Ask A Vet: Why does my dog lick its paws?

Ask A Vet: Why does my dog lick its paws?

As dog parents, most of you have noticed that your little pup keeps licking its paws at times. Paw licking is standard behavior in dogs, but a healthy pup should not paw lick excessively; otherwise, it could indicate a severe problem. For many canine companions, paw licking is a naturally occurring behavior with various explanations.

Constant foot licking can also lead to a yeast or bacterial infection. The good news is that home remedies can treat many of the causes.

Below, we've outlined some reasons why dogs lick their paws and how this habit relates to their health.

  1. Self-Grooming Habits:

Dogs regularly lick their tail, paws, and legs to remove debris. It is normal and healthy behavior and a sign your furry companion wants to be clean. On the other hand, constant paw licking warrants a closer examination.

  1. Skin Irritation:

Itchy or dry skin is also one of the reasons why your pup might be licking its paws excessively. Environmental allergies often cause skin irritation. Dust, certain grasses, and weeds can trigger allergic reactions in many dogs, and your pup may lick its paws aggressively to relieve the tingling sensation. Swollen eyes, sneezing, or a runny nose are the symptoms of your dog suffering from allergies.

Keeping your furry friend clean could help reduce the symptoms. It is better to contact your vet to confirm if your pet has an allergy.

  1. Food Allergies:

Some humans with food allergies experience an itchy throat or other symptoms; similarly, dogs feel an uncomfortable agitation on their paws.

Some dog treats and foods might tempt your dog to relieve the uncomfortable sensation by excessively licking its paws.

Consult with your veterinarian if you think that your dog has food-related allergies. The vet will help you choose a proper diet for your doggo's needs. Always check the labels on your dog's foods and treats, and avoid ingredients that can trigger allergies.

  1. Pains:

Dogs also lick their wounds to manage pain. If your pup is licking the same paw, it is a sign that it's coping with a bite, cut, sting, puncture, burns, or ingrown nail. Seeking professional advice is recommended if you notice any injury.

  1. Aches:

Arthritis is another common reason for licking. Although this joint condition generally causes pain in various areas, dogs often lick their paws to manage the achiness. Your vet can help with your dog's problem and give a solution that can reduce your poor pup's discomfort.

  1. Boredom or Separation Anxiety:

Separation anxiety and boredom can also lead to licking and other unhealthy habits, including digging, barking, or even destructive chewing.

Get your pup items that will make them feel comfortable when they're alone; it could be a fun dog chew toy or a favorite blanket. Your dog will be distracted from licking its paws and will also be entertained.

Contact your vet if you ever feel like your dog is licking or chewing on its paws way too much. They will be able to tell better what the problem is and how to treat it.


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