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Help! How do I get my dog to stop licking/chewing his feet?

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by Mish’s Mum, Oct 25, 2020.


  1. Mish’s Mum

    Mish’s Mum PetForums Newbie

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    Hi everyone! Posting this because I am at my wits end and don’t know what else to do ‍♀️ I have a 2 year old cockapoo who has developed a habit of licking/chewing his paws raw! We have been in and out of the vets with him at least 5 times but everything they have advised just has not worked. We have spent a fortune on products. We have tried Hibiscrub soaks, bitter apple spray but the little bugger actually started liking the taste, we have tried different Elizabethan collars but he always finds a way to get to his feet, we even tried essential oils but again, no luck! We have been advised that he could be bored but he is walked daily and has toys galore!

    I just don’t want him hurting himself, makes me feel like a bad dog mum but I don’t know what else to do! Has anyone else experienced this with their dog? If so, did you find anything that worked for you? All advise is MUCH appreciated!
     
  2. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Have you changed his diet? That would be my first suspect, the diet. Look at the ingredients in what you are feeding him, target the things that are most likely to be creating an allergic reaction and switch him to a diet that doesn't contain any of the suspected things.

    Especially, a novel protein, but I would expect you'd want to avoid corn too.

    It may take several months to see improvement, if this is diet related, so don't keep switching around every few weeks. Choose one diet and stick with it. If after a few months there is no improvement, reevaluate the diet and try some other novel protein diet.
     
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  3. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Paw chewing is most likely environmental or food allergy.

    As above, I'd start by eliminating common allergens from his diet. The usual suspects are grains (particularly corn and soy) and poultry.
    Find a good minimal ingredient food without these common allergens and see if that makes any difference.

    It may be worthwhile to do an allergy test too so you know exactly what he is reacting to and are better able to eliminate it.

    For environmental allergies, do you wash his feet off well after walks?
    Have you changed laundry detergent or cleaning supplies lately?
     
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  4. Mish’s Mum

    Mish’s Mum PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you both for your replies! We have had him on Royal Canin dry food since he was a pup. We were recommended this by our vet so I never suspected the food to be the route of the problem, interesting!

    I’ve attached a photo of the ingredients.

    Do you have any recommendations of what I could try him on?
     

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  5. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    I'd suggest a fish based one, to get away from the chicken. Millie's Wolfheart do one that is good quality, chicken and grain free and reasonably priced (the salmon based one).

    If you go down this route of eliminating chicken and grains, check your dog's treats too. You will need to be careful what you feed for several weeks to see a difference, and if you do, you will know it has been something in the food.

    You could then, if you wanted, add back one element such as chicken and see if you get any reaction. But that said, if it works, I'd personally stick with the new regime.

    Good luck, please let us know how you get on. Oh, and if it does work, I'd seriously consider changing my vet. He really ought to have suspected food.
     
  6. Mish’s Mum

    Mish’s Mum PetForums Newbie

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    This is great advise. We looked into Millie’s Wolfheart and ordered him a bag of the salmon & veg. Started weaning him today and he seemed to love it! We’ll see how he gets on :)

    Even if it doesn’t resolve his licking problem we will likely keep him on this anyway, didn’t realise how many unnecessary ingredients there were in Royal Canin!

    Thanks again for you help!
     
  7. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel Banned

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    Royal canin is owned by mars - they invest huge sums of money in getting breeders to start pups on it. Both my pups were started on it and my tibetan terrier was itchy all over for months until we changed his food.

    As soon as we got him on a food that suited - we never looked back. He just stopped itching completely.


    Interestingly, my vet was slow to look to food as a cause - stating that food is very rarely a cause of itching. In my dog's case though, it 100% was the food.
     
  8. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    Paw chewing can also be a sign of anxiety or stress.
     
  9. Mish’s Mum

    Mish’s Mum PetForums Newbie

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    Just wanted to pop an update on here!

    We’re now on week 4 since changing to Millie’s Wolfheart and the difference in my dog has been unbelievable.

    I can’t remember the last time I caught him chewing or licking his paws and healthy fur is finally starting to grow back in, which looks very promising. I’ve also noticed that he’s a lot less itchy in general!

    He also just seems “brighter” in general to me but my partner thinks I’m just being overly-optimistic!

    I don’t want to speak too soon, but I’m now 95% certain that his old food was the culprit.

    I can’t thank you all enough for your advice. My dog is a lot more comfortable now and that’s all I wanted :)

    Thank you!
     
  10. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Thank you for the update, it's great to hear that it seems to be helping.

    Some photos would be lovely?
     
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