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Why Do Dogs Bite Their Paws?

From hot sidewalks to harsh winter weather, the elements are just one factor of life that affect your dog's paw pads. Seeing as most pups don't walk around with shoes or booties on, it's natural that your dog might end up with dry or rough paws every once in a while.

So, it's natural that a dog might bite their paws. Dogs bite their paws for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's because they're in pain, and sometimes it's because they're trying to communicate something to us. 

By understanding why your dog is biting her paws, you can better help her overcome the problem. In this quick guide, we'll explore why dogs bite their paws and what you can do to help them. 

Is It Normal for a Dog to Bite Their Paws?

If you have ever seen your dog biting or chewing on its paw, you may have wondered if this is normal behavior. After all, it's not something that you see every day, but they are animals, right?

Luckily, there's no need to worry. While it may not be the most common behavior, it is perfectly normal for dogs to bite their paws from time to time. There are several reasons why they may do this, including boredom, stress, and even allergies. 

However, if your dog is constantly biting their paws or if they appear to be in pain, it's important to speak with your veterinarian. They will be able to determine the cause of the problem and recommend the best course of treatment.

Why Do Dogs Bite Their Paws: 5 Common Reasons Why

While you might know that it's not uncommon for dogs to bite their paws from time to time, that doesn't make it any easier to see your precious pup in distress. Understanding why they're biting their paws can help you improve their pet health overall, too.

There are several reasons why they might be biting their paws, but here are five of the most common reasons why.

Allergies

Allergies are a somewhat common reason why dogs bite their paws. Allergies in dogs can be caused by different things such as pollen, grass, household cleaners, and even the food they eat. 

When a dog is constantly licking and biting its paws, they are likely trying to soothe an itch that is caused by an allergic reaction. In some cases, the allergy may be seasonal and only flare up at certain times of the year. 

However, if the allergies are year-round or constant, it's important to take your pup to the vet to get some help. Allergies can be extremely difficult to manage on your own and a vet will likely be able to offer some relief for your four-legged friend.

Dry Skin

When the weather outside is dry, it can suck the moisture right out of a dog's skin. This leaves it feeling rough, irritated, and even painful. The natural oils that help to keep skin supple and hydrated are also depleted, making it more prone to cracking and bleeding. 

In response to all this discomfort, dogs will often lick their paw pads excessively or chew on them, which can lead to open sores. If you notice your dog biting its paws more than usual, take a closer look at its skin. 

If it looks dry or cracked, give your vet a call. They can recommend a good balm or cream to help soothe your pup's sore paws. However, sit tight and keep scrolling as well go over some great remedies below.

Dog Parasites

Dog parasites can be extremely irritating, and unfortunately, they often affect a dog's paws. The most common type of dog parasite is fleas. They can cause dogs to bite and scratch their paws incessantly. 

In addition to being uncomfortable, this can also lead to secondary infections. Ticks are another type of parasite that can attach themselves to a dog's paw and cause irritation.

If a dog is allergic to the saliva of a tick, it may start licking its paw excessively, which can again lead to secondary infections. Dog parasites can be extremely pesky, but luckily there are several effective treatments available, so speak with your vet about the best options.

Pain

Pain is one of the most common reasons why dogs bite their paws. Dogs can develop pain in their paws for a variety of reasons, including arthritis, hip dysplasia, and bone cancer. 

In some cases, the pain may be due to an injury or infection. If your dog is biting his paw due to pain, you'll likely notice him licking or chewing at his paw more frequently than usual. He may also whimper or cry when he's handling his paw, and he may be more reluctant to walk or play. 

If your dog is experiencing pain in his paws, it's important to take him to the vet for an examination. Pain can be treated with medication, physical therapy, and other treatments.

Anxiety or Depression

Separation anxiety disorder is common in dogs and usually stems from being left alone for long periods. Typically, you can alleviate this anxiety through dog training or medication.

General anxiety in dogs is another type of anxiety that is characterized by a fear of people and or other animals. One of the best ways to cure this is to engage in exposure therapy with your pup. If they're biting their paws due to general anxiety then this should help.

Depression, while not as common as anxiety, can also cause dogs to bite their paws. Dogs may become depressed due to changes in routine, the loss of a loved one, or even just a lack of attention from their owner. 

Typically, depression is accompanied by other behavior such as peeing in bed, excessive barking, or a loss of interest in their usual activities.

If you think your dog may be biting their paws due to anxiety or depression, it's important to talk to your veterinarian so they can help you develop a plan to address the problem. Your pup deserves to feel its best!

