Does your dog constantly lick and chew his paws? There are many reasons why dogs chew paws and all of them need to be addressed by you in order to give your dog some relief. Once you learn the reason, you can stop your dog from chewing on his paws.
Dr. Gary Richter, medical director of Holistic Veterinary Care in Berkeley, California, and founder of Ultimate Pet Nutrition, gives the common reasons dogs chew paws:
If it’s a minor cut or abrasion, Dr. Richter says to apply a pet-safe antibiotic, such as Vetericyn Plus Antimicrobial All Animal Wound and Skin Care, after cleaning with pet-safe soap. Otherwise, head to the veterinarian to get treatment including X-rays, ointment and/or antibiotics if necessary.
Anxiety-based paw chewing is hard to treat and will take a while to correct. Dr. Richter says the key is to use counter-conditioning to change your dog’s reaction to situations that cause him stress. As an example, he says this could mean getting your dog to associate you leaving with something good, like a treat. When you leave the house, fill a puzzle toy with food your dog really likes, one that will take at least 20 minutes to finish.
A visit to the vet is needed to diagnosis these smaller critters. Once the parasite is determined, your vet can give you the right medication to eradicate the pests.
In this case, getting an allergy test to determine what is causing your dog’s discomfort is the first step. Once you know what your dog is allergic to, you avoid it altogether and/or get relief with allergy medications.
If you’re looking for something to help soothe your dog’s paw chewing while you wait for your vet appointment, try a soothing spray. One example is Skout’s Honor Probiotic Paw Spray. It supports a dog’s natural ability to defend against an overgrowth of harmful bacteria like yeast and fungus, which is often the culprit for itchy, stinky and irritated paws, explains Jenny Gilcrest for Skout’s Honor. It’s great for ultra-sensitive dogs, with a non-medicated, alcohol-free and hypoallergenic formula.
Other products to help soothe dog paws at home: