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Home / Articles / Pets / Ask the Pet Expert /  Does Your Dog LICK, BITE & CHEW His PAWS?
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Tuesday, July 8,2014

Does Your Dog LICK, BITE & CHEW His PAWS?

By Pet Expert  

Why do Dogs Lick Their Paws?


Dogs spend time each day grooming themselves, so licking their paws is natural. However the licking, licking, licking all night long… biting, biting, biting until the skin is raw and bleeding, licking until the fur is a funky pink color, IS NOT NATURAL!

So, why does your dog lick his paws? What compels a dog to lick his paws constantly? And most importantly, how can you stop a dog from licking his paws?

Dogs lick their paws and chew their paws because of a reaction to their dog food. Dogs are carnivores with short simple digestive tracts. Dogs and cats also lack essential enzymes such as amylase needed to digest starch. However many popular and commercially available dog foods consist of little meat and are overloaded with grains, carbs, corn and cheap fillers. Unfortunately, for our pets, those fillers are just plain garbage that their bodies do not know how to digest.

All of our systems (yours and your dog’s included) contain yeast in our digestive tract. This yeast is kept in check by a healthy immune system and by the healthy flora of the gut tract. This yeast feeds on sugars or more precisely the carbs and grains that are converted to sugar by your body.

A dog’s diet should consist mainly of meat and meaty bones. This should be the main “ingredient” for optimum health. But just read common dog food ingredient list: Ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, potato starch, whole wheat flour, animal fat, rice flour, soy flour, sugar, propylene glycol, meat and bone meal, chicken by-product meal, animal digest, added color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 2), menadione sodium bisulfite complex.

These are difficult ingredients for your dog to digest and their immune system cannot keep up. So the yeast goes NUTS. This causes intense itching! Your dog licking his paws is a soothing behavior and offers some temporary relief.

Dog chewing on paws

Yeast infections cause dogs to lick their paws.

Your dog licking his front paws or chewing his paws can be signs of a yeast infection. Your dog may also have ear issues, stinky skin and weight issues. And because a diet that is loaded with grains/carbs/fillers actually changes your pet’s pH, that paw licking (saliva) can cause the fur to actually turn pink. This is also true for dogs that have red, pink or brown eye/face staining as well. When a dog licks his paws constantly it is a strong sign you need to improve your dog’s food.

How to stop dog licking paws?

Dog paw licking is NOT a “bad habit” or “boredom” it is a symptom of a systemic problem that is corrected through changing and improving your dog’s food and diet. The simple secret is to change your dog’s food from high carbohydrate based diet to a grain free meat based dog food. It is simple, really.

Unfortunately, we have seen suggestions that include spraying your dog’s feet with cayenne pepper, putting socks on your dog, give your dog a bone to distract him, or even yell and scream at your dog as a punishment. All efforts to make a dog stop licking his paws. Of course these are just “Band-Aids” and if yeast is the culprit, then of course, none of these things will work and is not a solution for Paw Licking.

Getting your dog’s health back on track is really as simple as correcting the diet by cutting out the carbohydrates and adding more protein back into your dog’s diet. There are many healthy pet food and diet alternatives available. Diets can also vary by breed.

The Paw Depotpecializes in Grain-free and Potato Free pet food and supplies. The Paw Depot has a full time Pet Nutritionist and offers Free Diet & Nutritional advice. If your pet is experiencing paw licking and biting symptoms contact the Paw Depot for a free consultation and let them help get your pet’s diet back on a healthy track.

We hope this article helps get your furry friend feeling healthy, happy and itch free!


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