Most dogs lick their paws sometimes, but what do you do when it starts to become a nonstop habit? It’s normal for our feline friends to lick themselves daily, but dogs are a different story! To keep your dog from becoming more like one of the cats, you’ll want to put this paw licking to a stop! But how? And why did this all start anyway?
Minor paw licking in dogs is common, but the more it happens, the more there’s a cause for concern. We’re here to help you get to the bottom of this. Below are some of the most common reasons your dog keeps licking their paws, and what you can do to stop it.
Reasons Why Your Dog Licks Their Paws
So you’ve noticed your fur baby has developed a new habit, and you’re not on board. Nobody likes slobbery paws! But if you want to stop the problem, you need to know why it started in the first place. Here are the main reasons your dog might have gotten into paw licking:
Your Dog Could Have an Injury
Licking their paw might help relieve some of the pain. Often when this is the case if your dog is licking one paw, not both. What if your dog was bit by an insect, injured by a rough surface, or even tore a nail? The best way to ensure that this isn’t the case is by carefully inspecting the paw for anything unusual. Depending on the injury, you can treat it yourself, or choose to seek out professional care.
Your Dog Could Be the Victim of a Common Parasite
Fleas or ticks may be the culprit. If a tick embedded itself in your dog’s paw, there’s a good chance they’ll lick that area. In the case of fleas, your dog could experience an allergic reaction to the flea saliva. This could also lead to fur loss or redness.
Your Dog Could Be Experiencing a Bothersome Food Allergy.
Food allergies in dogs are caused by a wide range of ingredients. These can be triggered by their everyday meals, or their sweet and savory treats. Itchy paws are a common side effect of food allergies, which can lead to your dog licking their paws. If food allergies are the case, the symptoms can get far worse than pesky paw licking. Some dogs may also experience vomiting, hives, or even aggression.
Your Dog Could Be Undergoing Behavioral Issues
Anxiety or boredom may be a contributing factor. Behavioral issues can be more difficult to diagnose than injury or infection. This is because they don’t leave a noticeable physical mark. If you’re certain that the cause isn’t physical, behavioral issues may be the culprit.
What You Can Do to Help
It’s important to note that excessive paw licking could lead to more serious health problems for your dog. A bacterial infection could develop from all that unwanted moisture down there.
There are certainly steps you can take to help out your four-legged friend. But your expertise is most likely limited. Don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian even if you aren’t sure what’s causing the paw licking. Take care of your dog and get professional help whenever you see fit. You know your dog best! Here are a few helpful tips:
- If your dog is injured, you’ll need to treat the injury according to its severity. Your dog might need some good rest, or could require veterinary assistance. Either way, once the problem has subsided, the paw licking should hopefully stop.
- If your dog is suffering from parasites, seek out treatment for the parasite in question. Oftentimes, you can do this at your own home. You’ll have to use discretion and determine what’s right for your furry friend.
- If your dog is experiencing a food allergy, there are a few steps you can take to help. The most important thing is to cut unnecessary foods or ingredients out of your dog’s diet. Here at Carolina Prime Pet, we offer a wide range of wholesome treats without icky fillers. Our popular Sweet Potato Bones are a natural choice, and consist of just one If your furry friend needs something a little meatier, try out our Chicken Tenders. Many dog-owners see a positive difference when switching to artificial-free treats.
- If your dog is dealing with behavioral issues, you may consider extra exercise and play-time, if the issue of boredom. If your dog has some form of anxiety, they might require a little extra attention. We recommend incorporating special treats for behavior training into your dog’s diet. Here at Carolina Prime Pet, we’re proud to offer Salmon Topper-Trainer Treats. These quality treats are soft, flavorful, and could be just what your dog has been waiting for.
We know seeing your dog constantly lick their paws can be concerning, so we hope this list of suggestions has been helpful to you!