My dog ​​bites his claws: why this behavior?

Your little companion is likely to bite his or her feet. This phenomenon, which can be sudden or established over a long period of time, repeatedly or occasionally, should not be ignored, as the bites inflicted by the dog on itself can cause injuries that are likely to become contagious and worsen. These nibbles or bites can have two main meanings. It can be a sign of a physical problem, such as an injury or condition that can bother the dog to the point that he is motivated to touch to get rid of it. But they can also attest to a psychological disorder, a deeper weakness that pushes the animal to bite itself so that psychic suffering becomes physical suffering.

Either way, it’s not normal for your dog to bite his claws and harm himself. This behavior is unimportant and requires caution. Whether it could be a simple injury or a mild parasitic attack, your pooch may also suffer a deeper illness. We will examine this file to understand the origin of this behavior and provide appropriate answers.

My dog ​​bites his feet: why?

Your dog is biting his feet and you are worried. Keep in mind that this behavior can have many origins.

A physical illness

A dog may rub his claws to try to relieve pain or an itch. This type of behavior can testify to many forms of physical illness such as:

  • a foreign body embedded in the dog’s skin or between its pads;
  • an injury to the paw or pads;
  • parasitic, bacterial or mycotic attack of the leg;
  • a burn on the leg;
  • an insect bite;
  • an allergic reaction (food allergy, flea bite allergy, contact allergy, atopic dermatitis, etc.) seen on the foot;
  • the formation of a lump in the leg (tumor, abscess, etc.);
  • joint or bone disease, and so on.

Biting his foot is an attempt by the animal to comfort himself, to relieve this discomfort or pain.

A mental disorder

A dog may bite his foot without feeling any physical discomfort, but with the manifestation of a psychological disorder. If you haven’t noticed any of the problems mentioned above, it’s a safe bet that your pet is suffering from a psychological problem, a form of more or less profound distress.

In this context, the doggie who suffers from it is more likely to develop an obsessive compulsive disorder type reaction, or OCD, characterized by foot biting and / or excessive licking. We immediately talked about self-mutilation, a phenomenon that can be observed in dogs that are resolved too early, abandoned, stressed, frightened, victims of neglect, or simply dogs that are tired, and so on. So the animal will seek to replace his mental distress with physical suffering.

You need to be careful, because in addition to the risk of depression that can lead to dog death, bites can also be contagious and cause serious physical injury. To attract the attention of its master, the animal may bite its claws until it is injured.

My dog ​​bites his feet: what to do?

If you see your dog biting his feet, don’t ignore this kind of behavior. As we have seen, this can testify to physical suffering as well as to a deep mental illness. The risk of infection from the bite is real and should not be underestimated, but the dog can also be wasted.

It is therefore necessary to take action, starting with consulting a veterinarian.

The veterinary consultation

Consult a veterinarian to determine possible physical illness. If you do not notice anything through the naked eye or if your animal refuses to touch his or her feet, the practitioner can check them to look for possible injuries or physical problems and provide an immediate response. above all. risk of complications, such as bacterial superinfection.

Usually, the veterinarian performs the necessary care and puts a bandage on the affected leg, a protective sock or a collar to prevent the smoke from continuing to cut itself.

If there is no physical problem, the veterinarian can diagnose the course of the mental illness. In this case, he can help the owner determine the source of this disease, or refer him to a dog behaviorist, in order to make an appropriate treatment. Treatment for the psychological disorder does not in any way prevent the practitioner from treating the bitten leg to avoid any risk of secondary bacterial infection if lesions are visible.

Establish new life habits

If the bites are related to a physical illness, you should respect the care prescribed by the veterinarian. But if they are involved in a psychological disorder, you need to establish new, healthier living habits for your little partner, to help him or her stop hurting himself or herself.

Here are some tips.

  • A quality food : be sure to offer him a quality, healthy and balanced diet, well -sold at the veterinarian or pet store, or even on special websites. These foods are more expensive to buy, but more satisfying thanks to their composition based on the first ingredients selected, which allows a package to last longer than a product of the same quantity from supermarkets. In addition, these complete diets limit the risk of deficiencies and take care of the dog’s health by covering nutritional needs. They allow you to save money on veterinary care!
  • real walks : allow your dog to spend at least 30 minutes per day actually walking. Going out in the garden is not enough. He had to stretch his legs outwards and be motivated by different environments, human and animal.
  • play sessions : offer him play sessions, treasure hunts and other activities to wake him up and keep him from getting bored.
  • Toys available : if you don’t, leave toys available to your dog or bone to chew on to occupy his mind and deceive boredom and loneliness.
  • Smoke activities : Enroll your pooch in canine club activity (agility, obedience, dog dancing, etc.) to allow him to contact his teammates and try yourself in your company.
  • Master / dog activities : practice physical activity with him, if he can, such as cani-cross, cani-mountain biking or others.
  • Ask for help : consult a behavioral veterinarian to help you determine the origin of this disease, which may return to its childhood or may be the result of a trauma for example, to provide appropriate responses, or even create an effective behavioral therapy.
  • Find the reasons : these self -injuries may also be due to a hyperattachment of the dog to his master, making his loss unbearable to the animal, to boredom, to fear of a person or an animal, by a sudden change (moving house, arrival of a child or a new pet in the household, death of a loved one), anything that can create doggie stress.
  • A suitable treatment : your veterinarian can recommend and treatment based on anxiolytics that you must respect very carefully to complete behavioral therapy.

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