Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. They can sometimes do it if there is something stuck between the teeth too. It could also be a nasal irritation and just looks as though she is pawing her mouth but is actually rubbing her nose. I would recommend having her checked by your vet to check for dental disease, or abscess or foreign body in the mouth.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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

For the most part, a healthy dog has gums that are bubble-gum pink, or even salmon pink. Some other dog breeds have naturally dark-colored or spotted gums, and this can be normal for your pet. However, if their gum color changes over time, that may be concerning. Normal gums are moist and slippery.
If you think your dog may have inflamed gums, it`s crucial to take action as soon as possible. First, brush their teeth regularly with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. If the problem persists, you can use a warm salt water rinse or an oral gel specifically for dogs.
The colour of your pet`s gums could tell a lot about your pet`s overall health. Colour changes to gums are caused by a range of conditions and factors. Monitoring your pet`s gum colour is a great way to check in on your pet`s internal health and track any changes.
Dental pain, abscesses, and periodontal disease can cause your dog to paw at his mouth, rub his muzzle after eating, or even try to get at his ears. Skin irritation can occur from the pawing and scratching, which can lead to a mistaken case of allergies.
A dog with blue gums needs immediate medical attention. Pale pink or white gums are a danger sign, reflecting acute blood loss or diseases that cause anemia. Bright cherry red gums can indicate overheating or heat stroke, carbon monoxide poisoning, elevated blood pressure, or exposure to toxins.
Your dog`s gums should be a healthy pink color (with no redness or bleeding where the gums meet the teeth), and their teeth should be white and clean. Besides regular vet checkups, the most important preventative measure you can take to care for your dog`s teeth and gums is feeding them an optimal, meat-rich diet.
Coconut oil

You can apply a small amount to a toothbrush or your finger- a great way to clean your dog`s teeth naturally. Alternatively, you can soak a bone in the oil, making sure to let it dry before serving to your doggo. A third option is mixing it into their food.

Generally speaking, a dogs or cat`s gums should have a pink, healthy color, with no reddening around the edges of the teeth. They should not be excessively pale and should feel firm to the touch. Gums that are inflamed will be red, can be swollen, and may be receding from the tooth line.
In dogs, their gums should be a powdery pink color. This color is a sign of healthy gums. However, if the gums are not pink, they may be pale in color, which could mean that your dog has some underlying health problems.
Signs and Symptoms of Unhealthy Gums in Dogs

Inflamed gums, or gingivitis, is typically caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar along the gumline, and is the first sign of periodontal disease. If left untreated, gingivitis will worsen, leading to tooth loss and bone loss.

If there`s loose plant material trapped in their paws, there`s food residue on them, they`re itchy from an environmental irritation, or they`re simply grooming, dogs lick their paws. More serious causes include an injury, inflammation, allergy, infection, parasite, or anxiety.
Lip licking is often associated with dental and mouth pain in dogs as well. Dogs who have severe gingivitis, rotten teeth, broken teeth, tumors, abscesses in the mouth, and other types of dental damage can be seen licking their lips frequently in an attempt to ease the pain.
Check their gums …. Colour – A dog`s gums should be pinkish-red, smooth and moist. If they are not, they could be going into shock or showing signs of dehydration. Deep red sticky gums are an indication of dehydration and in the heat can be an early sign of heat exhaustion.
Press your finger gently against your dog`s gums and then remove your finger. In a well-hydrated dog, the area where you pressed will appear white for a second, and then return to its normal pink color almost immediately. In dehydrated dogs, the capillary refill time takes much longer.
Use a toothbrush with dog toothpaste and set the toothbrush just underneath is jowls to get to the gums. Angle the toothbrush to 45 degrees and begin to brush along the gum line between the gums and the teeth. Get playful with your little guy by tugging on the opposite end of the toy sitting in his mouth.
While periodontal disease is the most common cause of bad breath in dogs, there are a handful of other factors that can affect dogs` breath. For example, highly processed dog kibble might not sit well in a dog`s digestive system, causing bad breath.
Like us, it is best to brush your dog`s teeth at least twice every day. For many dogs, once brushing becomes a part of their daily routine, they will begin to expect and enjoy it. Brushing three times a week is the minimum recommendation to help remove plaque and prevent tartar accumulation.
Gray, blue, or purple-tinged gums often signal poor circulation or decreased oxygenation. These are most commonly noted with heart disease, severe hypothermia, severe hypotension (low blood pressure), or respiratory diseases. Brown or black spots on the gums can be normal in certain dog breeds (see the list above).
As carrots are a lovely, crunchy vegetable, if you give them to your dog in large pieces they will have to bite into them rather than swallowing them whole. This chewing mechanism helps clean your dog`s teeth and gums by removing residual food pieces and help clear plaque from tooth surfaces.
The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) recommends daily brushing to destroy harmful bacteria in their mouths and prevent buildup from returning. Be sure to use products specifically intended for your pup since human toothpaste can be toxic for them — the VOHC has a handy list of recommendations.
Try food made from meats, vegetables and fruits. This also extends to snacks and treats, which are full of sugar, fats, and cereal grains. Instead, try treating your dog with carrot slices, apple slices and pumpkin pieces.
Recovering From a Canine Dental Extraction

This typically takes two weeks. Your vet will likely advise you to feed your dog a soft food, restrict their activity and refrain from brushing their teeth for several days to a week.

