There are seven typical explanations for why canines lick their paws.

Dogs are known to engage in a wide variety of peculiar behaviors, as any pet owner can attest. To wit: cocking one's head If you think about it, there's no good reason for a dog to eat grass or feces. Canine paw licking is another behavior that many people don't understand. According to Dr. RuthAnn Lobos, DVM, "when a dog licks their paws constantly or concentrates on licking just the paw area, it may be a sign that something is wrong." To answer the question, "Why do dogs lick their paws?" we'll look at seven possible causes. Now that you know why your dog is licking his paws, you can address the next question: "How do I stop him?" " We also have data that could be useful in that respect.

Let's get the most important stuff out of the way first Dogs Lick Their Paws for What Reason? It's entirely possible that they're just grooming themselves, which is perfectly normal. Licking one's paws every once in a while is quite normal. When compared to cats, dogs aren't as meticulous about keeping themselves clean, especially their paws. After coming in from a walk, a dog may lick his paws briefly if he has possibly gotten sand or a lot of dirt on them. How to answer the question, "Should I prevent my dog from licking his paws?" if the actions fit that description, then the answer is Learn more here if you notice that your dog is always licking his paws.

Why do some dogs lick or chew on their paws so much?

An injury

It's possible that your dog's paws are hurt if you notice him chewing on them. Your puppy may have been injured, such as by stepping on glass or a thorn, breaking a claw, being stung by a bee, or getting burned on hot asphalt. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and owner of Holistic Veterinary Care and Rehabilitation Center Gary Richter gives the example of foxtails, a small plant native to the West Coast. Between a dog's toes, the seeds can actually burrow into the skin. ”

If the licking comes out of the blue, it's probably due to a boo-boo. Look at your dog's nails, pads, and the tops of his feet. An effective canine first aid kit may allow you to treat your dog on your own, depending on the nature of the problem. However, if you have any concerns, it's best to check with your veterinarian.


Your dog's feet, like the rest of his body, are susceptible to irritation and itching from fleas, ticks, and mange. If your dog is licking his paws excessively, especially in the summer, parasites may be to blame. Your vet will be able to help you choose the most effective parasite treatment for your dog from the many available options. There are some effective home treatments for fleas that you can try if it turns out that your pet has an infestation.

It's counterintuitive, but canine food allergies commonly manifest as paw itch. Even though it's not clear why the paws are particularly affected, this is one of the first places veterinarians look when a dog won't stop licking his feet.

Dogs lick their paws after eating what? The correct response differs depending on the dog and the circumstance. In such scenarios, Dr., recommends consulting with a veterinarian to determine the best diet for your dog. Lobos Complete and balanced diets made with fewer ingredients or a single source of animal protein are preferred by some pet owners. Veterinarians' Choice Dog Foods: the Brands They Feed Their Own Pets


If you're a dog owner, you know that canines are creative when it comes to finding ways to convey their thoughts and feelings. If you're wondering why they're licking their paws at you, it's because they want to warn you about something. Dogs that lick their paws nonstop may be in pain, and it may not be in their paws. It is common for dogs to lick their front paws when they are in pain.

Given that dogs, like many animals, try to hide their discomfort, this may take some time to figure out. A number of reasons can be given for why dogs lick their paws, but one of the most common ones is that it helps keep their paws This is a very disturbing possibility. Your dog may be in pain, and if you can't figure out the source, your vet is the best person to ask.

One possible explanation for a dog's tendency to bite and lick is that he or she is scratching itchy paws. Dermatitis may be the reason your dog obsessively licks his paws during specific times of year or weather patterns. In dogs, an allergic reaction to a substance in the environment is one possible cause of dermatitis.

When a dog exhibits this behavior, it could be an indication that something is bothering him, such as lawn chemicals, rock salt, or other de-icing products, or weeds and plants. Similarly to humans, "dogs can be affected by pollen, grass, and mold," as Dr. Lobos Cleaning your dog's feet with wipes designed for that purpose after each walk may be all that's needed to stop him from chewing on his paws. Dr. Marti also recommends "regular bathing with an appropriate dog shampoo," which Richter

Challenges in Behavioral Management

When a dog's anxiety or boredom sets in, they may lick themselves excessively. Don't judge this place by its cover. Even the most active dogs can get bored, and even the most placid-looking puppies can suffer from anxiety. Quite a few unusual factors can actually cause anxiety in dogs. Treatment plans developed in consultation with a dog trainer or behaviorist can address the underlying causes of such licking. Plus, the earlier you notice it, the simpler it will be to fix.

A corn

This is quite possible, especially if your dog is a greyhound. Due to the special shape of their feet, Greyhounds are virtually the only breed prone to developing corns. In extreme cases, they can cause your dog so much pain that he licks his paw in an attempt to alleviate the irritation. You can prevent them with dog booties or by keeping your dog off of hard surfaces while on walks.

Knowing the final explanations for why dogs lick their paws is a huge relief for dog owners. finding out why your dog licks his paws and how to stop him A dog's paws can become infected with bacteria or yeast if he constantly licks and nibbles at them. So, the act of licking becomes a problem in and of itself. The sooner you and your veterinarian can put an end to the behavior, the better.

If your dog continues to lick, chew, or bite at the pad despite your requests for them to stop, or if they are guarding their paw, you should take them to the vet, as advised by Dr. Lobos A light dog's fur turning a darker color is a telltale sign of excessive licking. The fur can become stained with saliva, as explained by Dr. Richter Where they lick, the fur will turn a rusty color. ”


  • Dr. RuthAnn Lobos, the head veterinarian at Merrick Pet Care
  • Dr. Gary Richter, owner of Holistic Veterinary Care and Rehabilitation Center
Photos by svetikd/Getty Images
Photograph: Kristian Randel/Stockbyte
Images courtesy of Ling Stock/Shutterstock

Initial Publication Date: April 26, 2022

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