Why is My Dog Excessively Licking Their Paws?

A responsible dog parent may get worried if their pet frequently licks their paws. They wonder why their pet entertains themselves in such a weird way. So, why do dogs frequently lick their paws, and what should you do if you notice such odd behavior?

There are a few potential reasons why your dog may lick their paws all the time:

  • Allergy
  • Cracks or wounds on the pads of the paws
  • Fungal disease
  • Diaper rash, especially in long-haired dogs
  • Boredom
  • Stress
  • Stereotypic behavior

If you see your dog frequently licking their paws, it’s time to take some action.

So what should you do if your dog licks their paws frequently?

  1. Thoroughly examine the pads of your dog’s paws after each walk. Examine the space between the fingers as well to notice wounds or cracks and, if necessary, provide your pet with assistance.
  2. If your dog licks their paws because of the allergy, immediately address a vet to find out what caused this allergy. The vet will suggest a proper diet and, if necessary, prescribe medications.
  3. A fungal disease also requires medical treatment. You should pass the tests, consult a vet, and follow his recommendation thoroughly. 
  4. Diaper rash is usually provoked by the lack of air between the fingers, high humidity, and friction. In this case, it is worth cutting the hair between the fingers, and after washing, dry the paws with a hairdryer.
  5. If you have ruled out health problems, your dog may lick their paws because of boredom. Does your dog get enough attention every day? Do they walk enough? Do they have enough toys to play with, and do they spend enough time with you? Maybe you should offer your dog more activities and spend more time with them.
  6.  If a dog lives in poor conditions, they may be licking their paws because of the stress. In this case, it is worth analyzing whether you provide your dog with the necessary comfort and, if not — change your pet’s living conditions.
  7. Finally, your dog may lick their paws because of stereotypy. “Stereotypies” are repetitive, seemingly aimless behaviors that should be addressed with the help of a specialist.

January 28, 2022

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