Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?

Our furry pals' unique personalities never fail to pique our interest. Licking one's paws now and then is a normal part of a dog's self-grooming routine, especially after coming inside from a stroll on sandy or muddy ground. Should you be concerned if you see your dog licking its paws? Well, it depends.There may be something amiss if your dog licks his paws regularly and aggressively.

Possible Reasons For Your Dog's Paw-licking Habits

There are a number of potential explanations for why your dog is licking their paws, but the most typical and natural explanation is that they are engaged in the process of self-grooming. After engaging in some vigorous play, they frequently groom themselves by licking their paws. 

Here are a few additional explanations for why your dog may be licking their paw:

Your Dog May Have Food Allergies

Itchy paws may be a sign of a food allergy, which can be hard to diagnose. If you've recently altered your dog's diet and are now seeing a subsequent increase in licking its paws, a trip to the vet may be needed.

 

Your Dog May Be In Pain

When a dog's paws hurt from arthritis or another ailment, he may lick them. Your dog may be showing discomfort elsewhere on their body if they are constantly licking its paws. It has been suggested that if your dog is licking their paws frequently, it may be because they are experiencing pain.

 

Your Dog May Have A Skin Condition

Licking may be caused by a skin problem, even if the paw pads and feet look fine. One of the most common causes of frequent licking of the paws is dry or irritated skin. Environmental allergies are a common cause of skin irritation and dry paw pads in dogs. Dogs can develop allergies if they are allowed to play in unclean areas; to alleviate the discomfort, they may lick their paws excessively.

 

Your Dog May Have Anxiety

To help them relax, some dogs lick their paws. Excessive licking, along with other  behaviors like barking, digging, or destructive gnawing can be the result of boredom and separation anxiety.


Your Dog May Have Parasites

Dogs’ paws may itch due to a parasite infestation, such as fleas or mange. Infestations of parasites are often localized to one paw, but if your dog is suffering from them, you may notice that he or she is licking or scratching more than one area of its body. In addition to parasites, if your dog has a bacterial or yeast infection, this can  cause much more discomfort, altering your dog's behavior, and may even lead to swelling and redness.


What To Do If You Think  Your Dog Is Not Just Licking Their Paw For Self-Grooming?

To protect your dog from the potential dangers of paw licking, you should take the following precautions:

Do not let your dog play around areas that are dirty, grassy, or wooded  because these places are more prone to parasites that may lead to  infections.
If you are leaving the house, give your pet something to play with to distract them while you are away. Giving toys before you leave or treats once you get home may reduce the possibility of boredom or separation anxiety.
Be mindful of what you feed your dogs to avoid food allergies. 

When your pet licks their paws, it is a natural and easy method to make them happy. Licking their paws occasionally is very normal and may even aid in keeping them clean.

Veterinarians are better equipped to make an accurate diagnosis and provide prompt treatment if you suspect your pet's paw-licking is not self-grooming and is  frequent and aggressive.