My dog tends to lick and chew her paws frequently, what can I do

My dog (a Teddie) tends to lick and chew on her paws frequently. She does have some troubles with frostbite in winter so I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it? What can I do to help her and how do I keep her paws safe from frostbite this winter?

  • Vetinfo

    By: Kara McCarty El Segundo, CA

    Replied on 04/19/2011

    Your dog is likely chewing her paws for a reason, allergies, matts, snow or ice caught in her paw hair in the winter, or an injury. If her paws become red and raw they may get a secondary yeast infection. Yeast are usually secondary invaders when the environment is right, a warm, moist, raw skin environment. A yeast infection makes them more itchy causing a vicious cycle. It's important to get her to stop chewing so if her paws get raw an elizabethan collar is the first step so she can't get to her paws. If her paws aren't raw clip the hair on her paws very short so it won't hold any moisture or snow or ice matts. Use antihistamines and high doses of omega-3 fatty acid supplements to combat allergies. You may have to try a few antihistamines, Hydroxyzine, Claritin or Benadryl, before you find the one that works best for her. If she's still not leaving her paws alone you may want to have a radiograph of them done to look for signs of an injury or arthritis. Kara, DVM

More Questions on Training

Please do not use our site to attempt to diagnose or treat your pet. Your veterinarian is the best source of health advice for an individual pet.

Please do use our site to become better informed about the medical problems your pet may have. We will do our best to ensure that information presented is accurate and up-to-date. The most current information will be at the top of each page. Remember that veterinarians often disagree about the best treatments for pets. There are often several perfectly acceptable ways to treat the same condition. Just ask a lot of questions!

For all emergency situations, please contact your local Emergency Pet Clinic or on-call Veterinarian. Answers are not provided in real time. We can not guarantee an answer to every question, nor can we provide timely responses to urgent questions in many instances.