Dog Biting Paws: When to Worry

When your dog starts incessantly licking or biting its paws, it's natural to worry. But in most cases, there's no need to be alarmed. Paw licking and biting are often signs that your dog is experiencing some discomfort or irritation. 

When this behavior becomes excessive, however, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition. If your dog is licking or biting its paws more than usual, it's important to pay attention to other signs and symptoms. 

Excessive paw licking or biting can sometimes be accompanied by swelling, redness, or bald spots. If you notice any of these additional symptoms, it's best to consult with your veterinarian. Otherwise, try some of the remedies below first.

How to Stop a Dog From Biting Their Paws

Dogs usually bite their paws because of an itch, allergies, or infection. If your dog is biting their paws, the first thing you should do is take them to the vet to rule out any medical issues. 

If the vet gives you the all-clear, there are a few things you can do to stop your dog from biting its paws. 

One way is to try and distract them when they start to bite. This can be done by giving them a toy to chew on or playing fetch with them. Take them outside and teach them new tricks or play with a new toy.

You can also try and put a bitter-tasting spray on their paw, which will deter them from biting. Finally, make sure that their nails are trimmed and that they are getting enough exercise.

How to Cure Itchy Paws

If your dog is scratching his paws more than usual, he likely has an itch that needs to be scratched. There are a few things you can do to help soothe your pup's itchy paws and skin conditions. 

Benadryl

Benadryl is a common antihistamine that can be used to relieve itchiness in both humans and animals. In dogs, Benadryl is often used to relieve the itchiness caused by allergies or insect bites. 

The main active ingredient in Benadryl is diphenhydramine, which works by blocking the histamine receptors in the body. Benadryl is available over the counter in many countries, making it a convenient option for dog owners.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to relieve itching and inflammation. Simply mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, and then soak your dog's paws for 5-10 minutes. 

You can do this once or twice a day, as needed. If your dog's paws are particularly sensitive, you can dilute the apple cider vinegar further, or use it in conjunction with another paw-soothing remedy like coconut oil.

Paw Balms

They work by providing a barrier between your dog's skin and the irritants in their environment. In addition, paw balms contain ingredients that soothe and protect the skin. 

Some of the best paw balms on the market also contain anti-inflammatory ingredients that help to reduce swelling and redness. They are also easy to use and are available in both spray and tube form.

Omega-3 Supplements

If your dog is constantly licking and scratching its paws, it could be a sign that they are lacking in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are essential for maintaining healthy skin and coat, and they can also help to reduce inflammation. 

Fortunately, Omega-3 supplements are readily available, and they are relatively easy to give to your dog. Simply add the recommended amount of supplement to your dog's food according to the package directions. 

Most dogs won't even notice the difference, but you should start to see a reduction in itching and scratching within a few weeks.

Diet Change

Many commercial dog foods contain ingredients that can trigger allergies, such as corn, wheat, soy, and chicken. switching to a hypoallergenic diet is often the best way to cure itchy paws. 

There are many great hypoallergenic dog foods on the market that use alternative ingredients, such as potato or lamb. You may also want to try a raw food diet, which is free from all potential allergens.

How to Calm an Anxious Biter

If you have an anxious biter on your hands, there are a few things you can do to help calm them down. 

First, make sure that you're providing plenty of opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation. A bored dog is more likely to resort to biting out of frustration. 

It's also helpful to provide plenty of positive reinforcement for good behavior. This will help your dog associate biting with negative consequences and make them less likely to do it. 

Finally, avoid punishment or physical reprisals when your dog does bite. This will only make them more anxious and increase the likelihood of future biting incidents.

When to Take Your Dog to the Vet

As a dog owner, it's important to know when to take your furry friend to the vet. If you wait until your dog is sick or injured, it may be too late. By then, your dog may be in pain and will need more intensive (and expensive) treatment. 

If your dog is limping or otherwise seems to be in pain, take them to the vet right away to rule out any serious injuries. 

If they're just licking and biting their paws incessantly, they're likely experiencing allergies or another type of irritation. In this case, you can try bathing them more frequently or using a cleaner that's specifically designed for dogs with sensitive skin.

Is the problem persisting? It's likely time to take them to the vet for a check-up. They may need medication to help ease the discomfort.

Treat Your Dog to Gotta Go Grass

So, why do dogs bite their paws? Typically, it's due to something as natural as needing to scratch an itch. However, in some cases, dogs have itchy paws due to an allergic reaction to the natural elements.

Gotta Go Grass is the perfect solution for pet owners who want to keep their yards looking great while also ensuring their precious pup's paws are protected from the natural elements. Our farm-fresh grass offers high levels of absorption and a natural feel your pup will love.

Treat your dog to Gotta Go Grass today! Click here to learn how it works. 

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