Understanding Paw Licking and Chewing in Dogs: Causes and Solutions

Understanding Paw Licking and Chewing in Dogs: Causes and Solutions

Concerns and Considerations

Licking and chewing are common behaviours in dogs, but when directed excessively towards their paws, it can raise concerns among pet owners. While occasional paw licking is normal grooming behaviour, persistent or escalating actions may signal underlying issues that need attention. Read our short article on what the different types of paw licking behaviour are & what they could indicate. 

Common Causes of Paw Licking and Chewing

Dermatitis and Skin Issues

Dogs can experience various skin problems, leading to discomfort and prompting them to lick and chew their paws. Allergies, blisters, cysts, insect bites, dandruff, and hotspots are among the conditions that may contribute to this behaviour.

Paw Injuries

Paw injuries, such as burns, foreign objects stuck in the paw, overgrown nails, toenail injuries, frostbite, or anti-ice burn, can cause pain and discomfort, driving dogs to lick and chew as a way to alleviate the discomfort.

Parasites or Infections

Parasites like fleas, bacterial, yeast, or fungal infections, ringworm, ticks, and mites can irritate the skin, leading to itching and prompting dogs to lick and chew their paws to relieve the symptoms.

Pain and Behavioural Issues

Joint soreness, arthritis, anxiety, boredom, or stress can cause dogs to lick and chew their paws as a response to discomfort or emotional distress, highlighting the importance of addressing underlying issues.

Addressing Paw Licking and Chewing

Medications and Treatment

Depending on the underlying cause, veterinarians may prescribe medications such as steroids or antifungal sprays to alleviate symptoms. Behavioural training, hygiene upkeep, and weekly use of natural remedies such as the 30ml Multipurpose Balm will help with irritations caused by mites, defective skin barrier & seasonal  allergies & also help keep possible infections at bay through skin microbiome balance (contains a probiotic to feed good bacteria) & gentle antimicrobial effects. The balm also has carefully selected pet safe essential oils to help calm anxious pets. 

Preventive Measures and Hygiene

Maintaining good hygiene and using products like our 7ml nose, paw balm & wrinkle balm, and non-drying shampoos can help prevent paw-related issues. Regular monitoring for new, worsening or persistent symptoms is key.

Professional Assistance

If paw licking and chewing persist or worsen, consulting a veterinary dermatologist can provide specialised care and management tailored to your dog's needs, ensuring their overall health and well-being.