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How To Stop Dogs From Licking And Chewing Their Paws

Licking and chewing needn’t be a mainstay behavior. If you’ve ruled out any serious underlying medical conditions, there are other solutions you can try.


If allergies cause persistent itching, a vet may prescribe shots or steroids to help ease symptoms. Meanwhile, medicated sprays can aid in treating an affected area in less severe fungal or bacterial infections.

It works for allergies in humans, so you might wonder: ‘Can I give my dog Benadryl?’ The answer is… maybe. It depends on the situation, and you should only ever do so with a vet’s guidance and supervision. The same applies to giving your pooch Zyrtec.

Want to go a natural route? There are multiple approaches on offer.

Apple cider vinegar

Research shows apple cider vinegar is have antimicrobial and antifungal properties, if used topically.

Always speak to your vet before using it on your dog’s skin, and ask them for guidance on application — for instance, it should be diluted to a 50:50 ratio with water and never used on open cuts or grazes.

Behavior training and tracking

For dogs chewing and licking through stress or anxiety, sessions with a dog behavioral trainer could help sort things out.

Meanwhile, keeping track of any patterns relating to your dog’s licking and chewing can help your vet (and you!) identify potential triggers.

“Does it happen in the morning, the evening, or all day? Or after walks only?” asks Painter. Is it a “seasonal pattern, or year-round, continuous pattern?” Write down each time you notice your dog licking or chewing and if there’s anything in particular they’ve eaten, washed, or played in.

Hygiene up-keep

Finally, practicing good hygiene year-round is important, says Painter, and can help prevent issues from arising in the first place.

“Finding a shampoo that is non-drying will [also] help your dog’s skin barrier stay healthy and balanced,” she adds. “I recommend oatmeal-based shampoos or the Douxo products, like Douxo calm®.”

How To Protect Your Dog’s Paws

To help keep your dog’s paws in tip-top condition and avoid issues such as burns, blisters, or injury, why not give them some booties to wear for walks?

Paw balm is great for soothing dry and chapped skin (you can even make your own), while wipes keep paws clean and aid in avoiding infections. Little actions can make a big difference!

Don’t be afraid to seek advice if you think something is wrong. If your dog chews or licks their paws to the point where it disrupts daily activities, speak with a professional. However, Painter notes, “it is never too early to bring this up with your veterinarian as mild symptoms can sometimes bec

ome worse over time.”

While vets can help in many instances, “veterinary dermatologists are uniquely trained to help manage any ear or skin condition that your dog could be having,” explains Painter. “You can find a dermatologist near you by visiting”


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