It is typically normal behavior for dogs to chew on their paws. They might bite their paws to clean them, scratch an itch, remove debris, or sometimes just because they are bored.
Biting and chewing is typical behavior in puppies but should lessen as they grow older. However, some dogs might chew their paws for different reasons.
There is a slight chance your dog might chew their paws because they have an infection, injury, internal pain, anxiety, or allergies.
Why Does My Dog Keep Chewing On His Paws?
Your dog most likely chews on his paws because he is grooming himself, itching, or just for fun.
If you notice your dog is excessively licking or chewing on his paws, especially in a specific area, there might be a more significant issue. A principal reason dogs chew their paws is due to allergies.
If it is allergies causing the chewing, you might also notice redness around your pup’s eyes and nose. To relieve your dog’s allergies, your pup’s vet might recommend a topical ointment, oral antibiotics, paw soaks, or anti-allergy injections to help manage the symptoms.
Another common reason your dog might chew his paws is that he has an infection. If your pup has a scratch on his paw, it is always possible to turn into yeast or bacterial infection.
If he does have an infection on his paw, your vet will most likely prescribe an oral medication or an antibiotic ointment to help clear it up.
There are other common reasons your dog might chew their paws.
Although rare, your dog might be chewing his paws due to a strained tendon or muscle in his foot or ankle. He could also have fractured one of the bones in his foot, or he could be developing arthritis.
If you believe your dog might be suffering from internal pain, take him to the vet as soon as possible. Your dog might show internal pain by excessive chewing, limping, or whimpering.
Like humans, dogs can also suffer from anxiety. Chewing paws might be a compulsive behavioral issue and can indicate that your pup might suffer from chronic anxiety.
Some other symptoms of anxiety in dogs include whining, agitation when left alone, pacing, and they might just seem upset overall. Pay attention to when the chewing occurs most frequently. Is it before or after you’ve gone somewhere for an extended period?
If he is experiencing separation anxiety or generalized anxiety, your vet can prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to help.
Another common cause of paw chewing is external parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites. Typically, you can see mites clearly on your dog. However, ticks and fleas are so small that they might go unnoticed until there are a lot of them.
Just because you can’t see the parasites does not mean they aren’t there. Have your dog’s vet look at your pup to determine if he has parasites so the vet can recommend a product to help them go away.
If you wonder, “Why does my dog keep chewing on his paws?” There are many possible reasons for this behavior. Your dog might be anxious, have fleas, be in pain, have an infection, have allergies, or might just be itchy.
If you notice excessive chewing, especially in one area, it is recommended to contact your dog’s vet as soon as possible to determine why his paw is chewing.