Natural Remedies for Dogs Who Lick or Chew Their Paws

| Modified: Apr 30, 2018
Dogs will check or lick their paws for many different reasons. Figuring out the cause of this problem can help you work towards a solution. If your dog’s skin has been damaged from the licking and chewing, natural remedies can be used to heal the skin.

Why Do Dog’s Lick or Chew Their Paws?

Infection

Bacterial, viral, or fungal conditions can cause skin problems and itching. A dog will lick and chew to relieve the problem. Treating the underlying infection should eliminate paw chewing.

Arthritis

Pain in the paws from arthritis can cause a dog to lick or chew his paws. Using natural remedies for arthritis in dogs will relieve your dog of more than licking and chewing!

Anxiety/Boredom

A dog may lick or chew his paws out of boredom or loneliness. Similarly, stress and anxiety can lead to paw licking and chewing. If your dog spends much of his day alone and/or in a crate, he will be more prone to all of these issues. Consider finding a trusted caregiver to spend some time with your dog when he will be home alone all day. Doggie day care or a companion animal can also be a solution for many of these problems.

Fleas

If a dog has fleas he may chew or lick his paws (and other parts of his body) to relieve the itch that is caused by the flea bites. Removing fleas from your dog's environment will solve the paw licking and chewing if fleas are the cause.

Grooming

Just like people and cats, dogs don’t want dirty hands and feet! After a walk a dog may lick his paws to get them clean. Unfortunately, this may mean they ingest all sorts of contaminants. Our video will give you an easy method for eliminating this problem.

Home Remedies for Paw Licking and Chewing

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can be used to relieve the pain of arthritis in your dog. Apple cider vinegar is added to a dog’s food or water. Dosing information for apple cider vinegar is found on this page.

Apple cider vinegar is also a great solution for fleas! Mix 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water in a jar. Use a cotton ball to apply some of the apple cider vinegar solution to the back of the neck each day to prevent fleas. The same solution can be sprayed onto your pet (protect his eyes though!) To eliminate fleas that are already present.

Turmeric

Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice that also fights infection. The powder can be applied to infected skin or it can be taken internally to fight infection or inflammation from arthritis. This page will help you figure out how much turmeric to give your dog and how to dose you dog.

Helping Paws to Heal

It is possible that a dog can lick or chew his paws so much that he causes damage to the skin. The damaged skin encourages him to lick even more.

Honey makes a wonderful healer for skin problems. It is food safe, promotes wound healing and fights infection. It is not painful when applied to the skin.

  1. Apply honey to the wound on your dog.
  2. Cover with gauze.
  3. Use cohesive tape (which sticks to itself but not your dog’s fur) to attach the gauze to the dog’s paw. Use a generous amount of cohesive tape. It is difficult to remove this bandage so the dog won’t be able to interrupt healing.
  4. Change the dressing twice a day until it is healed.

Have you had trouble with your dog licking and chewing his paws? Did you find a solution? We would love to hear from you!


About the Author: Deirdre Layne

Founder and CEO of Earth Clinic, has an extensive background in health and healing. She created EarthClinic.com in 1999 as a way to teach people about natural remedies and alternative healing therapies. Since then, thousands of people around the world and their pets have been healed by the remedies found on Earth Clinic. Deirdre holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College in Philosophy and is the author of the book Apple Cider Vinegar: A Modern Folk Remedy.


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Posted by Oceanna (Wa) on 04/30/2018
5 out of 5 stars

My dog would occasionally lick a foot pad until it was red and swollen. I folded a grocery store clear plastic baggie in half. On that I put a 4x4 square of gauze. On that I put a big spoonful of cottage cheese cold right from the refrigerator. I had him stand with the sore paw right on the cottage cheese, then I gathered up the baggie and used vet wrap to secure it. My goal was to keep it on him for 30-45 minutes. When I removed it I rinsed his foot off in clear water and dried it with a towel. The redness was gone, the swelling was gone, and the licking stopped. I've used cottage cheese many times on myself and my pets to draw out infection and soothe the tissues.