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Why does my dog lick his paws

7 minutes


Have you noticed that your dog is licking his paws and want to know what the reason is? There could be several reasons for this behaviour. Ask yourself whether any of these could be the case with your pet. If any of them didn't help your dog with licking his paws, you should visit a specialist to have your dog's paws checked.
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Why Is My Dog Licking His Paws?

Have you ever noticed that your dog licks his paws? I have seen this behaviour in my dog on more than one occasion. Then the question occurs in my mind why my dog does it. Dogs have it in common that the vast majority of their behaviour is not accidental. Therefore, my pet’s paw licking seemed interesting to me and I wanted to find out what was behind it.

A doggie can lick his paws for several different reasons. What’s more, it’s worth mentioning that this behaviour is perfectly normal as long as your doggie doesn’t start behaving this way too often. If you notice that your pet is notoriously licking his paws and for no good reason, this is a signal that something is wrong.

Why does a dog lick his paws?

There are several reasons why your pooch licks his paws. Let me tell you about each of them. Perhaps this will make it easier for you to understand your pet’s behaviour. It will also make it easier for you to read your pet’s signals. Remember that dogs often communicate with us in a different way than we would expect them to.

Abrasions and injuries to the dog’s paws

Your dog may lick its own paws due to abrasions and irritations. This mainly applies to the pads, which are the most sensitive part of a dog’s paw. This is where most of the dog’s abrasions occur due to direct contact with the ground.

During the winter, your dog may lick the pads of his paws to get rid of the salt on the pavement. This can cause your dog extreme discomfort and pain, especially if there is a wound on his foot.

I have written more about taking care of our dogs’ paw pads in a separate post, which you can find HERE. It is important to take care of our pets’ pads not only in winter but also in summer. Very high temperatures can make the pavement or asphalt scald the dog’s paws during walks.

Dog’s paws inflammation and infections

The reason for your dog licking his paws could be a microbial problem that has infected your dog’s paws. Furthermore, licking the diseased area provides a good environment for bacteria and fungi to grow. As a result of this behaviour, the infection can become even worse.

It is therefore important to quickly locate the reason why your pet is licking the paws. Inflammation can be caused by a cut in your dog’s paw that has not had a chance to be fully healed, or by bacteria getting into a fresh wound. Another cause could be a yeast infection.

Dog’s paw neglect

Unfortunately, your dog may lick his paws due to paw neglect. This connects to the care I mentioned earlier about taking care of the pads of your dog’s paws while walking, but not only. Neglect can also relate to your dog’s claws. If they are too long, they can cause great discomfort to the dog.

As a result, your dog may try to get rid of them on his own. Then you will certainly notice that your dog not only licks his paws but also bites them. This way, he is trying to get rid of the problem that annoys or irritates the dog when he moves.

Dog paw allergy

The cause of your dog’s paw licking could be an allergy. Your dog may be allergic to several things. Both to food products and to the materials and plastics from which their accessories are made.

Through contact with the allergen in question, your dog may develop an allergic reaction. This is often the case with your dog’s paws and ears. Your dog may feel uncomfortable because of an allergy. As a result, he may lick the place where he feels pain and itching, in this case, his paws.

Food residues on the pet’s paws

There is also a rather ordinary reason why pooch licks his paws. Pay attention to whether his paws sometimes land in the bowl while he is eating. As a result, after the meal, the dog, still feeling on his paws the taste and smell of favourite food, will try to reach the remains on them.

So if you notice that your puppy licks his paws, before you start looking for a deeper reason for this behaviour, make sure that your puppy does not simply have his paws covered with food.

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When to go to the vet with the dog when the dog is constantly licking paws

Should a dog licking paws be a worrying sign? Yes, but only after having observed your dog for a while. If you notice that your dog licks his paws once in a while, this is nothing to worry about.

However, if you notice that your dog has been doing this a lot, it is a sign that this issue is more serious. In this situation, consult your vet. Perhaps your pooch has health problems and the paw licking is the first warning sign.

However, before you take concrete steps, take a close look at your pet’s paws. Check to see if his claws are not too long, or if there’s anything stuck in them that’s making your pet uncomfortable. See if there is a rash or skin discolouration on your dog’s paws.

It is good to be aware of the condition of your pet’s paws. This will definitely make it easier for you to talk to your vet. It will be more efficient to get to the bottom of your dog’s problem and what such behaviour in your pet is caused by.

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The course of treatment of ailments and tips from the vet

Which treatment plan is prescribed for your pet depends on what caused your dog paw licking in the individual case. As so many factors could have caused this behaviour in your pooch, there are many ways of preventing it in future.

If the cause of your dog’s paw licking was an allergy, then it is very possible that you will need to look at your dog’s everyday accessories. Many of the materials that our pets’ things are made of can cause them to have allergic reactions.

This is why, when buying a new item for my pet, I always check carefully what the product is made of. I think that this is especially important in the case of our pet’s bedding. After all, your dog spends a lot of time on it and his body is in direct contact with the fabric.

The URBAN line beds from Bowl&Bone Republic, as the whole dog bedding made by this brand, have been filled with certified artificial down, which is fully hypoallergenic. This is a good choice for those dogs that are particularly prone to all kinds of allergic reactions.

Is your dog licking his paws?

Have you noticed that your dog licks his paws and do not know what to do about it? I hope I have been able to clear up some of your doubts and point out the cause of this behaviour in your pet.

Let me know what it was like for your pet. Did you manage to deal with this problem on your own, or was it necessary to consult a specialist?

Share your experiences with me in the comments section below.

Zdjęcie Klaudii

Author: Klaudia, author and a great dog lover
The doggy by my side teaches me to enjoy every moment and see each new day as a chance for a new, wonderful adventure. Searching for my soul mate, I found her in dogs' wise eyes.

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2 Responses to “Why does my dog lick his paws”

  1. Sara says:

    My Maltese licks his paws a lot. We already know that this is the result of a food allergy.

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