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Why Do Dogs Chew Their Feet?

Why Do Dogs Chew Their Feet?

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If your dog has been a bit too into his paws lately, you might be wondering — Why do dogs chew their feet? Keep on reading this article to find out if you should be concerned and when it becomes too much.

If your dog is chewing and licking his feet for a prolonged time in an intense way, don’t just ignore it. The constant licking could even lead to some serious side effects such as red, swollen or even bleeding paws.

Why do dogs chew on their feet?

There are different reasons as to why dogs could be doing this. Even though this seems endlessly weird to you, there might be something going on with your dog without you being aware of it. In most cases the licking is completely benign, but sometimes it can be a sign of a more serious condition.

The most common reasons why dogs lick their feet are:

Dry Skin

If your dog starts licking and chewing on it’s paws only during colder months — the reason for it might be dry skin. Dry skin can also occur if your dog doesn’t get enough fatty acids in his diet.

You can solve this problem by getting a skin balm specifically made for dogs. However if the reason for dryness is nutrition — try adding some healthy fats to his meals. Add different oils such as olive or coconut oil in his food a few times a week.


Food allergies can cause itching of the skin between the paws. Dogs can also develop seasonal allergies or allergies to different antigens in your home. Such as cleaning products, for example.

Allergies can cause skin irritations, flaky skin and itchiness. If your dog is intensely chewing at his paws and you’re starting to see changes around his skin — contact your vet. He’ll advise you what to do next.


The next possible reason are injuries. Always inspect your dog’s paws and see if he has any wounds, punctures or fractured claws.

Keep an eye out for splinters or cuts. Even if the injury is small, your dog will still be licking on it. That’s his way of caring for the wound.

Anxiety or depression

If your dog is going through any kind of psychological upset, he might start to chew on his paws as a coping mechanism.

The licking soothes his nervous system for a bit and takes his mind off from whatever is bothering him. If your dog experienced any type of trauma in his past, different triggers could lead to emotional upset. If your dog is feeling anxious or sad, he could start licking his paws for a prolonged period of time just to keep himself busy.

Observe your dog’s behavior and the moment that he starts licking his feet. If you’re suspecting that it is caused by a psychological trigger, contact your vet.


If your dog is constantly chewing on his paws in an intense or even aggressive way – there might be something wrong.

Observe the moments the licking and chewing starts and find out if there are any similarities between them. Are there any specific triggers causing this situation? Or is your dog chewing on his feet constantly?

Also, always inspect your dog’s paws and the skin between them. Look for any changes in the skin. Such as redness, rashes or injuries. If you notice any type of changes, contact your vet.

If your dog keeps on licking it’s paws constantly, he himself could create wounds. Make sure to stop the behavior before this happens.

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