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Why Is My Dog Biting His Paws?

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Dogs have got to have the best-kept paws of any animal! After all, they are forever biting at them. My chihuahua, Angel, is an expert at paw biting. I find her nibbling on her paws all during the day. I have tried “replacement therapy” — giving her toys and bones to bite on, but she always goes back to her paws.
 
Do any of you witness paw-biting in your pets? Do you ever ask yourself, “Why is my dog biting his paws”?
 
This is generally a common behavior among canines. However, if you suspect that your dog may have a medical condition that is leading to this behavior, have him checked by your veterinarian. He can offer treatment options based on his findings.
 
Listed below are three reasons why your pet might bite his paws:
 
  • Allergies: Paw biting is often the result of an allergic reaction to certain foods or soaps. Environmental factors such as pollen can also trigger allergies in dogs.
  • Dry skin: Just as in humans, dogs can develop discomforts from dry skin. Winter weather or a fatty acid deficiency often makes the skin dry out. Try a healing conditioner such as Epi-Soothe, which is formulated to help relieve dry, itchy, sensitive skin.
  • Pain: A thorn or small stone in your dog’s paw can give him the urge to bite his paws. Most of us know how irritating (and painful) a little thorn can become.
Your veterinarian can also check for infections, inflammation or growths on your pet’s paws. Treatment options for all of these problems are available and can be explained by your vet.
 
With any luck, you’ll determine that this is strictly a behavioral issue in your dog rather than a medical issue.
 
How to Keep a Dog From Biting at His Paws
 
If your dog is experiencing behavioral issues, such as canine anxiety or obsessive behavior, you might try distraction. Playing a game with him or finding other ways to occupy him sometimes helps. In serious cases, you might consider taking your pet to a specialist in veterinary behavior.
 
Good luck in your quest to find out “Why is my dog biting his paws?” As for Angel, I think I have my answer: Boredom! Just as I fidget with my nails when I am bored, I think Angel has nothing better to do at the time.

View the original article here: http://petsadviser.com/behaviors/why-is-my-dog-biting-his-paws/

Note: This article has not been reviewed by a WebVet veterinarian.
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