Why Do Puppies Bite Paws and Tails? 7 Reasons and Solutions

Puppies Bite Paws and Tails

As a dog parent, it can be challenging to differentiate between several dog behaviors. Sometimes we never understand whether it’s a behavioral phase or a medical condition that our puppy is suffering from.

For example, you notice that your puppy continuously runs behind their tail, even when playing in the park. Or, your puppy is biting their paws which becomes challenging for us to stop.

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Finding a solution can feel hard because we are not sure why puppies bite paws and tails. There is a wide range of reasons and different solutions for each cause.

The first step to training your dog to stop biting its paws is to know the actual reason. Here is a complete guide to help dog parents.

Puppy biting its paw.

Reasons why puppies bite their paws and tails

First, let’s understand why tail biting might happen. This is a list of possible reasons to help you identify why your puppy is biting their tail more than expected. 

1. Allergies

Dogs also suffer from allergies, just like humans. Maybe your puppy is biting the tail because of a food allergy or environmental allergy.

Mold, pollen, along with some household chemicals, can become the cause of environmental allergies.

2. Parasitic infections

Puppies may chew their tails as a result of some parasitic infestation. Ticks and fleas are the most common reasons which force the puppy to bite its tail.

Dogs suffer from this common affliction during the summer months and in spring.

3. Stress

There is a possibility that your puppy is not facing any allergy or parasitic infestation but just stress.

When dog parents leave dogs alone in the house because they have to go to work, dogs may engage in this destructive biting behavior to calm themselves.

4. Injury

Numerous puppies will chew their nails, shake their feet, or bite their tail when they are injured in that area. If it looks like an injury, take your puppy to a vet.

5. Boredom

Maybe there is no serious issue but they are bored. Your puppy is biting their tail and feet to reduce its boredom and stress. Maybe it is your puppy’s way to demand your attention by nipping its leg.

Keep your puppy entertained by giving them toys and playing with them.

6. Systemic disease

If you notice excessive licking and chewing of their tail or paws when there is no physical clue, it can be a systemic disease.

In this case, your vet will recommend some blood tests along with the diagnostic test to confirm the recurring infection in the body of your puppy.

Sometimes, cancer tumors and hyperthyroidism can cause frequent irritation that causes puppies to keep biting their tails and paws.

7. Grooming or self-mutilation

Licking or biting paws is your dog’s way of grooming itself.

Is it normal for the puppies to bite their paws and tails?

By keeping all of these reasons in mind, we can declare that biting paws and tails are pretty standard in puppies.

This chewing or harsh behavior is normal for your puppies when it is not excessive.

Noticing the frequency and the behavior when your dog is biting itself since it can indicate a possibly serious condition.

Use your judgment and check if your dog is in pain or uncomfortable when chewing or enjoying this chewing habit.

Check for physical signs such as burns or any swelling on the body. The absence of any physical symptoms possibly reflects that your puppy is just bored and demands your attention.

It is pretty standard for puppies to bite their paws and tails.

How do I stop my dog from chewing his paws?

Below are the best solutions to help stop your dog from chewing its paws.

1. Address the medical issues

As mentioned above in the reasons that your puppy is maybe biting itself because of medical problems.

If you suspect a medical issue visit your vet. If the medical issue is food allergies provide quality dog food to help your puppy. If the issue is skin irritation follow the vet’s recommendation for medication and lotions. 

If it is parasites or fleas follow your vet’s protocol for eliminating them. 

2. Treat dry skin

Maybe your dog is biting its paws and tail due to skin irritation or dry skin. It is highly recommended that dog parents remove the dry skin using appropriate lotions and dog grooming products.

Your vet will give you a protocol on how to reverse dry skin.

3. Redirecting the attention of your dog

One of the reasons puppies bite their paws and tails is because they are bored.

I recommend redirecting their attention by giving them a toy to chew on. Start playing with your puppy to help them burn off extra energy. 

4. Treat separation anxiety

Your puppy might bite their paws and tails because of separation anxiety. Before you leave your home make sure to exercise your dog to help burn off energy so they will be more tired when you leave. 

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