Dogs chew their paws for reasons like allergies, anxiety, or dry skin on their legs. The problem is a widespread one, but many people choose to ignore it even if it might be a severe issue. This article is a detailed discussion about how to stop dog chewing paws.
The different reasons for chewing paws have different methods of stopping. For more details about the reasons why a dog might be chewing its paws, you can check out the article Is your dog chewing paws? Here’s what you need to know. There, the report discusses the general information that you need to know about a dog chewing its paws.
Before we get into the solutions to stop dog chewing paws, a dog owner must know the importance of why they must stop this damaging behavior. If paw gnawing goes unchecked and uncontrolled, it may cause permanent and irreversible damage to the dog’s health; infections may spread, and the dog might even lose its ability to walk.
How to stop dog chewing paws in general
There are some general tips which a dog owner can try out to stop their dog from chewing its paws:
Make use of chew toys
Try giving your dog a chew toy so that it can gnaw on the toy instead of its paws. Some dogs chew their paws out of their gnawing habit, therefore, giving it a toy to chew on will be an excellent substitute. Dog chew toys must be durable and should not have loose parts that the dog might swallow.
Make use of dog chewing deterrents
There are several dog deterrent sprays available in the market. Some sprays like Grannicks Taste Deterrent Spray are effective in stopping a dog from chewing its paws or any furniture or shoes. If you do not want mass-produced deterrent sprays, you can make your own using a mix of apple cider vinegar and white vinegar.
Let your dog engage in physical and mental exercises
Taking your dog on walks and giving it puzzles to solve will distract it from chewing its paws. Some active dog breeds get bored quickly and chew on things to keep themselves occupied. If a dog is exhausted, it will need not chew on its paws.
Make use of positive corrective measures
Dog owners should never punish their dog with the use of violence or noise because they have been chewing their paws. If you punish it, and after it stops chewing only for that moment, the dog will never learn not to chew. Use positive corrective measures to control the damaging behavior.
How to stop dog chewing paws for specific reasons
If the general tips given above do not help to stop dog chewing paws, you might need a vet or expert to check your dog to find out why it is still behaving that way. The answers to your question, “How to stop my dog from chewing his paws?” are as follows:
Stop dog chewing paws because of allergies
Dogs might get allergies to various things like food, fleas, cleaning products, and environmental allergens. Allergic reactions may push a dog to chew on its paws or lick them to get relief from the discomfort it causes.
To get rid of this problem, you will have to find out the cause of your dog’s allergies. If it is from the food, a dog owner will have to remove that particular food item from their diet entirely. Getting rid of fleas and environmental allergens will be the only solution to stop your dog from getting this allergy. If cleaning products are the culprit of your dog’s reactions, try switching products.
Dog chewing paws because of dry skin
Sometimes, dry skin is the reason why a dog is chewing or licking its paws. To solve this problem, a dog owner can apply moisturizing products like Burt’s Bees Dog Lotion or Musher’s Secret on its paws. You can even use honey on its paws. Haney has many nutritious and moisturizing properties.
If your dog needs regular baths for whatever reason, make sure that the shampoo you use is for dry skin. Daily washing removes the natural oils of the skin and causes dry skin problems. Giving your dog a nutritious diet with enough fatty acids is another remedy for dry skin, which will stop dog chewing paws.
Separation anxiety and paw chewing behavior
Separation anxiety is when a dog shows signs of distress after the dog owner leaves it alone regardless of whether you leave it for a long time or a short period. One of the symptoms of a dog with separation anxiety is chewing on paws.
To reduce the intensity of separation anxiety, a dog owner can try steps like leaving the dog for a short time and then gradually leave it for more extended periods. This method will calm the dog and help it to learn that separation and being alone is not a bad thing.
Check for parasites on the paws
Ticks, fleas, and mites are common external parasites that cause a lot of discomfort for the dog. To get rid of the pests, a dog might chew at them. The bite of fleas and ticks leave an itch that dogs relieve by gnawing on them.
Since ticks and fleas are visible to the naked eye, a dog owner should check the dog’s paws for such parasites and remove them accordingly. You can use flea powders or tick shampoos to get rid of these pests. Vinegar is a useful and non-toxic food item that helps in getting rid of ticks and fleas.
Treatment for dog chewing paws out of habit and boredom
If you do not teach your dog not to chew its paws during its earlier years, it might continue with this habit even after growing into an adult dog. The only way to stop dog chewing paws is to discipline it using dog chew deterrents and other such products.