All the dogs lick or chew their paws and it is normal. It can gross the owners out sometimes but it is not something abnormal. The problem arises when the dog licks the paws excessively or is obsessed with doing so. However, this behavior should not be ignored because many serious reasons might be there behind it.
The dogs are generally prone to several allergic reactions that might make them lick their paws. However, if your dog is experiencing severe skin conditions, injuries, presence of parasites, or ticks in the paws, then it is quite obvious for him to lick the paws.
Apart from these, your dog might be licking his paws due to anxiety, boredom, or he is trying to clean himself. Any of the possible reasons can be hazardous for your dog’s health and should be rooted out as soon as possible.
Here, in this blog, we will explain various reasons why your dog is licking his paws and the logic behind it. Is it normal if your dog licks their paws occasionally? Yes. It is extremely normal. But if you see that your dog is excessively doing it, then it is time for you to take some immediate action regarding the same.
Many dogs suffer from anxiety. Some dogs lick their paws to calm themselves down. If your dog is suffering from anxiety, it is necessary to notice the common symptoms of anxiety in your dog and treat him. Licking their paws is one of the symptoms of anxiety in dogs. To find out, you should concentrate on what are the conditions or things that made your dog lick its paws. By doing so, you can get a clue on the conditions causing stress and anxiety and you might try to change them.
Loud noises, such as thunderstorms or fireworks might frighten them and cause anxiety. One thing you should do is make them feel secure by being with them. A sense of security arises when they are with their owner. Give your dog an exposure to loud noises at a young age to keep them away from suffering from loud noise anxiety.
Another reason might be an injury. Your dog might be licking its paws due to the pain from the injury in his paws. A dog might injure his paws while running outside on the road or pavement for too long or if he gets lost and the owner cannot find him, he might run a lot and injure his paw pads. If that has happened to you, you might help your dog heal his paws with medications and rest. Or you can give him rest by not taking him outside and let him heal himself. If you notice a wound or injury on your dog’s paws, disinfect the wound first.
The foremost possible reason is there is something stuck in his paws while playing, walking, or running and he is trying his level best to take it out by licking it. It is much likely to happen if the dog walks in an area full of loose gravel or garbage thrown across the ground. The best way to make him stop licking is to help him remove the stuck object from his paws.
Cleaning or boredom
One of the common reasons of your dog licking his paws is he is trying to clean himself from the activity he did earlier. It is very typical of any dog to lick themselves to clean. Although, sometimes it is difficult to know the exact reason. Therefore, whenever you notice your dog licking his paws, always check if they have something on it. If not, the reason might be either cleaning or boredom.
Dogs do get bored too, just like people. If you often leave your dog alone, give them less attention than they require, if they have less physical or mental activity than the appropriate amount then the dogs might get bored and to keep themselves busy with something, they might lick their paws. If you notice this, try playing more with your dog and spending time with them because, with you, they would not be much bored and hence, might stop licking their paws.
Allergy, parasites, skin conditions
If your dog excessively licks their paws, there is a possibility of allergic reactions or parasites present in their paws or some specific skin conditions. If you notice something, you must immediately take him to his usual veterinary doctor and get him checked. There might be allergic reactions to something he eats.
If he walks in an open area, there is a chance of parasites attaching to his paws. Get him cleaned up after each walk for no such chances of hazards. Skin conditions and fungal infections make their paws itch and dry up which is again a serious thing that should be taken care of by their owners.
There can be various reasons for your dog licking its paws. The most common reasons could be boredom, infection, or debris stuck in his paws which he must be trying to get rid of his paws.
Many skin ailments can cause your dog’s paw itch leading them to lick their paws to subside the itching. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can be another reason which makes your dog lick its paws excessively.
You should opt for a soft approach to get rid of your dog’s licking habits as otherwise, it will badly affect the mental and physical health of your pet. It is fine to get grossed out by a few habits of your dog but remember to always love them the same way you do.
Make your dog comfortable by spending more time and playing with them as much as possible. Playing with your dog is very important for its better physical and mental health. Giving an ample amount of time and attention to your dog is very crucial as it will help maintain his good health.