Paw licking may seem like an innocent action by your pet. Isn’t that after all how cats clean themselves? But for many dog owner’s the licking can sometimes become continual and cause even greater issues for the dog. It’s important to know what if your dog won’t stop licking his paws, there could be more happening.
Here are 4 underlying reasons for your dog’s incredibly annoying and constant paw licking habit.
1. Injury or Parasite
Licking at a wound could be an issue for your dog. If they’ve returned from time outdoors they could have cut or scrapped their paw if you notice they’re suddenly licking away at it, you’ll want to check to be sure they’re not injured as the wound should be cleaned and monitored to prevent infection. Even if there are no visible cuts there could be issues like parasites or fleas making your dog super itchy and irritated and licking is the only thing he can do to try to soothe it.
2. Skin problems
Other skin problems caused by bacteria or dermatitis could also be leaving your dog in an uncomfortable situation which leads to constant licking. Even allergies to freshly cut grass or other environmental contaminants could trigger this reaction. If you know your dog has allergies or is getting dirty while outside it makes sense to keep a towel and some water to wipe down their paw and coat when they come back indoors.
3. Food allergies
Speaking of allergies, did you know food allergies could also present themselves in the form of itchy paws? According to the AKC, ingredients in your dog’s food that they are allergic to could leave to paw issues. If you recently changed food and notice this is happening it’s a good idea to check the ingredient list and try switching to a different brand to see if it alleviates the problem.
4. Boredom or Anxiety
The final reason and most common one for your dog licking constantly at its paws is boredom. Exercise and playtime are so important for pups, older dogs, and some breeds. Without a daily walk (or two) and time spent getting tired, they can become irritated and bored and start licking at their paws to keep occupied. Make it a point to set aside time to play with your dog even if it’s just a few minutes of tossing the ball in the yard, they will thank you by remaining calm and quiet for the rest of the night.