Dog breeds

5 Reasons Why Your Dog Keeps Licking Paw

You might have noticed that your dog keeps licking paws. This is a normal behavioral habit of your dog. But suppose the paw licking becomes aggressive and focused on one paw. It may signify certain abnormality in the paw like an injury, some infection, food allergy, environmental stress, or anxiety.

Why Your Dog Keeps Licking Paw?

Dogs are natural groomers and then often lick themselves as a part of their self-grooming routine. Sometimes dog keeps licking paw after a walk to clean off the dirt from their paws.

If the dog licks the paws off and on, it is nothing to worry about. The situation becomes intense if your dog keeps licking one paw continuously.

You need to look at the dog’s paw and look for any redness or inflammation in the paw pad. If the dog keeps licking between paw pad, then it may indicate a health problem. This condition, if left unnoticed, can further lead to a bigger problem.

Health Problems

There may be an underlying health problem associated with this abnormal paw licking. Learn about some of the reasons for this excessive paw licking:

Injury

If a dog keeps licking bottom of paw then you need to observe your dog’s paw closely and look for any injury if it is visible. There may be a swollen paw pad, a stone, or any sharp object embedded in the paw pad. Sometimes a torn nail causes enough discomfort, and the dog keeps scratching ear and licking paw.

The dog may be stung by a bee or blistered by stepping on a hot sidewalk. You can give simple first aid to your canine friend or consult your vet if there is some serious issue with your dog’s paw.

Itchy and Dry Skin

The dry or itchy skin due to various allergies is one of the main causes of paw licking in dogs. The dog keeps licking paw most of the time, but there is nothing to notice. This excessive paw licking may be due to the skin itching .Your dog may be allergic to any chemical around your house, probably the one used in your yard, or various types of weeds may be causing itching in the dog’s paws.

It would be best to wash your dog’s paw whenever coming inside after a walk or a playful activity. This will remove the dirt or any chemical on the dog’s paw and eventually prevent any allergy or an infection.

Food Allergy

Dog keeps licking paws- dog eating ice cream
Dog eating ice-cream

Sometimes certain food allergies are the leading cause of your dog paw licking. This allergy leads to itchy and dry paws due to which the dog licks the paws excessively to have a soothing effect.

Certain foods that contain dairy, wheat, soy, and similar foods can initiate an allergic response in your dog. It would help if you observed your dog paw licking habits closely. If the dog keeps licking paws immediately after eating a meal, you can accuse this food of causing excessive itching.

You should first report to your vet the abnormal licking habits of your dog. He will suggest certain foods to reduce this food allergy and notify you about specific food ingredients causing the allergy.

Pain

A dog keeps licking paw pads if he is experiencing hip pain, joint pain, or he has arthritis. This mostly happens in older dogs. It is a dog’s natural habit to lick his front paw even if it hurts in any other body part like any joint or leg.

Your vet will examine the dog thoroughly and prescribe a suitable cure.

Secondary Infections

If your dog keeps licking paw, you need to address the problem immediately without delaying it. Due to different reasons, the dog may lick the paws. But the continuous licking leads to dampness, and this damp paw pad is an ideal place for any bacterial or fungal infection.

This secondary infection can worsen the situation by increasing the paw’s swelling, itching, and redness. So, help your vet find out the problem causing excessive paw licking.

Meanwhile, your vet may prescribe a topical spray or antifungal to reduce itching, swelling, and redness. And it would also work to treat these infections.

Behavioral Issues

Suppose you and your vet have tried all the methods but could not find any solid reason for dog paw licking. Then this continuous paw licking may be due to any behavioral issue like stress and anxiety.

Though it is not common, it still can be the underlying cause of excessive paw licking. The dog may lick his paws out of boredom, stress, fear, or anxiety. This licking behavior relieves the dog, which eventually becomes a habit.

To keep dog from licking paw, you have to identify the problem. If the dog faces boredom or separation anxiety, spending time and playing with him can help. You can also buy him interactive toys and take him on walks. This would surely help your dog.

Remember, never scold your dog when licking paws. Instead, give them treats that could distract them from paw licking. Try to treat this issue with love and affection.

FAQs

How Can I Get My Dog To Stop Licking His Paws?

Ans: To keep your dog from licking paws, you can distract them by offering treats and rewards. Or take him on long walks and involve them in some playful activity.

 What Your Dog Is Trying To Warn About If They Lick Their Paws?

Ans : It may signify certain abnormality in the paw like an injury, some secondary infections, food allergy, environmental stress, or anxiety. Consult your vet about this issue or contact an animal behaviorist who can address anxiety and environmental stress.

Why Do Dogs Lick The Bottom Of Their Paws?

Ans: it may be due to some allergies in the dog paw that causes itchy paw and redness in the paw. The dog then relieves this itchiness by licking at the bottom or between paw pads.

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