relief.

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It is possible your dog suffers from environmental allergies but sometimes the chewing and licking can become a habit even after medication has worked. You can try getting another round of medication. In the meantime, putting a cone (E collar) on your dog when you can’t supervise him will keep him from engaging in the behavior. Otherwise, when you notice he begins to do it, redirect him with a favorite game, doing commands, or simply giving him affection.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

We call this skin allergy “atopy”, and Shibas often have it. Commonly, the feet, belly, folds of the skin, and ears are most affected. Symptoms typically start between the ages of one and three and can get worse every year. Licking the paws, rubbing the face, and frequent ear infections are the most common signs.
“The most common cause of paw licking is generally environmental allergies, also called atopic dermatitis,” Dr. Flynn says. “Other causes of licking paws can include ectopic parasites such as fleas or mites, referred pain from arthritis — licking the feet or limbs since they can`t reach the painful joint.”
The most common reason dogs lick their legs is because of some kind of allergy. Allergies can be seasonal or environmental. Seasonal allergies are typically caused by tree and plant pollen. Spring tends to have the most pollen in the air, but dogs can experience seasonal allergies any time of year.
The excessive licking behavior in dogs has been, for many years, attributed to anxiety and stress release. While this may be the case for some canines, recent research has suggested that gastrointestinal issues may actually be a major factor in the development of the behavior for many canines.
If your dog is licking themselves, you, or objects excessively, to the point that it seems like a self-stimulatory behavior, this might be a sign of anxiety, boredom, or pain. Obsessive self-licking can also be a sign of allergies or other health problems.
“If your dog has suddenly begun licking themselves a lot then you may want to talk to your vet and get them checked out. Repeatedly licking their paws can be a sign that they are stressed or anxious, or could suggest that they are in pain, feeling nauseous, uncomfortable or itchy.
Frequent licking builds up moisture in a dog`s paws that can lead to a bacterial or yeast infection, according to the American Kennel Club. These issues only aggravate paw licking and may cause swelling or redness. Work with your veterinarian to diagnose and treat bacterial yeast infections.
As with other dog behaviors, there can be several reasons that lead dogs to lick or chew their paws. These include injuries; skin problems; environmental, parasite, or food allergies; and boredom or anxiety.
Your dog licks you to show they care, to get attention, to understand you better and because they enjoy it. However, the reason they may prefer your feet could be because they`re bursting with scent information that tells them a lot about you, where you`ve been and what you`ve been doing.
While all dogs have the ability and tendency to lick their humans, some breeds lick a lot more than others. Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Pit Bulls and Poodles all tend to be frequent lickers. As for smaller breeds, the Bichon Frise, the Pug and the Chihuahua are also prone to people-licking.
Dogs use their tongues instead. For this reason, it might mean a few things when your dog licks you. The Kennel Club says licking can show affection, empathy or a need for attention — or you might just taste good, especially if you`re sweaty.
This calming sensation triggers a specific reaction in their brain that responds to hair follicle stimulation. Dogs, like humans, also release endorphins and oxytocin through methods of touch, so rubbing a dog`s belly can help with bonding and affection. Ultimately, dogs like belly rubs because they feel good!
Also, don`t let your dog lick your leg or feet if you have any open wounds. The dog`s mouth hosts many bacteria that can get into the open wound and cause you some serious illness. In other cases, your feet and legs could contain bacteria that can harm your dog`s digestive and overall health.
So, dogs know a person`s individual smell and when illness changes that smell, dogs can notice that, too. Even humans can observe the scent of sickness with some health problems. For example, diabetic ketoacidosis can cause fruity or acetone-smelling breath.
When your dog is stressed, they will start to lick a patch of their skin over and over until it becomes raw. This can lead to a lesion that will appear red, irritated, hairless, and eventually, can become infected.
Apoquel, Atopica, fatty acid supplements, prednisone or other medications such as antihistamines can be very effective in reducing itching. Apoquel and Atopica are the only FDA-approved non-steroidal drugs for the management of canine atopic dermatitis.
Swollen paws are often caused by a foreign object getting trapped between the pads/toes of the dog`s foot. Insect or spider bites, puncture wounds, broken toes, fractured claws, and constant licking/chewing (as with allergies or other source of chronic irritation) are other common causes.
Dogs are sensitive to human emotions. And it doesn`t take much for them to pick up on your sadness—they can sense it in you, and tell the truth, even in other dogs. They are able to tell when people are feeling sad by reading their body language and facial expressions.
Some nibbling is out of boredom, or as a reaction to an itch, they can`t reach. Another nibbling may be due to separation anxiety and the dog`s need for comfort from you. Most dogs nibble because it feels good – like chewing gum!
Are carrots safe for me to feed my dog?” While some of the vegetables we love are unsafe to feed our dogs, carrots are a perfectly safe and nutritious treat for your dog.
Lemon juice, which is a more concentrated version of the fruit, contains high amounts of citric acid, which is toxic to dogs.
Khuly said that Arctic breeds, like Huskies, Malamutes, Samoyeds and American Eskimos, don`t lick much by nature (though they can learn the behavior).

