Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?
A dog is a man’s best friend – they’re therapeutic to have around, are there when nobody else is, and they shower you with unconditional love! The best part is that they’re cute, upbeat, and do all sorts of funny things that keep you smiling and craving their company all the time!
Since you two are partners in your prime, it’s only understandable that your pains are shared too. Something as little as your dog excessively scratching or licking its paw is enough to trigger any dog parent’s anxiety, let alone any serious illnesses.
So if your dog is licking its paws, don’t worry, you’ve probably got nothing to worry about. Dogs love grooming themselves and licking their skin is a part of their daily routine. However, if you spot your pooch licking its paws aggressively and more than you’ve ever seen them do, we’ve listed below a few reasons that’ll help you identify the issue with your fur baby.
Reasons Why Your Dog May Be Licking Its Paws Excessively
First and foremost, pick up your dog’s paw and check for any possible injuries or blisters. The injury could be because an insect bit them or perhaps your pooch stepped on a thorn or a pointy object.
If the dog is only licking one of its paws excessively, it’s highly likely that they’ve encountered an injury. You may have to check closely between their nails, toes, and the top of the feet. In case of an injury, apply the necessary ointment or contact your vet.
If your dog’s paws look normal, the itching may be due to a contact allergy to any grass or weed – especially if they’ve just come from outside. Gently cleaning off their paws with a damp cloth will instantly help.
Fleas & Ticks
External parasite infections such as hookworms, fleas, mange, etc. tend to make the paws very itchy and the experience can be absolutely brutal for your fur babies. If you don’t see any possible sign of injury and see them scratching their paws constantly, get them the necessary flea medication right away.
Flea medication for dogs is usually available in different forms such as flea and tick sprays, oral medications, and flea shampoos, powders, or dips. Get one of these products after consulting your vet to prevent the spread of fleas and ticks.
One of the most prevalent reasons for constant licking is dry or itchy skin that even we humans constantly fall prey to. Make sure to keep your dog’s paws moisturized and contact your vet for a possible prescription if unfavorable situations persist.
Certain foods and elements in the environment can trigger allergies in your dog. This can result in itchy paws but the exact reason/ingredient may be very difficult to pinpoint. Start by eliminating some ingredients from your dog’s daily food for better understanding.
Anxiety or boredom can lead your pooch to develop compulsive habits such as licking its paws obsessively. The problems can be eliminated by training your pet to stay busy, taking them for walks, and playing with them to shift their focus.
If your dog is old or if they have arthritis, they’ll do all sorts of things to comfort their aching paws and joints. Dogs suffering from pain in their lower leg may turn to lick their paws to keep the aching at bay.
The Takeaway: Should You Be Worried?
If your dog has been licking its paws compulsively for more than a day, it’s probably not self-grooming. You have to consider the possibility of an underlying issue. Observe it, get the problem diagnosed, and opt for the most effective treatment at your earliest.