rule out any underlying medical conditions. It’s also important to provide your dog with plenty of chew toys and bones to keep him occupied and help reduce his anxiety or stress.

Why does my dog lick my toes all the time?

If your dog is constantly licking your toes, it’s likely a sign of anxiety or stress. Dogs lick their owners’ feet as a way to show affection and to seek comfort. If your dog is exhibiting this behavior, it’s important to provide him with plenty of chew toys and bones to keep him occupied and help reduce his anxiety or stress.

Final Thoughts

Why do dogs chew on their feet? Dogs chew on their feet for a variety of reasons, including boredom, anxiety, and stress. There are also times when dogs chew on their feet because of a medical condition such as allergies or arthritis. If your dog is constantly chewing on his feet, it’s important to take him to the vet to rule out any medical conditions.

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by Nicole Barnett

Nicole has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. She has three dogs, two of which she rescued from the streets. When not furiously typing away at her computer, you’d either find her chasing after her adorable dogs and kids, or volunteering at a local shelter.

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