When a dog chews at his paws, he may focus on just one, both, the pads or just around the nail beds. A Chihuahua may chew until his paw starts to showing thinning fur, and if he continues on, skin may become red and irritated.
The #1 reasons for chewing at the paws are the same as listed earlier under 'Chewing at the Body': Dry skin, allergies, irritants or allergies.
If you feel that neither of those 4 causes are at the root of the problem, you'll need to look at other possible triggers.
Injury - Accumulating or acute.
A Chihuahua's paws may become sore, painful or receive progressive injury due to the surfaces that he walks on. In the summer, walking on hot pavement can instantly cause issues to to he paws. It can also cause problems over the long-term as the paws are continually touching on hot surfaces.
While the Chi may seem fine when he walks, day after day the heat exposure to the paw skin will add up. There can be varying levels of burns, which causes pain and in turn, chewing.
Winter presents issues as well. Paws can get very irritated from 'snowballing', which is when tiny pieces of snow or ice become wedged either between the toes or between pad paws. When between the paw pads, it pushes and stretches the skin, often cause tiny cracks. The same for between the toes.
What to do: Use a quality paw wax, year-round. Choose one that absorbs quickly and allows the paws to breathe. If you opt for our recommended wax, Musher's Secret, this is applied 1 to 2 times per week.
While this is indeed absorbed quickly, you may find that the best time to apply this is at night, right before your Chihuahua is about to fall asleep.
Nails issues. For issues in which the Chihuahua is only chewing at his nails, this may be a matter of an ingrown nail, which can happen if the nails are not trimmed often enough. In rare cases, a poor diet can cause malnutrition issues, which can affect the entire body, but also present as dry, brittle nails which may be causing discomfort.
Boredom, stress or habit. These are all issues that we will discuss ahead, since they are also top reasons why a dog may also chew at non-toy objects.