Periodontal disease is typically silent: it starts with no symptoms or outward signs. Once it takes hold, though, it can be devastating for a dog`s mouth. Untreated periodontal disease can cause chronic pain, eroded gums, missing teeth, and bone loss.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

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. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. My dog has no fleas, but is scratching and licking continually. He has been through a round of prednisone and it hasn’t helped. What can I do?
ANSWER : A. Itching can be caused by more than just external parasites, and if your dog is already on a flea medication, then it is possibly not the case. Itching can indicate anything from allergies to even minor skin infections causing problems. If your dog has been treated with prednisone (a steroid that inhibits the immune system) and it did not help, then looking at other options may help.

Food allergies are very common in dogs and can present with itching and licking all over the body rather than on just one spot. Common food allergens include ingredients such as wheat, corn and soy products, however dogs can be allergic to almost anything! Starting a food trial of an allergen-friendly diet from your vet or pet store that avoids these common ingredients may help. The food should be switched over a period of 7-9 days and then given about a month to decide if it is helping.

Small skin infections or yeast in the skin can also cause itching, however this itching is often more specific to a certain area of the body (such as the toes, or base of the tail). Your vet can perform a skin scraping of the area to be cultured at a lab to look for any yeast or bacteria. If they are present, a medication given either orally or placed on the affected area can clear up the infection.

In some cases, licking and chewing can actually be due to a boredom or anxiety behavior. Dogs may lick one spot obsessively to the point of creating sores or wounds in the area. Stopping your dog from licking and chewing either through the use of dog booties, no lick strips, T-shirts or even Elizabethan collars can break the habit and give the area time to heal. Licking and chewing can also cause the spread of bacterial infections so should be deterred even if not behaviorally caused.

Q. My dog itchs all the time a codozon shot helps but don’t cure it after a bath she turns red and still itchs I changed dog food that didn’t help no fle
ANSWER : A. Do you live in a region where fleas are prevalent. Where I live the fleas are truly horrible, and I see many animals developing a flea allergy. This usually presents as relentless itching especially at the base of the tail, although it can be all over the body. Often on exam I won’t find a single flea, just red bumps, hair loss and itching. In response, I will start animals on an oral steroid such as prednisone (I think your doctor has administered an injectable steroid), while at the same time bathing the animal and starting on an oral flea preventative such as Comforts which I then re dose at 3 weeks instead of 4. Additionally, the environment needs to be decontaminated- flea bombing the house, vacuuming often and washing bedding on hot. The flea life cycle is short, however, so this needs to be one frequently as they will just continue to hatch in your home. Most importantly, I tell my clients, that any steroid (oral or injectable) does not fix the problem, but rather suppress your dogs reaction to it thereby making them more comfortable. Just the steroid alone changes nothing except giving them a brief break from their symptoms.

Now that I have spoken in depth about flea allergy, there is a potential that it is something else. Food allergies are slow to develop, and slow to change. If you wanted to eliminate a potential food allergy I would switch to a novel protein, limited ingredient diet. For example, lamb as the protein source if your previous food was always chicken or beef, and in a formula with very limited ingredients such as lamb, rice and veggies. A pet store should be able to help you with this. While on this diet they cannot have any additional treats for 1 month, to see if you have eliminated the allergy. From an Eastern Medical perspective, I also recommend novel proteins that are “cool”, such as fish, lamb, or duck while avoiding “warm” foods such as beef, chicken, pork.

Finally, all animals with allergies should be on an Omega 3 supplement. Given regularly, this can help reduce overall inflammation in the body both in the skin, joints, and other tissues. Good for allergies, arthritis and overall health. My dogs are on fish oils, but one of my dogs who is allergic to fish gets flax oil instead. I would be happy to consult with you further, but I hope this helps to some degree.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?
ANSWER : A. POST FOUR:

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. Want a pet cat companion for my dog Lucky, who is 5. The problem is that I’m somewhat alergic to cats. So, not sure what to do!
ANSWER : A. Dogs can make friends with lots of species, including cats! If you are heart-set on a cat, allergenic breeds are available such as hairless or lesser haired Sphinx and Devon-Rexes. However these breeds can be rare and hard to find at times. A short-haired cat that is brushed regularly may also cause less allergies. Many people with allergies are also able to take medications such as a daily allergy medication or spray like Nasocrom which can make living with a cat much easier.

If your dog is very friendly with other dogs, then getting him a dog friend may be an option! That would keep you from needing to get a cat and having an allergic reaction. Looking at your local animal shelter may help you to find a dog for adoption that is similar in personality and play style to your current dog. Many shelters will also let you introduce your dog to the one you are interested in adopting to see if they will be a good fit! If you can’t get another pet at this time, taking your dog to a local dog park or dog meetup can help him to get more social interaction and get out extra energy without the need for caring for another pet.

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