You may notice that when your dog returns indoors after a walk that they chew on their toes. For some dogs, this may be an incessant chewing or licking of the paws throughout the day and even in the middle of the night.
The cause may be environmental allergens such as pollen accumulated between the dogs toes during a walk outside. These allergens are found naturally in the environment and can cause a dog to feel itchy and irritated between their toes.
If my own dog Kiba doesn’t receive an allergy relief therapeutic, he will spend all day and night chewing on the bottoms of his paws. I hear a *smack, smack, smack, smack* of his lips as he chews on his toes and know that he needs some relief.
Some owners may not notice that their dog is chewing or licking their toes, but might see pink, red, or brown staining of the fur between their toes. This staining is termed ‘salivary staining’ and happens when the pet repeatedly chews or licks their feet. The skin between their toes may also be reddened due to the irritation or a secondary yeast or bacterial infection. If the skin between your dogs toes appears bright red, irritated, or has a rash it may be a sign of infection and time to visit your local veterinarian.
The good news for pet owners is that many year-long or seasonal allergies in dogs can be easily managed with the right treatment.