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Dog chewing and licking paws

February 10th, 2006, 02:58 PM
Our dog is a 6-7 year old Australian Shepard mix. We've had her for a little over 4 years and noticed that within the last month or so, she began to lick and chew the area between her paw pads on her front paws. In the Summer, she does this as a result of allergies and usually has other symptoms that go along with the chewing and biting, symptoms that she is not exhibiting now.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this with their dog? If so, do you know what it might be a result of? Could it be the dryness of Winter (we've had a really dry Winter this year) or due to the cold or something else?


February 10th, 2006, 03:09 PM
We have expereinced this with all of the dogs in our family :( It's not fun or pleasent. The cause for this was allergies. We had all our dogs on Iams (it's easier, seeing how when the family comes over it means the dogs and you have to eat whatever's out in someone elses house! lol). At first none of them had this issue, then we found out that Iams had changed there food and our dogs were allergic to some of the ingredients. We also found other allergies at that time. After we changed the food, the licking and chewing stopped.

It does happen from time to time if the hair in the pads gets matted or if something gets stuck in there and irritates. I would check the foot, make sure the hair is cliped, there are no sores and see if anything has changed in the diet.

Also with it being a dry winter some of sumer outdoor allergans maybe out early. Always check with the vet if your really concerned.

February 10th, 2006, 03:47 PM
Besides diet, you can also think of what you are cleaning your floors with, and maybe it can be the salt from the sidewalks outside?

February 10th, 2006, 04:54 PM
My first thought is also allergies, just because we have been through that. We believe that our boy is allergic to 'wheat' so we always have to monitor what he eats..... wheat flour is in MANY MANY dog foods and especially treats. Another thought is maybe even a tiny scrape that you can't see that could be irritating the paw. Hope you figure it out.... excessive licking can escalate into worse problems- like an infected paw. :pawprint: Good luck.

February 10th, 2006, 11:45 PM
There can be many reasons for this behaviour. A couple have been mentioned. It may also have started due to allergies but the behaviour turned to habit.
Sometimes this begins when the level of activity in the home has changed, she could be bored. This is a very common behaviour for a dog when they are bored.

February 11th, 2006, 03:19 AM
Jemma gets raw itchy feet in the fall from ragweed and they usually are still a bit inflamed when the salt comes. The salt irritates her more and then in the spring, she finally heals up. This year we treated her before ragweed season and her paw fur is much, much thicker this winter. She still chews a bit out of habit, but not nearly as much as before.

To be sure it's not a food allergy, I'd look at the ingredients in the food you are feeding now and switch to a new food with none of the same ingredients. Corn, wheat and soy tend to cause allergies, but it could be in the meat source too, or in some of the lesser ingredients. Let us know if you want to try out a new food and we can help you find one.

February 13th, 2006, 08:01 AM
Does your pooch get much walking on a hard surface? Another reason for foot nibbling can be because the fur between the pads has gotten to a lenth where it becomes irritating to the dog. We had this with Chloe once. As soon as we began regular walks which included some sidewalks, the fur was kept at bay by the constant wear, and the itchiness and irritation went away.

It's worth a thought.

February 13th, 2006, 02:03 PM
Thank you all for your replies! We've ruled out the food allergy issue already. We have thought that it could be bordem or the length of her fur between her pads. We have a large field in back of our house where she runs and she doesn't get too much sidewalk excerise to wear down the fur. I'll call the groomer and see if we can get her in for a paw trim and see how that works....thanks again everyone!

February 13th, 2006, 02:58 PM
Sorry but do you mind if I ask how you ruled out the food issue? What are you feeding now?