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Why is My Dog Chewing His Paws? Find Solutions (2024)

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why is my dog chewing on his pawsHave you ever seen your four-legged companion chewing on their paws? It can be a concerning sight, as paw licking and chewing is not normal behavior for dogs. But don’t worry – it doesn’t always mean that there’s something wrong with them.

In some cases, it could just be an extension of self-cleaning behavior in dogs or even a habit they have formed over time. However, if this has become an ongoing problem for your pup, then understanding why they are doing this and how to stop them is essential.

With the right guidance from us here at Healthy Pet Club membership, we can help you uncover the causes behind why your dog is engaging in such behaviors so that together we can find solutions to make sure everything stays safe and healthy!

Key Takeaways

  • Paw chewing in dogs can be caused by allergies, skin irritations, insect bites, dandruff, behavioral issues, hygiene, or underlying health problems.
  • Identifying and addressing the specific cause of paw chewing is important for effective treatment.
  • Regular grooming, hygiene upkeep, and providing stimulating toys and distractions can help prevent excessive paw chewing.
  • If paw chewing persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary care to rule out infections or allergies.

Common Causes of Paw Chewing in Dogs

Common Causes of Paw Chewing in Dogs
Are you wondering why your dog is chewing his paws? Allergies, blisters, and cysts, insect bites, dandruff, and hotspots are all common causes of paw chewing in dogs. Whether it’s from environmental allergens or underlying medical issues such as joint pain or arthritis, it’s important to understand the cause of this behavior for effective treatment.


If your pup is licking and chewing their paws excessively, it could be due to allergies. Flea bites, food sensitivities, or environmental changes can all trigger paw chewing. Allergy management, such as allergy testing and switching to an allergy-free diet, may help reduce itching.

Using seasonal treatments for skin allergies in dogs will also help reduce discomfort when the weather is dry or humid.

Blisters and Cysts

You may notice blisters or cysts on your pup’s paws due to friction from rough surfaces, hot pavements, or play. For example, running in summer heat without protection can lead to painful blisters.

Paw care tips include:

  1. Regularly inspect for issues.
  2. Provide booties and moisturizing shampoos.
  3. Check for infection signs.
  4. Monitor paw licking behavior.

Treatment options are available if discomfort occurs, including antibiotics and anti-inflammatories depending on the cause of the issue. Prevention is key by providing regular foot inspections and avoiding extreme weather conditions when possible.

Interdigital cysts, as well as behavioral issues like boredom, could be at the root of excessive foot chewing, so seek out a vet’s opinion if needed!

Insect Bites

Insect bites can cause your pup to experience itchy and irritating sensations, leading them to chew their paws. Prevention is key: insect repellants, seasonal allergy treatments, and regular grooming are all good preventative measures.

Natural remedies like oatmeal baths or diluted apple cider vinegar may help relieve itching and irritation associated with bug bites. If the paw chewing persists despite these preventive measures, a vet consultation can rule out secondary infections or anxiety in dogs as possible triggers of paw chewing behavior.

Properly caring for your dog’s paws will keep them healthy, so they don’t have any itchiness that leads to excessive licking or chewing!


Dandruff can be an incredibly itchy issue, causing your pup to furiously scratch and chew at their paws! Solutions include moisturizing solutions, dietary adjustments, grooming techniques, behavior modification, and medical interventions.

Dog owners should observe changes in their pet’s behavior for signs of dandruff-caused paw chewing. Moisturizing shampoos or conditioners may help prevent skin flaking, while dietary supplements could reduce itching sensations.

Proper brushing is essential to keep the coat healthy. Regular nail trimming will also ensure a proper grip on slippery surfaces or when running around outdoors.

Behavior modification through positive reinforcement training can redirect attention away from paw licking if needed. It can be done alongside other steps like avoiding environmental allergens that cause allergies in dogs.


Hotspots, also known as moist dermatitis, are painful skin inflammations caused by excessive licking and scratching. Hotspots can cause severe itching and discomfort in dogs, leading to secondary bacterial infections and contact dermatitis.

To treat hotspots, a veterinarian may recommend paw pad care, such as moisturizing remedies or paw balm, to reduce inflammation and discomfort. Additionally, behavioral patterns must be addressed to prevent further irritation of the affected area.

How to Stop Your Dog From Chewing Their Paws

How to Stop Your Dog From Chewing Their Paws
Are you concerned about why your dog is constantly chewing their paws? It’s important to identify and address the underlying cause of this behavior, as it can be a sign of infection or other medical issues.

