If you're a dog parent who is always monitoring your dog's behavior, you might become a little worried if you start to notice that they are excessively licking their paws. It can become worrisome of course. But like most behaviors, your dog could be constantly licking their paws for a variety of reasons.
Before we get started, you should know that a dog licking their paws can be totally normal. They do this as a grooming technique on occasion. But if you do start to notice it getting a little out of hand, taking note is definitely the correct first step. So why is my dog licking his or her paws?
Food allergies can be a little scary. But as long as you're aware of what your dog's consuming, you likely don't need to worry too much. However, this could be a reason why your dog is licking their paws. Our Mini Aussie, Scout, is actually allergic to Chicken as we found out when we noticed him itching a considerable amount. Like it was with Scout, this could be a significant contribution towards your dog licking their paws. This can be curbed with a specific diet recommended by your Veterinarian.
Pain or Injuries:
Your dog might be trying to deal with pain or injuries which could be a contributing factor as to why they might be licking at their paws for long periods of time. The pain doesn't even need to necessarily be in their paws. But they might be licking them to try and alleviate the pain. They don't know any better! This pain could be something like arthritis, so it's safe to be cautious and have them checked by your Vet.
Injuries are another key potential factor that you'll likely want to check first. If you notice your dog going at their paws, examine them and see if there's a visible injury. This could include something like a thorn, broken nail, a cut or even a piece of glass. Whatever it is, it could be an injury that is effecting them.
If you don't notice any sort of injury or irritation, this could be a potential cause. Dermatitis can be due to a few different factors such as bacterial problems, food sensitivity or allergies. Your dog could be allergic to things like chemicals used in your yard, or even specific types of grass!
After ruling everything else out, it might boil down to your dog dealing with some possible behavioral issues. Dog's can become bored or even deal with another problem like some sort of anxiety. Some dogs also could develop compulsive behaviors, which can result in paw licking.
To combat this, you could try a few different things that can stimulate your dog both physically and mentally. You can always try to stimulate them indoors on rainy days with these different types of activities. And on nice days, head outside and take them on a walk, hike or a jog. Don't forget, some dogs need more physical exercise than others do.
And if it is a type of anxiety they are dealing with, there are several different remedies that you could try out such as CBD treats or other calming snacks for them.
The potential reasons why your dog might be licking their paws doesn't end here. So make sure to check out other possible answers on the AKC website! (Information for this blog comes from AKC.org)
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