A Labradoodle chewing paws occasionally is nothing to worry about. All dogs chew or lick their paws sometimes. But what do you do when it gets out of hand? Obsessive or compulsive paw chewing can be a health problem. Today we’ll look at the reasons why Labradoodles chew their paws, including injury, parasites, allergies, dry skin, stress and even boredom. And share how to help them stop this painful habit.
- Why is my Labradoodle chewing paws?
- Labradoodle chewing paws after injuring themselves
- Parasites and allergies
- Labradoodle chewing paws with dry skin
- Behavioral reasons Labradoodles chew paws
- When to worry about your Labradoodle chewing paws
- How to stop a Labradoodle chewing paws
Seeing your Labradoodle lick or chew his paws is a pretty common sight. You may think it’s perfectly natural canine behavior and that he’s just grooming himself. But when does your dog chewing his paws become a problem? Could there be an underlying condition at play? In this article, we’ll help you determine the difference between normal and dangerous chewing and give you tips on ways to stop your Labradoodle from chewing their paws unnecessarily.
Why is my Labradoodle Chewing Paws?
A dog’s paws deliver sensory information about the world around him. Their paws are very sensitive. It’s why some dogs don’t like having them touched. The tops of their paws are especially sensitive, and the spaces between the paw pads are even more delicate.
A dog licking and chewing his paws seems like normal behavior, and in some cases, it is. But if your Labradoodle has been licking and chewing his paws constantly, it’s a sign that there’s something else going on. Let’s take a look at the reasons why your Labradoodle keeps chewing paws.
Labradoodle Chewing Paws After Injury
Dogs’ paws are prone to injury, especially in an active mixed breed like the Labradoodle. Since a dog’s saliva contains antimicrobial properties that can reduce the chance of infection, it’s natural for him to be chewing and licking his paws when he’s in pain.
Check your dog’s paws carefully for broken claws, puncture wounds, insect stings, cuts, scratches, swelling, or a foreign object such as a thorn or splinter. It could also be a sign that your Labradoodle has pain further up his leg.
Fleas, lice, mites, or ticks can make your dog itchy, and chewing his paws is a way to scratch. An infestation of mites or fleas can go unnoticed because they’re so tiny.
There are over-the-counter medications for mild infestations, but if his paws are bleeding or he’s losing fur, you’ll want to take him to the vet.
Labradoodle Chewing Paws Due To Allergies
Allergies tend to be the most common reason a Labradoodle is paw chewing. Food allergies are the most likely cause, but there are many others.
Dander or dust could be the culprit or environmental factors like pollen and mold, or household products like detergents and fabrics.
There are so many possibilities, that it can be tricky to find the real cause and remove it. Once again, contact your vet. They should be able to prescribe medication that eases your dog’s symptoms.
Dry Skin Can Make Dogs Chew Paws
If you’ve ever had dry skin, you know how itchy it can be. It’s no different for dogs. Dry skin can be caused by allergies, parasites, a dry climate, excessive bathing, or a more serious underlying health problem.
Hypothyroidism is a common condition in Poodles in which the body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone. It can lead to hair loss, and dogs are more likely to lick and chew exposed skin.
Labradoodle Chewing Paws When Anxious or Stressed
Compulsive paw chewing and licking can also be associated with mental distress in dogs. Licking may reduce their stress hormone levels, so this is a method of self-soothing when they feel anxious or stressed out.
Try to find out what’s causing your Labradoodle’s suffering. It could be fear-related from a new person or pet in the house or any change to their routine. Older dogs especially can be anxious if they’re experiencing a decline in thinking and memory.
Dog Chewing Paws Through Boredom
When dogs are left alone for long periods, it can lead to boredom and separation anxiety that manifests in chewing paws.
An active and intelligent dog like the Labradoodle requires lots of attention and exercise. Make sure your pet is getting enough daily activity that includes spending time playing with family. If you’re away from home during the day, leave out toys and allow the dog space to roam freely.
When Should I Be Concerned About My Labradoodle Chewing Paws?
Not all chewing paws are cause for worry. Dogs will lick or chew their paws to clean them or their face when they’re dirty. It is normal behavior that shouldn’t be cause for concern. But when licking and chewing become excessive, you need to dig deeper.
Compulsive chewing paws are almost always a sign there’s an underlying condition. Indications of a problem include bald spots, odor, bleeding, redness, swelling, sensitivity to the touch, and limping. If you notice these warning signs, your Labradoodle should see the vet.
How do I Stop my Labradoodle Chewing Paws?
Before you take steps to stop your Labradoodle from chewing his paws, you need to establish the reason he’s doing it in the first place.
If you suspect that your dog’s behavior is caused by boredom, make sure you’re spending enough time with him and that he’s getting enough exercise. As the descendent of two working breeds, the Labradoodle loves to have a job to do. Consider increasing his regular daily activities to include new games and toys, change his daily walking route, or visit a new dog park.
If your dog’s chewing is due to a parasite, you’ll need to treat the infestation. If an allergic reaction is the problem, it can take time to determine the cause. There are dog foods specifically designed for dogs with allergies. Your vet can advise you on what your dog is most likely allergic to. When chewing is related to a serious health issue or injury, you should consult with your vet.
Labradoodle Chewing Paws
Although almost all dogs will chew their paws from time to time, if this behavior becomes excessive, you need to find out why. Sometimes it will be obvious your Labradoodle is in pain from a physical injury. But not all of the causes of chewing paws are so apparent.
He may have an allergy, a parasite infestation, or suffer from stress, anxiety, or boredom. As his owner, it’s up to you to do some detective work and find the cause.
Find Out More About Labradoodles
- Are Labradoodles crazy dogs?
- Male vs female Labradoodles
- Your Labradoodle’s paws
- Labradoodle coat types
- Best Shampoo for Labradoodles
- Bajwa, J. “Canine pododermatitis.” The Canadian Veterinary Journal, September, 2016
- Tóth AG, et al. “Canine saliva is a source of interspecies antimicrobial resistance gene transfer.” Centre for Bioinformatics, University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, March, 2022
- Harvey, ND, et al, “Development and validation of a new standardised data collection tool to aid in the diagnosis of canine skin allergies.” Scientific Reports, February, 2019
- Hill, P. “Diagnosing cutaneous food allergies in dogs and cats – some practical considerations.” BVA, June 1999
- Herrmann, I., et al., “Gender aspects in allergies of pets – A secondary publication and update.” World Allergy
- Kuijlaars, M., et al., “Autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome in a standard poodle with concurrent non-endocrine immune-mediated diseases.” BVA, May, 2021
- Tod, E., et al., “Efficacy of dog appeasing pheromone in reducing stress and fear related behaviour in shelter dogs.” Applied Animal Behaviour Science, September, 2005