Is It Normal?
Lots of owners observe this typical habits in their dogs and question if they should be worried. In many cases, dogs will carefully however insistently lick one or both paws, however other canines will go so far regarding chew on their toes, which can be troubling for any pet owner.
Dog Keeps Licking Paw: Do I Need to Worry?
The brief response is yes. You need to always seek advice from your veterinarian about this behavior, specifically if it comes on all of a sudden, persists for long periods of time, or is accompanied by soreness, swelling, odor, bleeding, limping or other possible signs of pain and infection.
Although a lot of dogs participate in this habits sometimes for unidentified factors, others are prone to lick or chew their feet exceedingly. In these cases, the feet (particularly of light-colored dogs) will typically look stained a pink or rusty color, which is the result of chronic contact with porphyrin pigments discovered in saliva.
Possible Causes for Sudden Licking and Chewing
There are a range of reasons that your dog would all of a sudden lick or chew his feet, consisting of puncture injuries to the toes or paw pads, fractured claws or toes, burns, corns (specifically common in Greyhounds), and foreign bodies that might be lodged in between the toes, such as ticks, yard awns and burrs.
Dogs will likewise engage in this behavior due to other, more severe causes, such as interdigital cysts, tumors and other cancers, allergic skin disease and autoimmune diseases of the nail beds or paw pads.
Possible Causes for Chronic Licking and Chewing
Allergic skin disease is the most common reason why dogs lick and chew their feet on a chronic basis. Food allergic reactions, in specific, are normally the perpetrator, and secondary infections from yeast and bacteria can even more intensify the behavior.
Numerous dogs who lick and chew their feet over extended periods of time will also do so because it obviously feels excellent to them. In these cases, vets try to find an underlying nonbehavioral disease that may have initially triggered the obsessive habits. For instance, dogs with lick granulomas– wounds triggered by obsessive licking of the tops of the feet and lower limbs– might have been at first drawn to lick the area since of an injury, simple itch or a response to an irritant.
No matter the cause, if you discover that your dog is licking or chewing his paws, seek veterinary recommendations, especially given that most of these cases are treatable if dealt with by a professional early.