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. I have a 1 yr old male, white coat Shiba Inu that won’t stop licking and nibbling on his front legs paws. The vet gave him a shot, he seemed relief.
ANSWER : A. It is possible your dog suffers from environmental allergies but sometimes the chewing and licking can become a habit even after medication has worked. You can try getting another round of medication. In the meantime, putting a cone (E collar) on your dog when you can’t supervise him will keep him from engaging in the behavior. Otherwise, when you notice he begins to do it, redirect him with a favorite game, doing commands, or simply giving him affection.

Q. My dog licks his feet and legs and they are turning brown. He is a white dog. Can you help?
ANSWER : A. Licking the feet and legs can be caused by a number of things in dogs including allergies, illness or even stress behaviors. Allergies are the most common in dogs, with yeast infections coming in second. Allergies can cause the area to become red and itching, making your dog want to lick and chew on them. Over time, the area may become stained from saliva, especially in lighter or white-coated dogs. Yeast infections are also common between the toes, and may cause a smelly “corn chip” smell to appear near your dog’s feet. Again, dogs will attempt to lick and chew to relieve the itch. Keeping the feet clean and dry can help relieve both allergies and infections and pet wipes or a baby wipe of all paws when your dog comes in from outdoors may also help. Keeping your dog from licking the space with either dog booties or an Elizabethan collar is also good as it will prevent secondary infection and staining of the paws and legs. If your dog is determined to keep licking and keeping the feet clean and dry do not help, then your vet can help by providing a medication to treat any infection or provide relief of allergies.

Q. Why does a dogs pads on his paws turn such a pink color?
ANSWER : A. I’m confused here. Are your dogs paw pads typically black, but they turn a reddish pink? You may want to see your veterinarian about this to make sure there isn’t anything wrong with his paw pads. I’ve met dogs who have extremely fragile paw pads due to some bad genetics.. they end up getting injured on their paws very easily. I’ve met dogs who are unable to even walk on cement without wearing little doggy booties. It could be that your dog is dealing with some serious discomfort, and you want to get that checked out immediately.

If your dogs paw pads just seem a little bit irritated, you may want to try something like “Musher’s Secret” on them. This is an ointment that you rub on your dogs paw pads to keep them healthy, and smooth. I use this in the winter when there is rock salt all over the ground.. it keeps her paw pads from getting irritated and tearing open. It’s like lotioning your skin to keep it from getting dry and cracked. If you think your dog is dealing with something that is a little more extreme than just some dry irritated paw pads, then see your vet immediately instead of purchasing the Musher’s Secret.

Read Full Q/A … : Discolored Pads in Dogs

Q. My sister’s dog is digging the hair off from his legs. Any advice?
ANSWER : A. Biting and chewing to the point of hair loss can be caused by a number of things. Allergies, skin infections, and even metabolic illnesses can all cause the skin to become bothersome, or hair to be lost. In some cases, the behavior of licking or chewing at the hair can become chronic, and lead to infections or sores on the leg.

It is best to have your sister bring her dog in to have the legs looked at. Your vet can check for any signs of infection, allergy or even external parasites and provide treatment for relief. If there is no apparent cause, your vet may also recommend a blood test to check for internal illness as the cause.

