For most people, their dogs are much more than just a pet. Dogs are cherished members of the family and, like any other family member, you want to make sure that your dog is as happy and healthy as possible. Although chewing on paws and nails is a fairly common dog behavior, it is also usually a sign that your dog is suffering from one of the following issues.
Nails Are Too Long
Some dogs will naturally chew on their nails as part of their grooming process. However, if you notice your dog doing this much more frequently, it could be a sign that their nails are too long. Long nails can be very uncomfortable for dogs. This is especially true when the nails touch the ground. When this happens, the dog will often start to chew on their nails to help alleviate the discomfort. The easiest way to avoid this is to make sure you have your dog’s nails clipped or trimmed every month or so.
Your dog’s paws can be exposed to a huge number of allergens as they walk around. This can lead to allergic reactions that cause the paws and nails to be itchy and sore. As a result, your dog may begin to chew on its paws and nails in an effort to scratch the itch. The easiest way to prevent this problem is to wash or wipe off your dog’s paws whenever they come in from outside to remove any pollen and other allergens.
Inflammation Resulting From Their Diet
In some cases, your dog’s issues may stem more from their diet than any external factors. Cheap, processed dog food is known to cause inflammation and skin issues in many dogs. One way to avoid this issue is to buy natural dog food. That way you can be confident that the food you’re feeding your dog has quality ingredients. You may also want to supplement your dog’s diet with fish oil or other natural sources of Omega-3 as this can also help to reduce inflammation and skin issues.
Stress and Anxiety
Dogs that are stressed out or prone to anxiety are also much more likely to chew on their paws and nails. In most cases, this will also be accompanied by other signs of anxiety, such as pacing, shivering, or cowering. If you suspect your dog has anxiety, it is important to talk to your vet about the possible options to help them overcome this issue.
Having a dog that occasionally chews on its feet or nails is usually nothing to worry about. However, if your dog exhibits this behavior often, it is important that you take the time to understand what might be causing this to happen. By doing so, you’ll hopefully ensure that your dog is both happier and healthier.