If your Labrador has been biting its paws, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. In this post, I will show you the common causes and what you can do to get it to stop.

So, why does my Labrador bite its paws? Possible causes are that it has fleas, allergies, something stuck there or a rash. It could also be that it does it compulsively, it has some separation anxiety or that it is injured.

Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should become easier to get it to stop.

Why your Labrador bites its paws

Below are common causes of Labradors biting their paws and what would make them more likely to be the reason why your Labrador has been doing it.

Fleas

The reason why it has been biting its paws could be that it has fleas. This would be more likely if it has been biting other areas of its body, it has started doing it suddenly and if you have found fleas around the house.

It would help to eradicate fleas from your home by doing things such as:

  • Washing the bedding with hot soapy water
  • Vacuuming the carpets and throwing the bad
  • Applying an environmental flee control
  • Applying a spray, pellet or non-toxic treatment for the yard
  • Treating your Labrador with a monthly preventative

Allergies

Allergies or a rash could also be causing your Labrador to bite its paws. Allergies can be caused by things such as shampoo, other dogs, pollen or household chemicals (source).

It has something stuck there

The cause might also be that it has got something stuck in one of its paws. This would be more likely if it has been biting one paw in particular and if it has started doing it suddenly.

Boredom

Labradors are meant to get daily exercise. When Labradors don’t get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it might be a part of the reason why yours has been biting its paws.

Generally, it is advised for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults. If your Labrador is not getting that much then it would help to make sure that it does. If it is a puppy, it is generally advised for them to get 5 minutes of exercise per month of age each day.

Compulsive behavior

It might be the case that your Labrador has been biting its paws compulsively. This is where it feels an irresistible urge to do it and it cannot stop itself from doing it.

In this case, it would help to seek the guidance of a vet.

Look here for more information about compulsive behavior in dogs.

Injury

It might also be the case that it has been biting its paws due to an injury. This would be more likely if it has been biting one paw in particular, if it has started doing it a lot suddenly and if it has been showing signs of being injured such as by limping.

Separation anxiety

It might be the case that your Labrador has separation anxiety. This is where it gets anxious when it is left alone and when it is about to be left alone. This would be more likely if your Labrador starts biting its paws when you are about to leave and if it shows other signs of anxiety when you are leaving.

It was just playing

If your Labrador just did it once then it could be the case that it was just playing or that it was itchy at the time. However, this would be less likely if it has been doing it repeatedly over a short time period.

Things to consider

Below are some things you can consider when figuring out the main reason why your Labrador has been doing it.

When it started doing it

If it did not always bite its paws, like it has been, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.

If it did start doing it suddenly then it could be due to things such as using a different shampoo, changing its diet, fleas, allergies or a rash. It would help to consider what changed when it started doing it.

Whereas, if it has been biting its paws for a while then it would be more likely that it does it due to things such as separation anxiety, compulsive behavior or boredom. But, it could still be due to any of the other things mentioned above.

How much it bites its paws

It would also help to consider how often it bites its paws.

If it has been biting its paws a lot then it would be more likely to be due to things such as fleas, a rash, allergies, something stuck in its fur or compulsive behavior.

Whereas, if it does it less frequently then it would be more likely to be due to the other things mentioned above.

When and where it bites its paws

The timing and location would be another thing to consider.

If it tends to do it when you are about to leave then it would be more likely to be due to separation anxiety. Whereas, if it seems to do it at random times then it would be more likely to be due to fleas, a rash, allergies or something being stuck in its fur.

What to do about your Labrador biting its paws

Below are some options that you have when getting your Labrador to stop biting its paws.

Take it to a vet

If you are not sure why it has been doing it or it has been doing it excessively, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Labrador and to rule out medical causes.

Give it exercise

If you have not been giving it much exercise then it would help to start doing so. You can exercise it by walking it, playing fetch with it or getting a dog walker to do it for you.

Remove fleas

It would also help to eradicate fleas from your home by doing things such as:

  • Washing the bedding with hot soapy water
  • Vacuuming the carpets and throwing the bad
  • Applying an environmental flee control
  • Applying a spray, pellet or non-toxic treatment for the yard
  • Treating your Labrador with a monthly preventative

Avoid encouraging the behavior

Instead of giving your Labrador rewards when it bites its paws, try to redirect its focus when it is about to do it, to give it distractions before it starts biting them and to reward it when it behaves the way that you want it to.

Most Recommended For Labradors

Best Labrador Treats

Our favorites: N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring (on Amazon) - Great for Labrador puppies. American Journey Dog Treats (on Amazon) - Great for adult Labradors.

Best Labrador Training Program

Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program. If you want a happy and obedient dog, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now. You can get the first month free using This link

Best Labrador Dog Food

Our favorite: Blue Buffalo Dog Food (on Amazon)

Author