It is not uncommon for a cockapoo, like other dogs, to pay a lot of attention to his or her body. Self-grooming and licking, as well as chewing or gnawing at itches, mats and knots in their coat are all normal behaviour. What if you notice your cockapoo chewing regularly at its own paws? It could be a sign of something seriously wrong with your dog. Often, finding the root cause of the chewing and resolving it will stop your dog from wanting to chew at its paws.
Even if it’s not caused by a specific trigger, it could be the start of a problematic habit that will be hard to stop the longer they are allowed to do it without having it checked out. To help you understand what you could be dealing with, in the following post, we are going to look at the most common reasons why cockapoos and other dogs chew at their own paws.
Like so many unwanted behaviours, when your dog is chewing regularly at their paws it could be a sign that they are stressed. The problem with stress being the cause is that is an umbrella term that can describe a variety of manifestations and ways your dog could act.
However, if there has been a lot of upheaval or major changes in your house or things have been happening that your dog finds upsetting or even confusing, and they start chewing and licking at their paws. Stress could be the cause. Has a new member of the family come along, either a baby or another dog or animal? Has a lot of decorating, renovating or even just rearranging work gone on? Or maybe you have moved to a new home? All of these are potential stressors that could be at the root of your cockapoo’s unwanted biting and chewing.
Cockapoos, as a lively and energetic breed, need a lot of stimulation throughout the day. If they don’t get that stimulation they can react in a variety of different ways to boredom. Chewing or biting at a specific part of their skin, on their paws, for instance, is a common occurrence. Think of it as being similar to humans who chew the skin around their nails or bite their nails.
Is your dog ever left on his or her own for an extended time? Do you interact and provide your dog with plenty to see and do to ensure they are getting enough mental and physical stimulation? If not, then this could be the root cause of their unwanted chewing.
Pain or Injuries
When your cockapoo has injured themselves or hurt themselves by getting a minor sprain or overextending themselves or their legs are hurting in other ways, it’s not always obvious. There is not always a physical, noticeable indication that there is a problem. Your dog, though, will still be experiencing the pain and discomfort. Which can lead to him or her limping, resting on their foot a bit more than usual or even licking and chewing at the aching area.
If your cockapoo has something stuck in its paw, like a thorn in the paw pad or some other kind of foreign body, this can be annoying and painful for your four-legged buddy. When you see your dog chewing excessively and biting constantly at their foot, it’s a good idea to take a look and see if you can spot anything. You must realise you may not be able to spot anything by just looking. Thorns can make their way inside the paw pad with only a small section or nothing at all visible.
Therefore, if you think your cockapoo may have some kind of foreign body stuck in its paw, it’s a good idea to go to your vet to have him or she checked out.
When cockapoos and other dogs have a large flea infestation this can cause parts of their body to be irritated and itchy. If they then develop a sensitivity to flea bites, each subsequent bite by the little blighters will be painful and annoying for your dog. So, when you next see your dog incessantly chewing at its paws, you should consider ruling out a flea infestation as the cause before looking at other potential causes.
Your cockapoo can develop allergies caused by various triggers like food, environmental toxins and lots more. These can lead to your dog developing a variety of symptoms such as irritated or itchy skin, digestive upsets, and other hay fever-like symptoms.
If your cockapoo has a low-level allergy to something, he or she may only have very slight and mild symptoms that may go undetected for some time. Therefore, it’s important to keep a close eye on your cockapoo and learn what is normal behaviour for him or her. If you find that your dog is chewing a lot at their feet, it could be its way of coping with the irritation caused by allergies. The best solution is to take him or her along to the vet who will be able to run tests for allergies and provide suitable medication or recommend treatment to deal with them.
When dogs develop unhealthy habits like persistent chewing at their paws, it can be very stressful and upsetting for us owners. It is important not to panic though or to get angry or frustrated with your pooch. Remember, they may be feeling distressed, have an invisible injury, allergies or just be bored. Whatever the reason for them doing it is not just to be naughty and give you stress.
Try to identify the cause, using the guide above as a starting point. If you are stumped or have found the root cause but can’t resolve it, it’s time to go to the vet. Your vet will be able to assess your cockapoo and as well as help with the treatment of the root cause, and provide assistance and recommendations to help your cockapoo get out of their unhealthy habit.