A dog about to bite its foot

Why Do Dogs Chew On Their Feet?


We love our furry companions, and it's concerning when they start exhibiting unusual behaviour like biting their own paws. In this article, we'll delve into the various reasons why your dog might be biting its foot and how you can help alleviate this issue. Understanding the underlying causes is crucial for ensuring your dog's well-being and happiness.

A dog biting his paw

What Causes This Behaviour?

Before we delve into the reasons behind your dog's foot-biting habit, it's essential to know that there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. Several factors could contribute to this behaviour, and identifying the specific cause for your dog is crucial.

Dental Issues

Just like humans, dogs can experience a range of dental problems that may prompt them to chew their paws in an attempt to alleviate discomfort. Dental pain or irritation can manifest in various ways, from inflamed gums to damaged teeth.

To address this potential issue, it's crucial for pet owners to remain vigilant. Keep an eye out for signs such as bad breath, reluctance to eat hard foods, or bleeding gums. If you suspect that dental problems are behind your dog's paw-chewing behaviour, don't hesitate to consult your veterinarian. They can perform a comprehensive dental examination and recommend suitable treatments or preventive measures to ensure your dog's oral health.


Allergies are a prevalent cause of paw-biting in dogs, and they can result from various allergens, including certain foods, pollen, or environmental factors. Allergic reactions typically lead to persistent itching and discomfort in the paws, compelling dogs to chew or lick them excessively.

To address this concern, it's essential to work closely with your veterinarian. They can conduct allergy tests to identify the specific allergen triggering your dog's reactions. Once identified, your vet can suggest appropriate treatments, which may include dietary changes, allergen avoidance strategies, or prescription medications. Taking these steps can significantly improve your dog's comfort and overall quality of life.


External parasites like fleas and ticks can easily infest your dog's paws, causing irritation and discomfort. These tiny invaders are not only a nuisance but can also lead to allergic reactions in some dogs. To safeguard your furry friend from parasites, establish a routine for regular checks. Look for signs such as excessive scratching or the presence of tiny insects on your dog's paws. Prevention is key, so consult with your veterinarian to develop a comprehensive parasite control plan. This may involve the use of topical treatments, oral medications, or collars to keep fleas and ticks at bay. By maintaining a proactive approach to parasite prevention, you can help ensure your dog's paw health and overall well-being.

Skin Infections

Skin infections, including fungal and bacterial infections, can lead to itching and discomfort in the paws. If you notice redness, swelling, or an unusual odour coming from your dog's paws, consult your veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Anxiety and Stress

Dogs may bite their paws as a way to cope with anxiety or stress. Changes in their environment, separation anxiety, or even boredom can trigger this behaviour. Identifying the underlying cause of stress and addressing it through training, exercise, or behavioural therapy can help alleviate paw-biting.

Behavioural Issues

Sometimes, dogs develop a compulsive habit of paw-biting, akin to humans biting their nails. This behaviour can stem from various factors, including anxiety, stress, or even boredom. It's essential to pay attention to when and why your dog engages in this behaviour. Consulting with a professional dog trainer or behaviourist is highly recommended. These experts can perform a thorough assessment to identify the root cause of the compulsive paw-biting and design a tailored plan to modify this behaviour. Through positive reinforcement techniques and specialised training, they can help your furry companion overcome this habit, ensuring their mental and emotional well-being.

Dry Skin

Dry or cracked skin on your dog's paws can lead to discomfort and persistent itching. It's crucial to understand that dry skin can result from various factors, including environmental conditions and allergies. To alleviate your dog's discomfort, begin by ensuring they are adequately hydrated. Additionally, consult your veterinarian, who can recommend specific moisturising products formulated for dogs. These products can provide much-needed relief by restoring moisture to your dog's paws and preventing further dryness. Regular use of these products, combined with a vet-recommended skincare routine, can help soothe and maintain the health of your dog's paw pads.

Grass Seeds or Foreign Objects

Dogs may exhibit paw-biting behaviour if they have a foreign object lodged between their toes, such as a tiny grass seed or thorn. This situation can be uncomfortable and painful for your furry friend. To address this issue, it's essential to carefully examine your dog's paws regularly. Look for any signs of discomfort, limping, or excessive paw-licking, which may indicate the presence of a foreign body. If you discover a foreign object, it's crucial to handle the removal process gently and with care to avoid causing further discomfort or injury to your dog. If you're unsure or concerned about removing the object, consult your veterinarian for professional assistance to ensure your pet's well-being.

Why Do Dogs Chew on Their Feet?

This common query often leaves pet owners puzzled. Dogs may chew on their feet for various reasons, including allergies, skin irritations, and even stress. Understanding the underlying cause is essential for addressing this behaviour effectively. If you notice your furry friend engaging in excessive foot-chewing, it's advisable to consult with a veterinarian to determine the specific trigger and provide the appropriate care and treatment. 

In conclusion, there are various reasons why your dog might be biting its foot. It could be due to dental issues, allergies, parasites, skin infections, anxiety, behavioural problems, dry skin, or foreign objects. Identifying the root cause is essential for finding the right solution to help your dog.


  1. Is paw-biting in dogs a serious issue? Paw-biting can be a sign of an underlying problem, so it should not be ignored. Consult your veterinarian to determine the cause.

  2. Can I treat my dog's paw-biting at home? Depending on the cause, some home remedies may help, but it's best to consult a vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

  3. Is excessive paw-licking related to paw-biting? Yes, excessive paw-licking can be a similar behaviour and may have the same underlying causes.

  4. How can I prevent my dog from biting its paws in the future? Prevention methods vary depending on the cause, but maintaining regular vet check-ups and a healthy environment are good starting points.

  5. Should I be concerned if my dog's paw-biting is occasional? Occasional paw-biting may not be a cause for concern, but if it becomes a frequent habit, it's best to investigate the cause.

Join Us in Caring for Your Furry Friends

At Cooper and Gracie, we share your love for dogs and understand the concerns that come with their well-being. If you've ever wondered, "Why do dogs chew on their feet?" we're here to provide solutions. Our range of premium pet care products is designed to address various pet-related issues, including skin irritations that may lead to foot-chewing. We're not just a brand; we're your companions in ensuring your dog's health and happiness. Join us today in providing the best care for your furry friend. Explore our products and let us help you make a positive difference in your pet's life.

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