Chewing on skin

Tanas has a very short coat, (was shaved when he was rescued,) and is still extremely thin. He chews on his coat in several places, and while the reddish color doesn't bother me, the chew marks around his bottom look inappropriate. I'd like to break him of the chewing habit, but since he acts like an emotionally traumatized dog, I am concerned that the chewing might be a sort of "soother". I've got some Better Aplle, and it seems to work but I started thinking maybe I should wait until he seems more stable, which could be never! I've had him a couple of weeks now, and he's 8yrs with dental problems. Please help!

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