Updated at: 14-06-2022 - By: petexpert

Often, if pets are left alone too long, they will lick and chew an area of their body until it gets raw and sore. This is most common in pets with high energy levels that are bored, or that aren’t getting enough exercise or attention.


Why is my dog attacking his leg?

The fact that your dog attacks his own legs just to guard his food means that his anxiety levels are so high that he doesn’t even differentiate his own body parts from a real enemy.

Why do dogs chew on their legs and feet?

When dogs are anxious or depressed, they tend to chew their paws or lick and scratch compulsively. Dogs may react that way due to common separation anxiety, or anxiety caused by lack of proper exercise. Dogs who are ill, generally sad, or depressed will often lick their own paws obsessively.

Why is my dog biting his joint?

If your dog is suffering from arthritis, he or she may begin to lick, chew, or bite at the affected areas. If these actions continue, the skin around the affected areas may be inflamed and may have hair loss.

How do I get my dog to stop biting his feet?

Teach your dog impulse control with specific exercises such as sit, wait and leave it. If your dog bites at your feet and ankles, carry his favorite tug toy in your pocket. Whenever he ambushes you, instantly stop moving your feet. Take out the tug toy and wave it enticingly.

Why does my dog keep licking and biting his paws?

As with other dog behaviors, there can be several reasons that lead dogs to lick or chew their paws. These include injuries; skin problems; environmental, parasite, or food allergies; and boredom or anxiety.

Why does my dog keep biting her back end?

Dog Keeps Biting Rear End – Anal Glands & Yeast


Fortunately this can be as simple as their anal glands need drained. … This can lead to the dog chewing the underside of their tail. They will bite at their tail base and back end, underside areas and also scoot across your floor to try to relieve the itch.

Why does my dog keep biting his feet?

When dogs lick and chew their feet, it’s often a response to general or localized itchiness. For dogs, this is a common symptom of allergies. Your dog’s allergies usually fall into one of two categories: seasonal/environmental or food-related.

What does it mean when a dog bites itself?

Where your dog is biting will provide clues to the underlying reason for the behaviour. Is it a generalised problem or is the dog biting a specific spot?

Itchy skin is the most frequent cause of incessant biting or scratching. Dryness, mites, allergies or advanced age could be responsible for your dog’s discomfort. Dogs also bite themselves as a self-soothing mechanism. This could indicate that they are in pain, bored, anxious or in mental decline.

Dog bites itself as a self-soothing mechanism

The types of typical pain that make dogs bite themselves can include the following.

Orthopedic pain

If your dog is in pain it may resort to repeated licking or biting in order to get relief. The area that is targeted is often not the area that is painful. The underlying cause is usually a long term chronic condition in the bones or joints, such as arthritis or hip dysplasia.

There are a range of joint support and pain relief supplements obtainable from your vet or animal clinic. A diet that includes omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil would help to build the dog’s cartilage and joints.

Foods that cause inflammation should be removed from the dog’s diet. These include potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant. Grains that contain gluten and other fillers in commercial dog food can exacerbate pain. Look for grain-free dog foods and those that list sweet potato as the main starch component.

Add anti-inflammatory foods to the diet. These include carrots, celery, spinach, kale and sweet potatoes. Lentils and sweet potatoes are healthy and filling options. My dogs enjoying chewing on cucumbers and raw carrots. Add turmeric and ginger in the cooking process.

Boredom, anxiety and dementia

Some problems that cause a dog to self-soothe are not physical. Your dog may have nothing better to do or it might be in a constant state of distress or despair. Also, as dogs age, they develop repetitive patterns of behaviour such as licking or biting.

Dogs are sociable creatures and need to be in a pack, even a small one which could be just you and the dog. They need companionship and reassurance that you are not going to abandon them forever. Spend quality time with your dog by going for walks and playing games indoor that exercise its body and stimulate its brain.

When you need to be away for any length of time, develop a routine when you leave and on your return that lowers your dog’s separation anxiety. Leave a toy that dispenses treats to help while away the hours. If your budget will stretch to it, there are internet based devices that allow you to interact visually and audibly with your dog, throughout the day. In old age, dogs develop habits that bypass the cognitive process. Help to circumvent these by petting the dog or otherwise distracting it.

How to stop a dog biting itself persistently

When your dog is biting itself out of habit, physically stop it with a command or action. Think of it as someone who habitually bites their nails. They are usually not aware of what they are doing. When their attention is drawn to their behaviour, the motivation for biting is temporarily removed.

You can prevent the dog from being able to reach hotspots by placing the plastic ‘cone of shame’ around its neck. Also known as an Elizabethan collar, try it for a few days to see if the habit then stops. If you do this, try not to leave them alone for long periods of time – here’s why.


This, however, causes the dog the added inconvenience of bumping into things with the cone. Depending on the height of the dog, this could mean your shins or calves are obstacles, which can be exceedingly painful.


It turns out my dog had a scratch on his leg, which is why he was chewing it. I think the scratch had become itchy, and it was the best way he could relieve it.

So, whilst most of the time, when a dog bites itself, it should be nothing to worry about, always take a closer look to see if there’s anything unusual in the spot.


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