Dog Licking Paws: Remedies and Solutions
If you have a dog, you’re probably familiar with the scene: your furry friend is intently licking his paws as if they’re covered with cake batter. Much like licking cake batter, paw licking is a natural impulse and totally okay in moderation. But if your dog is licking his or her paws excessively, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
Why is my dog licking his paws?
There are a few reasons why your furry friend might be licking his paws excessively, ranging from boredom to food allergies.
A flea infestation can cause your dog to lick everywhere, including his or her paws. If your dog is itching in multiple locations on this body, fleas may be the culprit. Talk with your vet about how you can get rid of fleas and prevent further infestations.
Do your dog’s paws look mostly normal, but she can’t stop licking them? Dermatitis, which can be caused by bacteria, allergies, or chemicals such as yard treatment sprays, can cause your dog’s paws to itch. If you suspect dermatitis, talk with your vet about courses of treatment and try removing environmental exposure to potential allergens or irritants that your dog may be encountering.
Food allergies can cause many symptoms, including itchy paws in dogs. Beef and chicken are usually the sources that provoke most allergic reactions; however, some dogs are also allergic to fish, milk, corn, soy or eggs. Talk with your vet about exploring an elimination diet to see which food ingredients could be causing the allergic reaction in your dog.
You may also want to consider changing your dog’s diet to a fresh food diet. Fresh food diets include nutrients like amino acids, B-vitamin complexes and zinc, all of which support your dog’s immune system and may help prevent your furry friend from licking his paws excessively.
If your dog is suddenly licking only one of her paws excessively, it might be a sign that she has injured it. Take a close look at your dog’s paw and check for any injuries such as a cut, blister or torn nail. You should also check in between each paw pad to make sure a foreign object such as a stone or thorn hasn’t gotten stuck in there.
Boredom or anxiety
If you’ve eliminated physical causes, your dog could be licking his paws due to boredom or anxiety. Try providing your dog with more mental and physical stimulation if you suspect boredom. If you suspect anxiety, talk with your vet about ways to help your pet cope with anxiety.
What happens when excessive paw licking is left untreated?
Excessive paw licking (left untreated) can cause secondary infections to develop due to excess moisture. That’s why it’s important to identify and treat the licking quickly to avoid further complications and keep your dog operating at their best.