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So a while back my boy had infected paws and got into the habit of licking/chewing at them. We went to the vet, got antibiotics, and the infection cleared up. His habit of paw-chewing, however, did not. We went back to the vet to make sure the infection had not re-emerged and she said everything looked fine, other than his paws being irritated from licking/chewing. She sent us home with some prescription antihistamines to try out in case it was allergies bothering him. They didn't seem to make a difference.

I have tried covering up his paws and putting him in a cone and while it does deter him from chewing, but he goes right back to it once the barrier is gone. I have several different types of sour spray that I've tried but this seems to make him lick even more- he does not seem to be bothered by the taste at all. The vet suggested anti-anxiety medication that she said can be effective with OCD habits like these, but I'd like to avoid that if possible.

He gets daily walks and I try my best to set aside time to play with him every day as well as providing him with other things to chew on. He is a high-energy little guy, so I try to find him toys that give him a challenge for when I need to get work done, but he is also a power chewer and so nothing keeps him occupied for very long.

So... any suggestions?
 

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What are you feeding your dog? Sometimes paw licking can be traced to a food allergy - maybe this is what got your dog started with the licking in the first place. Maddie has some kind of allergy, too, which I think is food based (either that, and/or an allergy to grass) so I'm feeding her Innova Prime Salmon and Herring, which doesn't have any grains or potatoes in it. Allergy prone dogs sometimes do better on a fish based food, especially a grain free one. When testing a new food, change over slowly to avoid stomach upset, and you have to give the food several weeks to see if it helps. My vet said to try this food for a month before passing judgement on it.

Was your dog tested for yeast? This is common when the paws are constantly wet from licking - are they red and angry looking? Try dipping your dog's paws in apple cider vinegar for several seconds each, then squeezing the excess moisture off (but don't completely dry them). The apple cider vinegar will kill the yeast. I'm doing that now with Maddie, while we sort out her allergy problem, too. I dip her paws twice daily, am and pm. It's helping, along with the meds the vet prescribed.

Is your dog scratching anywhere? If it's an allergy, sometimes the dog's ears will be affected, too, also around the neck. Maddie's ears aren't bad-just her feet, but she will occasionally scratch.

My vet put Maddie on Trimeprazine w/ Prednisolone - Tema (basically Prednisone) to help her body's immune system fight off this inflammation. The vet said I could also give Maddie Benadryl (1 mg./pound of dog's weight), if she's really itchy.
 

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He is currently on Go! Dry Dog Food, Natural Grain Free Endurance Formula which I switched him over to a while back to see if it helped with his problems. I hadn't heard that about the fish-based diet, maybe I will consider switching him again to see if that helps.

The vet did test for yeast. On our first trip, the vet found yeast thus the antibiotics. When we went back, she didn't find yeast. I will give the apple cider vinegar thing a shot, I would definitely like to prevent future infections.

He doesn't seem to be scratching anywhere other than his paws, and only his front paws at that (although with the cone on, he discovered he can still reach his back paws to chew on).

At this point, I think that there is a large psychological factor involved. I am doing everything I can to minimize allergies, but I am just not sure what else to do to break the habit. (If anyone out there has suggestions for ways to keep smart, power-chewing dogs occupied, please share!)
 

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So a while back my boy had infected paws and got into the habit of licking/chewing at them. We went to the vet, got antibiotics, and the infection cleared up. His habit of paw-chewing, however, did not. We went back to the vet to make sure the infection had not re-emerged and she said everything looked fine, other than his paws being irritated from licking/chewing. She sent us home with some prescription antihistamines to try out in case it was allergies bothering him. They didn't seem to make a difference.

I have tried covering up his paws and putting him in a cone and while it does deter him from chewing, but he goes right back to it once the barrier is gone. I have several different types of sour spray that I've tried but this seems to make him lick even more- he does not seem to be bothered by the taste at all. The vet suggested anti-anxiety medication that she said can be effective with OCD habits like these, but I'd like to avoid that if possible.

He gets daily walks and I try my best to set aside time to play with him every day as well as providing him with other things to chew on. He is a high-energy little guy, so I try to find him toys that give him a challenge for when I need to get work done, but he is also a power chewer and so nothing keeps him occupied for very long.

So... any suggestions?
Hi legoac, I want to try and help you with your dog chewing paws issue. When you leave the house for whatever reason, are you making sure he knows you are returning. Dogs get worried about when you are coming back to them. I tell my little girl, Freckles "bye" and I give her a hug before I leave out the door. I also turn on the radio or stereo with soothing music to keep her company while I am away. You'll be surprised at the calming effect it will have on him. Try it and see what happens. He may be preoccupied with the radio in addition to the toys left and he will also have the memory of you telling him goodbye and hugging him. It sounds like he may have a little stress going on or some anxiety when he's left along.

Training your dog is very important. It will help your dog to know that you are in charge and the Pack Leader. He does not want the responsibility of having to guard the house all the time and this can elevate the stress he may be feeling. Give him a job around the house. You know, it is not good for dogs to lie about the house all day and night, and I am not saying that this is what is going on with your situation.

Dogs need something to do so teaching him little tricks like jumping through a hoop and praising him whenever he does something is a good thing. My Freckles loves the hoop trick. I started with the hoop on the ground and I would entice her to come through the hoop with a little treat. I would then raise the hoop off the ground, not too high, until she would jump through. Now she looks forward to this little trick all the time. I have some intellectual games around the house to help keep her stimulated.

Finally, when you come home from work, really make a big deal when you see him, let him know you missed him. To your dog it seems that you have been away for a long time and he missed you. Get down to his level and hug and play with him. He will love you for it. Dogs love to please their owners, so show him how much you love and missed him.
 

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I would consider the dog food again. It may be grain free, but if this is a reoccurring yeast infection in the paws, there's likely still a carb source feeding the yeast in his dog food.
 

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Chewing and licking the paws is a sure sign of food allergies. Take the dog off of all wheat, corn and beef and see if the problem improves. It may take some testing to find out what he's allergic to. I was lucky and did elimination on my dog to find his which are wheat, corn and beef. I was feeding him Pedigree sometime and that's when the allergies reared their ugly head. So I thought about it and realized it was the cheap food. So now he eats EVO or Wellness varieties that have any type of meat besides beef and of course no wheat or corn. Good luck.
 
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