If your Yorkshire Terrier has very itchy paws and they are constantly chewing, licking, or gnawing at the paw pads, toes, ankles, or all over the paws in general, this is not an uncommon problem. However, it can be tricky to resolve since the underlying issue may not be easily apparent. In most cases, chewing at the paws can quickly spiral into cracked skin, open sores, and even acral lick dermatitis, so it is important to address as soon as this behavior becomes chronic or excessive. This article will cover the top reasons a Yorkie may lick or chew at their paws, red flags that indicate a visit to the vet is required, and effective at-home treatment options to help resolve this issue.

Key Takeaways:

  • Yorkshire Terriers may chew their paws due to various reasons, including acute injuries or irritations, chronic irritations, dry skin, allergies, and localized skin infections.
  • Signs that your Yorkie’s chewing behavior requires a vet visit include open sores, bleeding, swelling, and paw chewing that does not respond to at-home treatment.
  • Resolving paw licking or chewing involves identifying the cause and treating it appropriately, such as using non-medicated or medicated sprays, moisturizing cream, and prescribed medications.
  • Preventing destructive chewing behavior in Yorkies involves providing appropriate chew toys, supervising them, and incorporating toys into their daily routine.
  • Yorkies are prone to dental issues, so regular dental care, including brushing and dental examinations, is crucial for their oral health.

Top 5 Reasons a Yorkie Chews at Their Paws

Yorkies are known for their charming personalities and adorable looks, but they can also develop certain habits that can be concerning for their owners. One common issue that Yorkie owners face is excessive chewing or licking of their paws. This behavior can be quite frustrating, but it’s important to understand that there are reasons behind it. In this section, we will explore the top 5 reasons why Yorkies chew at their paws and provide insights into how to manage and prevent this behavior.

1. Acute injury or irritation

Yorkies are curious little dogs and can easily encounter objects that can cause injury or irritation to their paws. These can include splinters, burns from hot pavement, or pebbles wedged between the paw pads. The discomfort caused by these issues may lead to excessive chewing or licking as a way to alleviate the discomfort.

2. Chronic irritations

Exposure to certain external factors such as lawn care products or rough surfaces can lead to chronic irritations on a Yorkie’s paws. This constant irritation can cause significant discomfort, prompting them to chew or lick their paws excessively.

3. Dry skin

Just like humans, Yorkies can experience dry and itchy skin. Dry skin can become bothersome and uncomfortable, leading to the instinctive response of licking or chewing the affected areas – including their paws. It’s important to identify and address dry skin issues to prevent recurring paw chewing habits.

4. Allergies

Yorkies, like many other breeds, can be prone to allergies. Allergies can manifest as full-body itching for Yorkies, causing them to chew or lick at their paws in an attempt to relieve the itchiness. Identifying and managing allergies is crucial in addressing paw chewing habits in Yorkies.

5. Localized skin infection

Excessive licking or chewing can lead to a secondary issue: localized skin infections. The constant moisture from saliva can create an ideal environment for yeast or bacterial growth, causing infections on the paws. These infections can cause discomfort and further reinforce the habit of chewing or licking the paws.

Reason Description
Acute injury or irritation Splinters, burns from hot pavement, or pebbles wedged between the paw pads
Chronic irritations Exposure to lawn care products or rough surfaces
Dry skin Itchy and bothersome skin leading to excessive licking
Allergies Manifest as full-body itching and paw chewing
Localized skin infection Yeast or bacterial infections caused by excessive licking

Understanding the reasons behind your Yorkie’s paw chewing habits is the first step towards finding a solution to this behavior. By identifying the underlying cause, you can implement targeted strategies to address the issue and provide relief to your beloved furry friend.

Red Flags that Warrant a Vet Visit

It’s important to know when to take your Yorkie to the vet for their chewing behavior. While some chewing is normal, certain red flags indicate underlying issues that require professional attention. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s crucial to schedule a visit to your veterinarian:

  1. Open sores: If your Yorkie has developed open sores on their paws or other areas of the body due to excessive chewing, it could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.
  2. Cracking or deep peeling: Chewing that leads to cracking or deep peeling of the skin could indicate a severe irritation or injury that needs medical intervention.
  3. Bleeding: Any signs of bleeding, such as blood on your dog’s paws or excessive drooling, should be taken seriously and evaluated by a vet.
  4. Discharge or pus: If you notice any unusual discharge or the presence of pus in areas your Yorkie chews, it may indicate an infection or other medical issue.
  5. Swelling: Swelling in the paws or surrounding areas is cause for concern and should be examined by a veterinarian.
  6. Loss of hair: Excessive chewing can lead to hair loss on the affected areas. This can indicate a chronic issue that requires medical attention.
  7. Frantic licking or chewing behavior: If your Yorkie is displaying obsessive or frantic licking or chewing behavior that seems uncontrollable, it may be a sign of an underlying problem that needs professional diagnosis and treatment.
  8. Paw licking or chewing that has not responded to at-home treatment methods: If you have tried various at-home remedies and your Yorkie’s chewing behavior persists or worsens, it’s important to seek veterinary advice to determine the root cause.

If you notice any of these red flags, do not hesitate to make an appointment with your vet. Early intervention is key in resolving underlying issues and ensuring your Yorkie’s health and well-being.

How to Resolve Paw Licking or Chewing in 2 Steps

yorkie chewing prevention

If you’ve noticed your Yorkie constantly licking or chewing at their paws, it’s essential to address this issue to prevent further complications. Follow these two steps to resolve paw licking or chewing behavior:

Step 1: Assess the Possible Causes

Start by identifying the underlying causes of your Yorkie’s paw licking or chewing. These may include:

  • Acute injury: Check for splinters, burns, or foreign objects between the paw pads.
  • Low humidity levels: Dry skin can become itchy, leading to excessive licking.
  • Chronic irritations: Ensure your Yorkie isn’t exposed to rough surfaces or lawn care products.
  • Allergies: Allergens can cause itching, resulting in paw chewing.
  • Skin infections: Look for signs of yeast or bacterial infections, such as redness or discharge.

By understanding the root cause, you can take appropriate action to resolve the chewing behavior.

Step 2: Treat the Paws with Topicals

Once you’ve identified the cause, it’s time to provide relief for your Yorkie’s paws. Consider using the following topicals:

  1. Non-medicated or medicated sprays: These can help alleviate itching and soothe the paws.
  2. Moisturizing cream: Apply a cream specifically designed for dry skin to keep the paws hydrated.
  3. Paw wax: Use a protective wax to shield the paws from irritants and additional damage.
  4. Prescribed medications: In case of severe infections, consult your vet for appropriate medication.

Remember to follow the instructions provided with each product to ensure their safe and effective use.

Teach What to Chew

To prevent destructive chewing behavior in your Yorkie, it’s important to provide them with appropriate yorkie chew toys and supervise their chewing habits. By offering engaging and interactive toys, you can redirect their chewing instincts and protect your belongings.

Here are some training tips for chewing that can help you prevent your Yorkie from chewing on household items:

  1. Keep belongings out of their reach: Make sure to store personal items, shoes, and loose cords away from your Yorkie’s reach. Creating barriers or using baby gates can help restrict their access to areas where they may be tempted to chew.
  2. Provide distinguishable toys: Offer a variety of chew toys that are different from household goods. This will help your Yorkie understand what they are allowed to chew on and what is off-limits.
  3. Incorporate toys into their daily routine: Make chewing on toys a part of your Yorkie’s daily routine. Encourage them to interact with their toys by incorporating playtime and chew sessions into their schedule.
  4. Trade inappropriate items: If you catch your Yorkie chewing on something they shouldn’t, calmly redirect their attention to an appropriate toy. Make the trade enticing by offering a toy that is more interesting or rewarding.
  5. Avoid chasing them: If your Yorkie grabs something they shouldn’t have, resist the urge to chase them. This can turn it into a game and reinforce the behavior. Instead, calmly and firmly ask them to drop the item or trade it with a toy.

By following these tips, you can help prevent destructive chewing behavior in your Yorkie and create a safe and stimulating environment for them to thrive in.

Yorkie Dental Care

yorkie dental care

Yorkies are prone to teeth issues, including excessive tartar accumulation, gum disease, and premature tooth loss. Proper dental care is essential to prevent and treat these dental problems. Here are some key steps you can take to ensure your Yorkie’s dental health:

1. Regular Brushing

Brush your Yorkie’s teeth regularly using a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. This helps remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup, which can lead to dental problems. Aim to brush your Yorkie’s teeth at least two to three times a week, if not daily.

