Why is your dog licking its paws? There are many reasons your dog can be exhibiting this behavior. I’m Anai Fonte, owner of Dogtown and with over a decade working closely with our furry best friends I am going to help you find possible reasons your pup won’t stop munching on its paws.
In the article, “Why Does My Dog Lick His Paws?” written by Dr. Jerry Klein, CVO he states occasional paw licking is normal. However, if your dog starts licking suddenly this is likely a sign of an injury. Closely inspect the paw and see if they stepped on something. “If the paw pads and feet appear normal, the licking could be due to a skin condition (dermatitis), which often is the result of bacterial problems, allergies, or food sensitivities.” He recommends, Keeping a bowl of water and a towel near the door to gently clean off the paws when you come inside.
What if you’ve ruled out all health issues but the licking and chewing persists? Jenna Stregowski, RVT writes in her article “Why Does My Dog Lick His Paws?” that “it is most likely that your dog is licking their paws for behavioral reasons. It may be as simple as boredom. Or, it could be a sign of stress, fear or anxiety.” Try distraction techniques by engaging them in play or going for a walk. Do not reward with treats and if the problem persists consider getting help from a behavior specialist.
- Start off by ruling out an injury.
- It could be allergies or dermatitis. Try keeping the paws clean and dry.
- If all else fails, try distraction techniques as it could be boredom or anxiety. Seek help from a behaviorist if that does not work. I’ve had some success misting paws with apple cider vinegar.
Although your dogs excessive paw licking may have many possible causes following the above elimination process will help you figure out the best way to address it.