Until you can get to the vet, it is best to prevent the dog from licking or scratching at the area. An Elizabethan collar (cone) is best to stop the behavior and allow the legs to rest some until they can be examined. If there is any dirt or debris in the area, a warm clean washcloth can be used to keep the area clean and prevent secondary infection until it can be examined.

Q. We have a 3 yr old Weiner dog, she is having pus in her eyes, I took her to the vet he gave me derma vet ointment, used it as the doctor prescribed
ANSWER : A. If the pus really isn’t all that bad, and it’s just some discharge, your pup may benefit from a diet change. It could be that the food you’re feeding just isn’t right for your dog, and that’s okay! Dogs grow and change over time, and now that your dog is fully matured, a diet change may be in order. Try something like Taste of the Wild, maybe a grain free dog food, Orijen, or Ziwipeak. These are all really great food options.

If the pus is really bad, and continues to get worse, see your vet again and let them know what’s going on. Maybe you could try a diet change, and then see if there are any improvements.

Remember, you should always gradually change a dogs diet. By gradually, I mean you put a tiny bit of new kibble in with a bowl of the old kibble. Reduce the old kibble by just a few bits of kibble. Throughout the course of at least two weeks (or as long as you want depending on whether or not you want to finish off the old food) you slowly add more of the new kibble while removing some of the old kibble. This makes the process gradual, and won’t cause any tummy-upset in your dog.

Q. My dog keeps licking himself in the same area, what does this mean?
ANSWER : A. Excessive licking in one area often leads to a condition called Acral Lick Dermatitis or Lick Granuloma. By constantly nibbling on one spot, which is usually on one of front legs, dogs can cause skin irritation and inflammation and not uncommonly skin infection.

There is a long list of possible causes of this problem. In many dogs this is purely a behavioral issue related to anxiety, boredom or stress. Dogs with joint pain like to lick over the painful area to alleviate pain. Skin allergy or infections, skin foreign bodies predispose dogs to Acral Lick Granuloma as well. Finally, low thyroid hormone level is believed to play a role in developing Lick Granuloma.

Treatment is often long, and close cooperation between the owner and the vet is required. The effort should ultimately be directed to identify and treat the underlying cause.

Read Full Q/A … : Excessive Dog Licking

Q. Red paws. Biting nails/ toes constantly. 6 yr border collie/ aussie mix. Diet brown rice/ lamb nutro balance changed 3 mo ago. Problem x 1 yr s
ANSWER : A. It is possible that your collie may have a yeast infection or other skin infection between the toes caused by her chewing at the area. You may also see that the paws are wet or have a “corn chip” smell to them (indicating yeast). It is best to prevent her from chewing or licking her feet as this can introduce more bacteria into the area and make symptoms worse. An Elizabethan (cone) collar is best for this. If you see signs of infection, it is best to bring her into your vet, who may recommend antibiotics or antifungals to treat any underlying infections. An allergy medication may also be helpful to stop the original cause of her attempting to lick or chew at the spot. Some dogs may also get into a repetitive behavior of licking even when the infection is cleared up, so breaking the habit with the use of an Elizabethan collar to prevent the behavior may help stop the cycle.

Read Full Q/A … : Vetinfo

Q. My dog has a hard time walking on his front legs. I was told he has nerve damage and he was walking on three legs now it seems to be both front legs
ANSWER : A. Problems with walking in the front legs can be caused by a large number of things. Arthritis in older dogs can cause joint pain and stiffness which may make walking hard. Nerve or muscular damage may also cause problems.

With nerve or muscle damage there is often a loss of muscle tone in the affected limbs. Limbs may look skinnier than unaffected ones, and may lose overall muscle mass. In some cases, treatment for pain or soreness may help improve symptoms some. Depending on the severity of the damage, some dogs may recover while others have permanent damage.

It may also be that if your dog was putting all his weight on one front leg to help the other, that the good front leg is now stiff and sore. Restricting exercise, giving a supplement to help joints and bones and following your veterinarian’s recommendations for care can all help your dog to feel a little better.