Posted by camille arneberg on

What Every Pet Parent Should Know About Their Dog Licking Paws

Table of Contents

We all know just how adorable and loving our pets are, especially thanks to their quirky behaviors. Whether your pet has a funny howl, is a bit clumsy, or loves to cuddle, it’s often these unusual behaviors that are seriously special and make us love our pets even more. But, not all of those oddities are healthy. In fact, some of them can be harmful, so it's important to pay close attention. If one of the ‘funny’ things about Fido is that your pet is constantly licking his paws, it’s likely a sign that there’s something more serious going on. Here is everything you should know about your dog licking paws and some dog licking paws remedies that can help.

Why Is Your Dog Licking His Paws?

If you’re wondering why your pet licks his paws in the first place, the answer is simple. He’s grooming himself. You wash your hands after you’ve been outside, before a meal and anytime you want to clean up. The same goes for your pet, but in his case, he’s grooming himself by licking his paws. It’s normal for your pet to lick his extremities. It’s his way to keep fresh and clean. So, if you see your dog going to town after he’s returned from an outing outdoors, or tidying up before bed, it’s no cause for concern. You should, however, check out what’s going on if your dog is overly aggressive in his paw licking or seems to be grooming himself non-stop. 

What Excessive Dog Paw Licking Could Mean

Paw licking becomes problematic when it’s excessive or your pet is clearly agitating his skin. He should be gentle and leisurely about the way he grooms himself, and if he’s not, it likely means there’s something more serious going on. If you’ve noticed your dog licking paws way too often, it’s time to help your pet and figure out what’s going on. There are a host of things that could be causing him to itch, bite and lick those paws incessantly, but here are some of the most common causes of dog paw licking.

A Paw Injury Could Be To Blame For Excessive Paw Licking

The most obvious cause of dog licking paws is injury. Perhaps your pet stepped on something sharp and has an abrasion, or maybe he slid and skidded to a halt at the dog park and has a bit of road burn on his paw pad. Whatever the case may be, start by thoroughly checking your pet for injury. 

Bee Stings & Insect Bites Can Lead To Dog Paw Licking 

If your dog spends plenty of time outdoors, an insect could be to blame for his measles scratching and licking. Your dog is naturally curious and likely to poke a paw at anything that strikes his fancy—including bees and other potentially harmful insects. If your dog is licking and licking at his paws, an insect bite or bee sting might be to blame. 

A Foreign Object Could Be Causing Irritation

If you've ever gotten a piece of sock lint stuck between your toes, you know just how irritating it can be to have something rubbing the sensitive skin between your digits. Well, Fido feels much the same way! If there’s something stuck in his fur or lodge between his paw pads, it could be extremely irritating. To the point at which he’s licking, gnawing, and lapping at his paws to try to get that object out! Common culprits include plant particles, pebbles and wood chips. 

Seasonal Or Food Allergies Can Make Your Pet’s Paws Itchy

Occasional, seasonal, or food allergies can cause serious agitation for your pet and it’s often in the form of itchy, itchy skin. If you notice your dog licking his paws to the point that they’re irritated, red, and inflamed, allergies might be behind all that action. This can be easy to notice if your pet is only licking his paws at certain times of the year or if you see he’s developed the habit shortly after switching to new dog food or has recently tried a new ingredient. 

Occasional Joint Discomfort Can Make Your Dog Lick His Paws

Itching and irritation aren’t the only things that cause pets to lick their paws. It could also mean your dog is uncomfortable. If you notice your pet licking the top of his paws, where his joints are, this could mean he’s experiencing occasional joint discomfort and it’s time to take action to help him with the issue. 

Your Dog’s Mood Might Be Behind His Paw Licking

Dogs get bored and when they’re not entertained, stimulated, or played with enough, sometimes they develop bad habits to pass the time. Excessive paw looking can stem from boredom. It’s also an indicator that your pet might be stressed and anxiety is causing him to lick his feet to the extreme. Your dog’s mood, emotional and mental health can all factor into paw licking. 

Dog Licking Paws Remedies To Help Your Agitated Pet

First and foremost, it’s important to bring your pet in for a Vet visit if you suspect something troubling is going on with his paws. But, once you’ve ruled out something serious, like injury or infection, consider a paw-soothing remedy to help out your itchy, agitated pet. There are plenty of things you can do at home to support your dog and his paws, that don’t require a trip to the Vet or pharmaceuticals. Here are some of the dog licking paws remedies you should consider: 

Feed A Healthy, Balanced Diet

The diet you feed your pet is key to his overall health. Giving Fido dog food that’s rich in essential nutrients, healthy, balanced, and packed with animal protein is the best way to set his body up for success and help support his overall wellness. Start with healthy food when your dog is licking his paws. 

Get Moving! Exercise Is Important For Paw Health

Beat boredom, anxiety, and stress by heading outdoors with your dog. Regular, daily activity can help keep him physically fit and mentally healthy. Plus, it’s good for you to get out and about, as well! Your pet wants stimulation and an emotional connection. Spending time getting active helps you offer your dog both in one go! 

Keep His Paws Trimmed & Clean

Help prevent anything from getting lodged or tangled between your dog’s toes by keeping his paw fur clipped close. Trim his nails frequently and take time to get all the excess hair out from between his paw pads. This will help prevent injury and irritation for your pet, both of which can cause excessive paw licking.

Choose Dog Supplements That Support Paw Health

Adding certain nutrients to your dog’s diet can help with paw health if his paw irritation is caused by occasional allergies or joint discomfort. Here are some dog supplements you should consider adding to your dog’s diet if that's the case: 

    • Add Allergy Support: If you suspect occasional or seasonal allergies are behind your dog licking his paws, add allergy support to his diet. Look for a formula that’s rich in antioxidant power to boost his immune system and help his body while he’s reacting to an allergen. 
    • Include Omega Fatty Acids: Not only are Omega-3 Fatty Acids an essential part of your dog’s diet, but they’re especially helpful when it comes to skin and coat health. They nourish your pet’s skin and coat from within to promote overall wellness and work to prevent dry, flaky, itchy skin from annoying your dog. 
    • Soothe Fido With A Calming Supplement: If you suspect stress or anxiety is to blame for your dog’s paw licking, look for a supplement that will soothe and comfort your dog. Ingredients like Hemp, Chamomile, and Melatonin can all be beneficial if anxiety is an issue for your dog.  
    • Help Out His Joints With Bone Support: If you suspect your pet is licking his paws because he’s experiencing occasional joint discomfort, add nutritive ingredients to his dog dish that can help. Collagen, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin all promote joint wellness and healthy connective tissues. 

PetHonesty Products To Help Prevent Excessive Paw Licking

Add PetHonesty Advanced Allergy SkinHealth Chews to your dog’s diet for the ultimate allergy support. It’s packed with antioxidants, thanks to a mushroom blend that’s seriously potent and targets your pet’s immune system to offer support. Or, if you want to pay extra attention to your pet’s joint wellness, add in support from PetHonesty Advanced Hip & Joint Chews. They’re made with your dog’s joints in mind and include a blend of all the best bone-healthy ingredients for your dog. 


Sources:

https://thebark.com/content/why-my-dog-excessively-licking-his-paws

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/why-does-my-dog-lick-and-chew-his-paws/

https://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-diseases-conditions-a-z/why-my-dog-excessively-licking-his-paws