why does my dog chew her feet all the time
Are you wondering why your dog is chewing his paws? YouБre not alone! There are a variety of reasons why dogs might chew their paws. LetБs look at the most common reasons, as well as the signs that might let you know itБs time to take your pup to the vet. Allergies Dogs, like people, have allergies, and allergies tend to be the number one cause of paw chewing. Ingredients in their food, environmental factors like pollen and mold, and seasonal changes can trigger a dogБs allergies. Your dog might also develop dermatitis, a skin condition, if she comes into contact with chemicals from soap, pesticides, or other items with harsh chemicals. Dry skin Does the winter weather dry out your skin? Or maybe you live in a dry climate without much humidity. Either way, weather can also cause your dogБs skin to dry out. He also might not be getting enough fatty acids, which aid in keeping his skin protected and moisturized. If he has dry skin, he might try to soothe it by licking, scratching, or chewing. Anxiety or Depression When dogs are anxious or depressed, they tend to chew their paws or lick and scratch compulsively.
Dogs may react that way due to common separation anxiety, or anxiety caused by lack of proper exercise. Dog who are ill, generally sad, or depressed will often lick their own paws obsessively. Pain If your dog is chewing his paws, you might want to check them to see if heБs hurt or injured. Since a dogБs paws are constantly in contact with the ground and floor, he can easily get a thorn, small rock, sticker, glass shard, burr, or splinter stuck in his foot. He also might have cut his foot when he was galavanting around outside. If your dog is injured, he will chew his paws to relieve the pain or remove the foreign object. Your dog might also be suffering from an orthopedic issue like arthritis or hip dysplasia, and his response is to chew or lick the area that hurts. Parasites Parasites like ticks, fleas, and mites are another big cause of paw chewing in dogs, and your dogБs cure for a parasite infection is to chew it away. While you can usually see ticks, mites are microscopic, and fleas tend to go unnoticed until there are a bunch of them.
So just because you canБt see the pesky culprits doesnБt mean your dog isnБt being attacked by a parasite. Check with your vet to determine if your dogБs chewing is being caused by a parasite if you canБt determine another cause. Remember, moderate paw chewing may be annoying, but itБs pretty normal. You should bring your dog to the vet, however, if the chewing gets out of hand or if you notice your dog developing Бhot spotsБ on his skin, bleeding, or loss of fur. A vet might have you change your dogБs diet, use a product to eliminate parasites, address anxiety issues, give your dog medication, or help you come up with another solution.
Is your dog licking at his paws constantly? Notice a, inflamed appearance to the area between the paws? If this is happening, read on! Not only does excessive licking cause discomfort for your dog, but it is often due to an underlying medical problem. Often times, excessive licking of the paws is due to one of three underlying causes: Underlying itchiness is what results in that constant foot licking; the moisture caused by excessive foot licking between the paws can cause a secondary or yeast infection.
This can actually worsen the itchiness and clinical signs. Excessive licking of the paws warrants a trip to your veterinarian, as certain tests need to be performed to rule out. How will my veterinarian figure out why my dog is licking his paws? Diagnosis of an underlying infection requires certain tests from your veterinarian including: Once these tests are done, your veterinarian can determine the best course of appropriate treatment. Treatment typically includes: The use of short-term steroids to decrease the But thatБs not all! Your dog may need additional testing to rule out atopy, allergies, or flea allergy dermatitis. This may include: A food trial with a novel (new) protein for at least 6-12 weeksБ It is absolutely key that you make sure no other rawhides, treats, snakes, bones or other food products (even heartworm ) are given during this time. Ideally, food trials should be started in the winter (depending on the climate that you live in).
Year-round and medication that kills quicklyБ Newer prescription oral products (e. g. , Bravecto, Nexguard) can kill these pesky insects within 12 hours, minimizing the risk of infestation. Skin testing or blood testing Б If treatment by your veterinarian doesnБt completely resolve the signs, referral to a dermatologist may be necessary for advanced testing. When in doubt, talk to your veterinarian about how to best treat this condition. Remember, occasional licking is ok, but if itБs constant and causing secondary redness, swelling or itchiness, get to a veterinarian for treatment. Does my dog need a prescription food trial? Does my dog need year-round flea and tick control? Does my dog have a secondary bacterial or yeast infection? Does my dog need a referral to a veterinary dermatologist? If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
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