Fortunately, there are several treatments available that may help stop your pup from persistently chewing their paws, such as medications, applying apple cider vinegar to affected areas, behavior training, tracking methods for monitoring progress over time, and regular hygiene upkeep.


If your pup still won’t stop chewing their paws, medications may be necessary. Your vet can provide a range of medication options, from anti-inflammatory drugs to antibiotics, that could bring relief and reduce paw irritation.

Veterinary guidance is important to ensure the right treatment for maximum effectiveness and to prevent any infections or yeast infection flare-ups. If symptoms are severe, it’s best to consult with a veterinary dermatologist, as they specialize in skin issues like this one.

Medications should not be used without proper veterinary advice due to side effects on long-term use and possible interactions with other treatments your pet might need later on down the line.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Try using apple cider vinegar to soothe your pet’s irritated skin and reduce paw chewing. Benefits include anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties that can address infection or allergies.

Dilute ACV with equal parts of water before applying it directly to affected areas to prevent further irritation from the acidity. This natural remedy is also useful for treating dry skin as its acidic content can help balance pH levels and restore moisture in the paws while providing relief from itchiness caused by behavioral problems or environmental factors such as fleas or mites.

Behavior Training and Tracking

Monitoring your pup’s behavior and tracking the duration of their paw-chewing sessions can help you identify potential triggers or medical issues. This can be beneficial for reducing anxiety-based behaviors like chewing on paws.

Training techniques, such as behavior modification, monitoring results, tracking progress, and addressing training challenges, can also be helpful.

To prevent paw injuries or infections, it is important to create a safe environment for your pup. This includes providing supervised time outdoors and plenty of chew toys. Regularly checking for any objects stuck in their fur or paws is also important.

Additionally, ensuring that your pup’s nails are trimmed correctly and that no hair is caught between their toes can help prevent any issues.

Hygiene Up-keep

To keep your pup’s paws healthy, regular upkeep of hygiene is essential – especially if it feels like a never-ending battle against relentless paw chewing. Paw moisturizing and grooming help prevent infections, irritation, and other issues that arise from excessive licking or biting.

Use a damp cloth to wipe away dirt buildup between toes and pads; this will also get rid of any bacteria or allergens that may be causing discomfort. Make sure to trim overgrown nails with clippers specifically designed for dogs so as not to cause them pain when walking on hard surfaces such as pavement.

Regularly check their feet for cuts or injuries which can become worse if left untreated due to the harsh environment they live in outside your home environment (especially during cold weather periods).

Reasons Why Dogs Chew Their Feet

Reasons Why Dogs Chew Their Feet
Do you have a pup who is incessantly chewing on their feet? This behavior can be caused by a variety of factors, from anxiety to bacterial infection. Other reasons for foot-chewing include boredom, burnt paw pads in the summer, and claw problems.

It’s important to identify why your pup is engaging in this activity so that it can be addressed appropriately.


If your pup seems to be chewing their paws more often than usual, it could be a sign of anxiety. Signs include excessive panting, trembling, pacing, or hiding. Paw-chewing can also indicate pain, boredom, or injuries from parasites and infections.

To manage pet anxiety, look into remedies such as behavioral training and providing chew toys for distraction, plus medications for severe cases.

Bacterial Infection

Keep an eye out for signs of bacterial infection, as persistent licking can lead to redness and inflammation. Treating canine dermatitis with vet-prescribed medications is a must; additionally, paw hygiene and avoiding environmental allergens are necessary for overall pet skin health.

Bacterial infections such as hyperkeratosis or burnt paw pads could also be causes of relentless licking.


Could it be that your pup is just bored and seeking out something to do? Dog enrichment activities can help relieve boredom, lessen anxiety, and provide mental stimulation. Consider options such as chew toys, puzzle games, or interactive playtime for paw chewing prevention.

To keep dogs engaged, try using pet calming products like aromatherapy diffusers or natural supplements. Don’t forget about canine exercise; daily walks are essential for claw problems and other physical health issues caused by inactivity.

Burnt Paw Pads in Summer

With the summer heat, your pup’s paw pads can easily get burnt if unprotected. Protect their feet! Use sunscreen for dogs, booties, avoid hot pavement and sidewalks – all simple steps in preventing painful burns.

Claw Problems

You’d be wise to check your pup’s claws for any issues, as nail injuries, overgrown nails, or objects stuck in paws can all lead to excessive paw chewing.

Take steps towards preventative care such as regularly trimming their nails and inspecting them for signs of infection or foreign objects. Additionally, make sure that the protective layer on their paw pads isn’t cracked by applying moisturizer when needed.

