Licking paws in dogs | What are the signs and symptoms?

What are the causes of paws licking in dogs?

Why does my dog lick and chew his paws and how to prevent this behavior?

Many owners observe the behavior of paws licking in dogs in a common way and wonder if they should be concerned. In some cases, licking paws in dogs appears gently but persistently with one or both paws, but other dogs will go as far as chewing their toes, which can be confusing for any pet owner

What are the signs and symptoms of paws licking in dogs?

  • There is an important thing to consider. Not because you don’t see a dog licking its paws or chewing its paws does not mean they are not.
  • The dog chews the paws when he is bored or anxious, and he may not want to do this while you are around.
  • In addition, dogs that have experienced problems chewing their feet may choose to leave the room to chew.
  • Therefore, it is extremely important to watch for signs of licking paws in dogs. Especially if the dog is prone to anxiety or boredom or has a history of chewing its paws. Look for the following:
  1. swelling of the paws
  2. Paws with red fur (patch caused by red pigment, porphyrin, in the tears of dogs and saliva).
  3. Smelly paws
  4. Other signs of dermatitis.
  5. The dog’s claws are unusually high temperature
  6. Open wounds
  7. Missing hair spots, especially on the paws
  8. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, you should take it to the vet as soon as possible.

When do you worry about the licking paws in dogs?

  • Almost all dogs will bite or lick their paws from time to time.
  • Sometimes dogs appear to itch for no apparent reason, so it will be unusual for a dog to ever try to treat this itch.
  • So, if symptoms of licking paws in dogs appear once or twice and then disappear, you may not have to worry. Or if you are able to treat the cause immediately and stop chewing, there is no cause for concern.
  • On the other hand, if your dog does not stop chewing paws or appears to have an infection, you may have a problem. The same applies if they cause bites and chewing sores. In either case, take the dog to the vet as soon as possible.
  • It is important to do this because things can get more complicated. Regardless of the primary reason your dog chews his paws, a secondary infection of fungi or bacteria can make the problem worse.

What are the causes of paws licking in dogs?

  • licking paws in dogs is behavior that results from a variety of causes, from allergies to boredom to parasites
  1. Allergy:

  • When paw licking in dogs is out of control, this is often the result of an allergy to environmental foods or stimuli, including mold and pollen. Dogs may also develop a skin irritation called dermatitis when exposed to substances such as pesticides or soaps.
  1. Boredom or anxiety:Licking paws in dogs

  • Just as people with anxiety might bite their nails or twirl their hair, dogs can have physical responses to psychological upset, too.
  •  In fact, some dogs develop a condition akin to human obsessive-compulsive disorder. It can manifest itself in licking paws in dogs, scratching behaviors that can cause severe damage.
  1. Dry skin:Licking paws in dogs

  • A variety of factors, including winter weather and a lack of fatty acids, can cause skin dryness in dogs.
  •  Your pet may respond to discomfort by scratching the skin or fur or developing claw-like behavior in dogs.
  1. Hormonal imbalances:

  • If the dog’s body does not produce enough thyroid hormone or secretes too much of the hormone cortisol, superficial skin infections may occur.
  • You may notice bald spots, and licking paws in dogs as if it is upset with allergies.
  1. Pain:

  • Licking paws in dogsWhen trying to determine the reason of paws licking in dogs excessively, be sure to think about whether it can make it physically uncomfortable.
  • For example, if you notice that your dog repeatedly bites his paw, there may be a thorn or sharp stone stuck in his footbed.
  • Chewing or licking paws in dogs can also be a response to bone problems, including arthritis and sciatic dysplasia.
  • Dog’s saliva has anti-bacterial effect. This is because it contains some anti-bacterial chemicals. So, when dogs lick wounds, this is an antibacterial cleansing action to promote superficial wound healing
  1. Parasites:

  • Among the most common causes of behavior of paw licking in dogs are fleas, ticks, and mites.
  • Although ticks are often visible to the naked eye, fleas are often invisible until there is a large infestation. So do not assume that your dog does not have parasites just because you cannot see them Treating ticks and fleas in dogs

What is the treatment of paws licking in dogs?

  • Because there are many causes for behavior of licking paws in dogs, be sure to check with your vet once you notice a problem. The vet will help find out the cause of the behavior and determine the best treatment plan. Depending on the cause of the compulsive dog’s behavior, this may include:

1- Eliminate parasites:

There is a variety of flea and tick products that your vet can recommend. In addition, if problem of licking paws in dogs are caused by fleas, be sure to wash the dog’s mattress and clean carpets and upholstery from furniture on a regular basis to reduce the possibility of its re-spreading. You also need to treat any other animal at home.

2- Changing foods:

If food allergy causes paws licking in dogs, eliminating potential stimulating foods (such as beef or wheat) can make a big difference. Your veterinarian may recommend a special diet if this is the case. Adding fatty acid supplements to your pet’s regular food can help treat dry skin problems and keep your dog’s coat healthy. Raw food in dogs’ advantages and disadvantages | Choose the right food for your dog

3- Use of the medicine:

Your veterinarian may prescribe medications to treat the underlying problems that contribute to the dog’s persistent scratching. In addition, your veterinarian may recommend the use of topical or systemic antibiotics, steroids, or anti-itch products to treat skin infections.

4-Preventing behavior:

Licking paws in dogsSince compulsive behaviors can cause serious harm and affect the quality of your dog’s life, it is important that you do your best to prevent licking paws in dogs, or scratching. Some ideas include using bitter sprays to discourage its licking, make your dog wear a special collar to prevent licking areas, or keep your dog close to you when you are at home.

5-Treating anxiety or boredom:

In some cases, compulsive biting, chewing, or paws licking in dogs develop in response to insufficient fear, pressure, or stimulation. To reduce this possibility, make sure your dog is receiving enough exercise, attention and love. It may also be helpful to train the dog to chew toys or bones to relieve stress as an alternative to chewing or inappropriate behaviors


  • Licking paws in dogs was not as simple as we initially thought. There are actually a number of reasons why your dog might lick his paws.
  • While dogs usually take care of their licking, it can also indicate a major problem.
  • paws Licking in dogs can be a sign of pain, allergies, boredom, anxiety, dry skin, hormonal imbalances, fleas or ticks.
  • If you are concerned about an underlying health issue, ask your veterinarian for advice.
  • A behavioral specialist can help you understand if your dog is anxious.
  • If you are worried that your loyal friend might just be bored, try to include some of our top tips 


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