Why Is My Dog Chewing Its Paws?

Have you noticed your dog chewing its paws recently? This behavior can be puzzling and even potentially troubling, if the behavior is persistent. Throughout this article, we’ll discuss common reasons dogs may chew their paws and signs that suggest it’s time to seek help from your veterinarian. If you’re worried about your dog’s paw-chewing habit, Coronado Veterinary Hospital in Coronado, CA, is here to help. Call us at (619) 435-6281 or schedule an appointment to get expert advice and care for your pup.


dog chewing its paws


Understanding Paw Chewing in Dogs

Paw chewing in dogs can be caused by a variety of issues, ranging from minor irritants to more serious health conditions. At Coronado Veterinary Hospital, we’re committed to diagnosing and treating the root causes of your pet’s discomfort. Here’s what you need to know about potential causes and solutions for paw chewing.

Common Irritants and Allergens

Many dogs chew their paws due to reactions to environmental irritants. Common allergens include pollen, dust, and mold, which dogs may encounter outdoors. Inside the home, irritants can also come from everyday household items such as cleaning chemicals or laundry detergents. These substances can cause irritation or allergic reactions, leading to excessive paw chewing as dogs attempt to soothe their discomfort.

Our veterinary team is equipped to identify these allergens. We provide tailored advice on reducing exposure to both indoor and outdoor irritants, particularly during times of the year when allergies are most prevalent.

Pain and Discomfort

Paw chewing can also be a symptom of pain or injury. Dogs might chew their paws due to discomfort from thorns, glass, or other sharp objects lodged in their pads, or it might be a sign of joint issues like arthritis. Our hospital uses advanced diagnostic tools to accurately identify the cause of pain and provide effective treatments to restore your dog’s comfort and mobility.

Skin Conditions

Various skin conditions such as fungal or bacterial infections, or even dry, cracked skin can lead to persistent paw chewing. Our veterinarians in Coronado, CA have extensive experience in dermatology. We offer a range of treatments from topical ointments to oral medications, depending on the specific diagnosis, to alleviate discomfort and heal your dog’s skin.

When to Seek Veterinary Care

When is it necessary to make a visit to Coronado Veterinary Hospital? Watch for these signs, and contact us right away. 

Persistent Chewing and Licking

Frequent and intense paw chewing is a clear indicator that your dog needs veterinary attention. It can signal an underlying issue that requires professional treatment to prevent escalation to more serious conditions, such as infections.

Changes in Paw Appearance

Noticeable changes such as redness, swelling, a foul odor, or discharge from the paws are signs of infection or other serious conditions. Our clinic is equipped to address these symptoms promptly and effectively.

Behavioral Changes

If paw chewing is accompanied by limping, restlessness, or a decrease in usual activity levels, it may indicate a significant underlying health issue that needs to be treated sooner rather than later.

Preventing Paw Problems

Regular maintenance of your dog’s paws can prevent many issues. We recommend washing your dog’s paws after outdoor activities to remove any irritants. Visit our hospital regularly for checkups and to keep your dog’s nails trimmed and paw pads in good condition, reducing the risk of injuries and infections. For dogs with allergies, we provide comprehensive allergy testing and create customized treatment plans. These may include specific dietary recommendations and medications to control symptoms effectively.

Sometimes, paw chewing can also be related to anxiety or stress. Our team can offer advice on environmental modifications, prescribe anti-anxiety medications, or recommend behavior therapy to help manage your dog’s stress.

Contact Coronado Veterinary Hospital Today

If you notice your dog persistently chewing its paws, get in touch with us as soon as possible. Contact Coronado Veterinary Hospital at (619) 435-6281 or schedule an appointment for an evaluation. We’re here to ensure your dog receives the necessary care to lead a happy, healthy life.

About Us

Coronado Veterinary Hospital, a family-owned practice in Coronado, CA, prioritizes the human-animal bond, offering personalized care for pets in the area for over 70 years. With a broad spectrum of services tailored to meet the unique needs of each pet, our team is dedicated to nurturing pets' health with compassionate, comprehensive care.