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How to Stop Your Dog From Chewing Their Paws

Written by: Helena Lawrence

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Time to read 5 min

Do you often find your dog chewing on their paws and you're left wondering how to stop your dog from chewing their paws? While it may seem like a harmless habit, persistent paw chewing can be a sign of underlying issues that need attention. This comprehensive guide will help you understand why your dog is chewing their paws and offer practical solutions to address the behaviour. Our goal is to ensure your dog stays healthy, happy, and free from discomfort.

How do I get my dog to stop chewing their paws?

Paw chewing is a common behaviour among dogs, but when it becomes excessive, it can lead to further health complications. Understanding the root causes and knowing how to intervene effectively can make a significant difference in your dog's well-being. 


In this blog post, we'll explore the reasons behind paw chewing, provide actionable tips to help your dog stop, and discuss various treatments that can alleviate their discomfort.

Why Do Dogs Chew Their Paws?

1. Allergies

One of the main reasons dogs chew their paws is due to allergies. These can be environmental, such as pollen or dust mites, or food-related. When a dog has an allergic reaction, their paws can become itchy and inflamed, leading them to chew for relief.

2. Boredom and Anxiety

Just like humans, dogs can experience boredom and anxiety. Chewing their paws can be a coping mechanism to deal with these feelings. This behaviour is particularly common in dogs that are left alone for long periods or those lacking mental stimulation.

3. Parasites

Fleas, ticks, and mites can cause severe itching and discomfort, prompting your dog to chew their paws. If you notice excessive scratching and biting, it's essential to check for parasites and consult your vet for appropriate treatment.

4. Injury

Sometimes dogs lick or chew at their paws when they are in pain or have an injured paw. If you see them limping or they're showing other signs of being in pain and you think it might be their paw it's always a good idea to check their paw to see if they have a wound or something stuck between their pads, like a grass seed which will need treatment. There could also be something not visible wrong, such as arthritis, so it's best to speak to your vet to get your dog's paw checked and treated if needed.

How to Help Your Dog Stop Chewing Their Paws

Now that we've identified some common causes, let's look at how you can help your dog stop this behaviour.

1. Identify and Treat Allergies

If allergies are the culprit, identifying the specific allergen is crucial. Your vet can perform tests to determine the cause and recommend suitable treatments. This may include dietary changes, hypoallergenic shampoos, or medications to manage symptoms.

2. Provide Mental Stimulation

Keeping your dog mentally stimulated can reduce boredom and anxiety-related paw chewing. Interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and regular playtime can keep your dog's mind engaged and reduce their urge to chew.

3. Regular Grooming and Parasite Control

Regular grooming and parasite control are essential in preventing paw chewing due to parasites. Use vet-approved flea and tick treatments, and keep your dog's bedding and environment clean. Regularly checking and grooming your dog can also help you spot any issues early.

Effective Treatments for Paw Chewing

Addressing the root cause is vital, but additional treatments can provide immediate relief and prevent further damage.

1. Topical Treatments

Applying topical treatments can soothe irritated skin and reduce itching. Look for products containing natural ingredients like aloe vera or chamomile, which are gentle yet effective.

2. Anti-Anxiety Remedies

For dogs with anxiety-related paw chewing, anti-anxiety remedies can be beneficial. These may include calming supplements, pheromone diffusers, or even prescription medications in severe cases. Always consult your vet before starting any new treatment.

3. Behavioural Training

Behavioural training can be highly effective in stopping paw chewing. Positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewarding your dog when they refrain from chewing, can help change their behaviour over time. Consistency is key, so ensure all family members are on board with the training plan.

Nutritional Support for Healthy Paws

A well-balanced diet plays a crucial role in your dog's overall health, including the condition of their paws.

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce itching and inflammation in dogs with allergies. Consider adding fish oil supplements to your dog's diet after consulting your vet.

2. High-Quality Dog Food

Feeding your dog high-quality, hypoallergenic dog food can prevent food-related allergies and provide all the necessary nutrients for healthy skin and coat. Opt for brands that use natural, traceable ingredients without fillers or artificial additives.

3. Hydration

Proper hydration is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times to prevent dryness and irritation that can lead to paw chewing.

4. Probiotics

If your dog is chewing their paws due to allergies or due to excess yeast then probiotics are a great supplement to add to your dog's diet. Soil-based probiotics (ones that contain Bacillus strains) are especially good at helping with yeasty paws and re-balancing your dog's gut microbiome as they are more able to cope with your dog's digestive system than other probiotic strains.

Creating a Healthy Environment

A clean and comfortable environment can significantly reduce the likelihood of paw chewing.

1. Clean Bedding

Regularly washing your dog's bedding can help eliminate allergens and parasites that may cause itching. Use pet-safe detergents and ensure the bedding is thoroughly dried before use.

2. Indoor Air Quality

Improving indoor air quality can reduce environmental allergens. Use air purifiers, keep windows closed during high pollen seasons, and vacuum regularly to minimize dust and other irritants.

3. Safe Outdoor Spaces

Ensure your dog's outdoor play areas are free from harmful chemicals and parasites. Regularly mow the lawn, remove debris, and avoid using harsh pesticides that can irritate your dog's paws.

When to Consult Your Vet

While many cases of paw chewing can be managed at home, some situations require professional assistance.

1. Persistent Chewing

If your dog continues to chew their paws despite your efforts, it's essential to consult your vet. Persistent chewing can lead to infections and other complications that need medical intervention.

2. Signs of Infection

Look for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, pus, or an unpleasant odour. Infected paws require prompt veterinary care to prevent further complications.

3. Behavioural Issues

If your dog's paw chewing is due to severe anxiety or behavioural issues, a professional dog behaviourist can help. They can provide tailored strategies and support to address the root cause of the behaviour.

Conclusion

Understanding and addressing your dog's paw chewing can significantly improve their quality of life. By identifying the underlying causes, providing appropriate treatments, and creating a healthy environment, you can help your furry friend stay happy and comfortable.


Remember, your vet is your best resource for any concerns about your dog's health. Don't hesitate to seek professional advice if needed.


If you're looking for more tips and expert advice on dog care, consider booking a call with one of our specialists. We're here to help you and your best friend enjoy a rich, healthy life together!


Thank you for reading, and happy paw-chewing-free days ahead!