Your veterinarian will address any health issues that have led to chewing or licking behaviors, such as parasite control, allergy treatment and medication for pain relief or anxiety relief.
Allergies – these allergies can arise from food, yard chemicals or certain varieties of grass and are often itchy. Your vet may suggest allergen avoidance to reduce itching and other symptoms associated with allergies.
Many dogs that lick or chew their paws repeatedly do it to self-soothe. This behavior could be the result of anxiety or boredom issues, which may be remedied with medications, diet modification, supplements or pheromone sprays.
Dogs irritated by yard chemicals, certain varieties of grass or pavement abrasions may chew at their paws to attempt to relieve pain. This may lead to itchy, dry skin that needs soothing with topical ointment or saline solution.
Some dogs may develop cysts on their feet that cause itching and irritation, as well as potentially contain foreign objects embedded inside. Your veterinarian may need to drain or prescribe oral antibiotics in order to address an infection, drain the cyst as necessary and prescribe antibiotics in order to treat the situation.
Dogs that chew their paws compulsively may become trapped in an endless cycle that’s difficult to break without some form of stimulation and distraction. A vet might suggest enrolling your pup in obedience classes or providing him with toys to distract his focus away from its feet.
Your veterinarian will address grooming issues causing your dog to chew its paws, including trimming nails, removing mats and making sure the pads are free from wounds or embedded objects. They may also prescribe calming supplements and behavior modification techniques designed to alleviate anxiety or stress in your pup.
If allergies are the source of the problem, your vet can offer suggestions such as altering their diet or suggesting testing and treatment to address any symptoms. They’ll also be on hand to treat any infections or cysts between paw pads or on skin surfaces which arise as a result.
Infections may develop if your dog excessively licks or chews its paw pads, particularly after trauma has damaged them – such as cuts or puncture wounds – leading to traumatised paw pads where microorganisms enter through cuts or puncture wounds and cause pain and infection.
Moisture-induced infections in dogs include both bacterial and yeast infections. While bacterial infections typically result in scab-like lesions and redness around paw pads, yeast infections cause itchy, scaly skin that’s itchy, smells foul and causes further discomfort to your pup.
Your vet can perform several basic tests to diagnose infections in your pet. They’ll scrape off some skin of a paw pad, take an impression with tape, and analyze it under a microscope in order to identify which microorganisms may be present and provide antibiotic treatment – medicated shampoos or wipes may help restore balance with regard to bacteria on the surface of the skin and alleviate infections; Chamomile can soothe irritated skin while providing anti-inflammatory benefits.
Regular licking and chewing of the paw pads is normal; however, persistent biting could indicate an underlying concern such as pododermatitis, allergies, pain or an injury.
Treatment will vary depending on the source of your dog’s chewing issue. If grooming issues, like torn nails or mats are to blame, your vet can address that by properly trimming nails, clearing away tangles and providing proper paw hygiene; they may also suggest medications to relieve itching or anxiety.
Paw pad or nail bed infections are another frequent reason for constant foot-licking, with bacteria and yeast infections finding shelter between pads to thrive and cause inflammation, itching and discomfort. Such infections should be treated using antibiotics or other medication prescribed by your veterinarian; in more serious cases surgery may be required; but beware that dogs often rip off bandages that come off on their own and cause intestinal obstruction if improperly applied so select a surgeon with experience and good credentials when considering surgery as the last resort.