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Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?


Paw-licking in dogs is a part of self-grooming. That’s why you will see that fastidious groomers lick their paws while settling down to take a nap, after coming out, or after meals. But your dog can also occasionally lick their paws even if it doesn’t do self-grooming a lot. If it licks its paws once in a while, then this is not a major cause for concern.

However, if it licks at its paws aggressively or frequently, then this is usually a sign that it has a health problem.

Check out How to Help Your Dog Battle Anxiety And Stress?

How do You Know that It’s Licking its Paws Excessively?

There are some ways to know if the licking of paws by your dog is excessive. One is through visual signs. For instance, if you notice that it licks its paws a little frequently and it’s a continued behavior, this should alarm you. Since you don’t watch your dog 24/7, it’s not easy to know that it does this occasionally or excessively. Check their paws to see if there are stains on the fur. The repetitive nature of paw-licking is sure to make the fur to be stained, especially for dogs with light-colored coats.

Another tell-tale sign of excessive paw-licking is the presence of wounds on the paws. These woods can be inflamed, red, and sometimes swollen and will be persistent most of the time.

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?

Many reasons may cause dogs to lick their paws. Below are some of the most common causes of paw-licking:

· Allergies
· Pain
· Yeast Infection
· Anxiety
· Dry Skin
· Gastrointestinal issues
· Bacterial and fungal infections
· Fleas
· Hormonal imbalance
· Boredom

When you notice that there is a pattern of paw-licking in your dog, the first thing you want to do is to identify where the problem is and how to stop it. Do a thorough visual inspection of the paws of your pup to find out visible signs of redness, cuts, or wounds. Thus, this can be an immune system disorder that you can solve by giving your dog natural C60 oil used for pets. If there is evidence of aggressive or excessive paw-licking, get in touch with your veterinarian to identify the cause of this behavior. He or she should be to rule out any allergies or infections that might require medical treatment.

How Do You Stop Your Dog From Licking Its Paws?

When it becomes apparent to you that the paw-licking has a pattern, you will need to remedy the situation quickly by finding a medical solution to paw licking. If your little pooch has a wound that’s making it to lick its paw, you need to perform first aid and treat the area. You will realize that the paw-licking has greatly reduced after treating the area and getting healed.

If the cause of paw-licking in your dog is due to allergies, your vet will have the dog examined and then see the elements that are causing it to continually lick their paws. As mentioned above, a yeast infection is another probable cause of paw-licking and this tends to occur as a result of poor diet. To try and deal with paw-licking due to allergies, try to change to different pet food.

If the reason for excessive paw-licking has something to do with gastrointestinal problems, your vet should easily provide a remedy to stop this bad behavior. Your vet may also issue treatment in things like fungal infections or hormonal imbalance. The vet will provide medical treatment to reduce and eventually eliminate the problem. The following causes of paw-licking can easily be treated at home:

·Fleas: If you have determined that the paw-licking of your dog is as a result of fleas, you can buy OTC flea treatment and get rid of the fleas. This will make your dog stop licking its paws.

·Anxiety or Boredom: Another potential reason why your pup is licking its paws is because of boredom or anxiety. This is best treated by walking with your pup more, entertaining it with ball fetching and chewing toys, and showing lots of attention and love to them.

·NB: Brain Training 4 Dogs is a great dog training program that features more than 20 games. This program not only teaches you how to stop your dog from barking and other good manners but also has a bagful of games that can keep your dog entertained throughout.

·Dry Skin: Itchy and dry skin can sometimes cause your pup to lick its paws. If it has dry skin, you just need to treat this by avoiding harsh shampoos and frequent baths. You may also want to check with your veterinarian to recommend a good dog lotion as well as vitamin and pet supplements.

Other Tips

If the paw-licking persists, you may want to try out these tips:

·Teaching your dog to change its bad behaviors is easier said than done. Therefore, you will need to be patient and very consistent.

·You may want to use a pet-safe product to try and discourage it from licking its paws. In case this fails, you may need to use physical restraints like an e-collar.

·If you need behavioral help, you may need to work with a professional animal behaviorist or even a vet specialist in the subject of behavior.

Also having a new dog in the house their safety is a responsibility, so it’s vital that you do a dog-proofing sweep of your house before their arrival to ensure there are no hazards.


Occasional paw-licking is a common behavior in most dogs and you don’t need to worry about it. However, when you notice a pattern of excessive licking, you will need to attend to the problem immediately. Things like a cut or a wound in its paws or stains on the paw fur should immediately concern you.

Whether your pup licks its paws because of boredom or allergy, there are many ways of treating the subsequent continuous paw-licking. Solving this problem will help your dog to live happily and healthily.

If it is because of behavioral issues like boredom and anxiety, you can solve this by distracting it. The best way to do this is by finding innovative games for it.

Brain Training for Dogs by Adrienne Faricelli is a program I would readily recommend as it has more than 21 intuitive and pet-friendly games. Aside from enabling you to teach your dog good behavior, this online-based program also contains lots of games to distract your pup from licking its paws excessively.