Keep an eye out for potential triggers that may prompt excessive paw licking so you can take action quickly if necessary!

When to Be Concerned About Your Dog Chewing Their Paws

When to Be Concerned About Your Dog Chewing Their Paws
If your pup is persistently licking or chewing their paws, it’s important to take note and seek veterinary care. Your dog could be displaying signs of anxiety or boredom. Recognizing these signals can help you determine if they need more attention from you to feel secure and content in their environment.

Paw pad burns should also be taken seriously as this may indicate that the ground is too hot for them to walk on or that a foreign object has become lodged in between their pads causing irritation. Bacterial infections, including ringworm, can cause excessive itching, which will encourage your canine companion to lick away at the affected area until treated with appropriate medication by a veterinarian.

Claw care essentials, such as filing down overgrown nails, are especially important for older dogs who have trouble grooming themselves due to the inability caused by joint pain associated with arthritis.

Not addressing this issue could lead to an infection developing within days of neglecting proper nail trimming routine recommended by professionals specializing in animal health behavior sciences.

To ensure optimal paw health, regular check-ups should be scheduled along with daily visual inspections so potential issues don’t go unnoticed during early stages when treatment options are most effective and successful long-term outcomes remain readily attainable.

What to Do About Your Dog Chewing Their Paws

What to Do About Your Dog Chewing Their Paws
If your dog is constantly chewing their paws, it may be a sign of underlying issues. To address this problem, you should consider switching to food specifically for allergies, avoid or wash after contact with other allergens, care for your dog’s coat to prevent itching, buy toys to reduce anxiety and boredom, and give them something else chewable as an alternative.

Switch to Food for Allergies

Switching to an allergen-specific food can help reduce paw licking and chewing symptoms in your pup. One pet owner saw significant improvement after switching to a hypoallergenic diet designed for skin allergies.

Avoid or Wash After Contact With Other Allergens

To help protect against allergies, make sure to avoid contact with known allergens or thoroughly wash your hands after coming into contact. Allergen avoidance, paw cleaning, and paw protection are key to reducing the risk of allergic reactions.

Have your pet undergo allergy testing to identify potential irritants; if necessary, use moisturizing techniques on their paws as well.

Care for Your Dog’s Coat to Prevent Itching

Regularly grooming your furry friend’s coat can help keep them itch-free and prevent excessive paw chewing. Brush their fur to remove dead hair, mats, dirt, and debris from the undercoat. Use a shampoo designed for dogs as they’re formulated specifically for canine skin health.

Deep conditioner treatments will also help keep their coat healthy while providing additional moisture when needed.

Regular trimming of long coats helps reduce shedding and matting, keeping the skin underneath clean and less prone to irritation or infection. This can lead to itching or discomfort, which may cause unnecessary paw licking or chewing behavior.

Buy Toys to Reduce Anxiety and Boredom

Providing your pup with plenty of stimulating and enjoyable toys can help reduce anxiety associated with excessive paw chewing. Choose boredom busters that provide mental stimulation, such as puzzle games or interactive chew toys.

Not only do these types of activities offer relief from anxious behaviors, but they also create a stronger bond between you two.

With adequate exercise and sufficient mental stimulation through quality playtime sessions, your pupper will thank you in no time!

Give Them Something Else to Chew

Distract your furry friend by giving them an array of different chew toys to keep their busy paws occupied. Provide paw-safe options such as rubber or rope toys, empty cardboard tubes, hard plastic bones, and rawhide chews.

Training methods can help redirect inappropriate chewing behaviors towards healthy alternatives.

  • Paw-safe Toys (rubber/rope)
  • Empty Cardboard Tubes
  • Hard Plastic Bones/Rawhide Chews


It’s estimated that up to 20% of dogs suffer from some form of canine anxiety, which can be a leading cause of paw chewing. While occasional paw licking and chewing is normal, persistent paw chewing can indicate underlying issues such as allergies, blisters, cysts, insect bites, dandruff, and hotspots.

To stop your dog from chewing their paws, there are several options you can try. Medications, apple cider vinegar, behavior training and tracking, and hygiene upkeep can all be beneficial.

  • Switch to food for allergies and avoid other allergens.
  • Care for their coat to prevent dandruff and other skin issues.
  • Give them toys to reduce boredom and anxiety.
  • Provide them with something else to chew on.

By understanding the root cause of why your dog is chewing their paws, you can find solutions to help your furry friend.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.