2. Dental Chews and Treats

Provide your Yorkie with dental chews and treats designed to promote good oral hygiene. These products help reduce tartar buildup and keep your dog’s teeth clean. Look for dental chews with a texture that helps scrub away plaque.

3. Dental Sprays and Gels

Consider using dental sprays or gels formulated to reduce bacteria in your Yorkie’s mouth and freshen their breath. These products can help maintain oral hygiene between brushings. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for proper use.

4. Home-Based Remedies

Explore home-based remedies such as adding dental water additives to your Yorkie’s drinking water or using dental wipes to gently clean their teeth. These additional measures can enhance your Yorkie’s dental care routine.

5. Regular Vet Check-ups

Schedule regular dental examinations for your Yorkie with a veterinarian. These check-ups allow the vet to assess your dog’s oral health, identify any dental issues early on, and recommend appropriate treatment if needed.

Dental Care Tips Key Benefits
Regular brushing Prevents tartar buildup
Dental chews and treats Reduces plaque and tartar
Dental sprays and gels Freshens breath and reduces bacteria
Home-based remedies Enhances dental care routine
Regular vet check-ups Early detection and treatment of dental issues

By implementing these dental care practices, you can help your Yorkie maintain healthy teeth and gums, reducing the risk of dental problems in the long run.


Managing and preventing destructive chewing habits in Yorkies is essential for their overall well-being. By identifying the underlying causes and implementing proper care and treatment, you can effectively solve Yorkie chewing problems.

Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial in identifying any medical issues that may be contributing to your Yorkie’s chewing behavior. Additionally, providing proper dental care, including regular brushing and dental chew toys, can help prevent dental issues and reduce the urge to chew.

Appropriate chew toys are essential for redirecting your Yorkie’s chewing behavior. By providing them with toys specifically designed for chewing, you can satisfy their natural instinct while protecting your belongings. It’s important to supervise your Yorkie when introducing new toys and consistently reinforce positive chewing habits.

Training techniques play a significant role in stopping Yorkies from destructive chewing. Positive reinforcement and consistent training can help teach your Yorkie what is acceptable to chew and what is off-limits. Remember to reward good behavior and redirect their attention when they start chewing on inappropriate items.


Q: What are the top reasons a Yorkie chews at their paws?

A: The top reasons a Yorkie chews at their paws include acute injuries or irritations, chronic irritations, dry skin, allergies, and localized skin infections.

Q: What are the red flags that indicate a vet visit is needed?

A: Red flags that warrant a vet visit for a Yorkie’s chewing behavior include open sores, cracking or deep peeling, bleeding, discharge or pus, swelling, loss of hair, frantic licking or chewing behavior, and paws that have not responded to at-home treatment methods.

Q: How can I resolve paw licking or chewing in my Yorkie?

A: To resolve paw licking or chewing in your Yorkie, you can follow a two-step process. Step 1 is to assess possible causes and treat according to the specific issue. Step 2 is to use topicals such as non-medicated or medicated sprays for itching, moisturizing creams for dry skin, paw wax for protection, and prescribed medications for infections.

Q: What can I do to prevent destructive chewing behavior in my Yorkie?

A: To prevent destructive chewing behavior, provide your Yorkie with appropriate chew toys, supervise them until they consistently chew on the toys, keep belongings out of their reach, give them toys distinguishable from household goods, and incorporate toys into their daily routine. If they chew on something they shouldn’t, trade them for an appropriate toy and avoid chasing them if they grab something.

Q: How can I address chewing behavior in my Yorkie?

A: Addressing chewing behavior in your Yorkie involves providing appropriate chew toys, supervising their chewing habits, and redirecting their attention to the toys. Consistent training, positive reinforcement, and creating a stimulating environment can also help manage and prevent chewing issues in Yorkies.

Q: What dental care measures should I take for my Yorkie’s teeth issues?

A: For Yorkie teeth issues, it is important to regularly brush your Yorkie’s teeth, use dental chews, dental sprays, and invest in home-based remedies. Use dog-specific toothpaste and an appropriate toothbrush, and schedule regular dental examinations with a vet.

Q: How can I effectively solve my Yorkie’s chewing problems?

A: To effectively solve your Yorkie’s chewing problems, identify the underlying cause and address it with proper care and treatment. Regular veterinary check-ups, proper dental care, appropriate chew toys, and training techniques can all contribute to managing and preventing destructive chewing habits in Yorkies.

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