A Guide to Paw Biting, Allergies & Shedding, Part 1

Welcome to the first of a three-part guide to a few of the common maladies that plague our canine companions. Left unaddressed, these seemingly minor issues can cause your dog pain or discomfort and, of course, create a source of anxiety for yourself. Over the next few articles, we will identify the typical causes behind these ailments with some tips and tricks that might save you and your furry friend a trip to the vet. Be sure to check out Part 2: Allergies and Part 3: Shedding.

Part 1: Paw Biting and Licking

A dog licks his paw.

Licking and chewing of the paws and toes is a common behavior among dogs and a regular complaint of dog owners. While some degree of licking is considered normal and is often a part of your pet’s natural grooming, excessive licking and chewing can quickly turn into a major cause for concern.

Why is my dog so itchy?

This condition can come as a result of boredom, fleas, allergens, dry skin, wounds, anxiety, or something as simple as a foreign object stuck inside their paw.

Whatever the cause for your dog’s chewing, this overgrooming can lead to pain, soreness, limping, or worse, bacterial infections. It’s best to take your dog in for a veterinary exam to assess their overgrooming and find the exact reason for all their licking and chewing.

A dog chews on her paw.

But as we dog owners know, professionals often only treat serious skin issues, such as tumors or lick granulomas. They can offer you methods and recommendations to implement which can result in changes to your dog’s daily diet or lifestyle. But what if that’s simply not enough?

What Can I Do to Relieve the Itching

Choose a Healthy Diet
Dogs on a nutrient-rich grain-free quality diet have better equipped systems to fight off allergens and external irritants. If your dog has food sensitivities, be sure to check labels carefully to ensure that you are providing them with a proper allergen-free diet.

Wipe Your Dog’s Paws
Every single time that your dog steps foot outside your home, they come in direct contact with potential allergens. Pollen, grass, lawn chemicals, you name it. If you have a paw-chewer in your household, try cleaning their feet with PawsGive Aloe & Oatmeal Grooming Wipes or paper towels after each walk or romp in the yard or park. This is also an ideal time to check their paw pads to see that they are free from irritants like grass burrs.

Reduce Allergen Exposure
In addition to outdoor allergens that can travel inside on our clothes and shoes, potential indoor irritants like dust mites, cleaning chemicals, air fresheners, and cigarette smoke can also aggravate your pet. While there is no way to eliminate certain molecules completely, keeping the dirt and dust to a minimum and frequently laundering your dog’s bedding can work wonders.

Weatherproof Your Home
Winter’s lack of humidity can wreak havoc on allergy prone dogs. Be sure to find ways to keep your dog’s skin and coat moisturized during this time. A humidifier works marvelously to improve the air quality in your home during the moisture-free months of the year. In the summer months, be sure that your home is comfortably air conditioned so that your dog doesn’t overheat and develop hot spots.

PawsGive Krill Oil Plus

Add an Omega Fatty Acid Supplement
Omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids are each derived from krill, fish, and plant-based sources. PawsGive Krill Oil Plus will benefit your dog’s skin by supporting the immune system, reducing cellular inflammation, relieving discomfort from itching, and serve to keep skin moist with natural emollients.

For more useful tips and tricks to keep your dog healthy and happy, check out the full series:

Images and text courtesy PawsGive.

PawsGive Omega 3 Fish Oil Softgels for Dogs

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