Dogs lick their paws now and then as a grooming process, especially after spending time on dirty surfaces.
However, too much paw licking could be an indication of a concern that needs urgent attention.
A dog that obsessively licks its paws loses interest in everything around it. For dog lovers, the situation can be annoying and should not be ignored.
It might be difficult to tell if the habit is normal or caused by a problem. Signs such as swollen feet, pink or red-stained paws, foul smell, limping, or bloodstains in your dog’s paws could be a warning that something is wrong.
When you spot your dog pet licking paws, take precautions by identifying the underlying cause. After that, find ways to stop the behavior. If you can’t stop it on your own, contact a veterinarian for help.
Reasons Why Dogs Lick Their Paws
Injuries could be the instant reason why your dog licks paws. When your dog concentrates his licking on one paw, he could be in pain or irritated.
Injuries in dogs can be caused by sharp objects, hot objects, or stings from insects. Always take time to examine your dog’s paws to check out for injuries.
Parasites such as mange, ticks, and fleas can cause itchy infections in dogs. Dogs can catch parasites as they interact with other infected pets.
Others are caught as the dog walks on dirty surfaces.
Just like human beings, dogs also develop allergies. The allergies can come from taking certain foods or the environment.
Allergy symptoms in dogs may include inflamed skin, vomiting, sneezing, itchiness, diarrhea, and excessive licking.
Once you spot these symptoms on your dog, contact a vet for remedies.
Your dog needs entertainment and company. Initially, dogs could be entertained by taking them on hunting or scavenging missions.
Today, many dogs are left alone regularly, in kennels or small yards. Frustrated dogs may engage in harmful activities such as excessive paw licking.
If you have to lock your dogs in a yard, leave the things that will make them occupied.
Paw licking is one sign that your dog is anxious. Dogs might be anxious because of depression, lack of exercise, illness, or separation.
Licking relaxes and soothes them. If the licking is intense, dogs might develop ulcers.
How to Stop Your Dog From Licking His Paws
Too much licking of paws by dogs may cause ulcers called lick granuloma.
You might not be around your dog all day, but there are ways to tell if your dog is persistently licking his/her paws. The most common way is through observation.
Thereafter, you can follow the following steps to contain the situation.
- Find out if your dog is wounded. Check for cuts and bruises between his/her nails or paws. Treat any visible burns, cuts, or scrapes. After the treatment, paw licking should be occasional.
- Visit your dog’s vet. Your dog could be having underlying health complications that can only be solved by a veterinarian. The vet will test any possible elements making your dog lick paws regularly and issue appropriate remedies.
- Train your dog. Dog paw licking could be a behavioral concern. Train your dog by involving him in entertainment activities such as ball and disc fetching. Provide him/her with enough toys. Moreover, allow your pet more playtime. Regular walks keep him distracted and removes anxiety.
- Use friendly shampoos. You can treat licking that is associated with dry skin by using mild shampoos to bathe your dog. Your vet might recommend the best dog shampoos and lotion to keep your dog’s skin moist.
Remedies To Stop Your Dog From Licking Paws
Here are a few ways that you can stop your doggo from licking his paws so much.
Watch Your Dog’s Walking Trail
Dogs enjoy walking with their owners. Nevertheless, you have to be careful any time you take your dog for a walk.
Walking him through pollen fields or tall grass might result in itchy allergic reactions. Your dog could fall victim to chemical sprays on your farm.
Watch out for any infections from your dog’s favorite friends. Your dog is likely to contract infections from his buddies if the buddies are infected.
Shampoo Your Dog Regularly
Human beings perceive cleanliness as a close link to godliness. For pets, cleanliness is next to happiness.
Shampoo your dog regularly with a vet prescribed shampoo. Your dog may not be thankful by word of mouth, but you may see it in his actions.
If you clean your pet often, he won’t fall victim to flea or dirt related itchiness.
Dip His Paws In Warm Oatmeal
Oatmeal is an effective moisturizer and anti-inflammatory. Do you remember how oatmeal was effective in treating chickenpox?
A liter of ground oatmeal mixed with warm water works wonders on your dog’s paws. It moisturizes the skin of your pet, leaving it with an instant soothing effect.
Iodine is a strong anti-fungal. Its disinfectant properties are also exceptional.
Soak your dog’s paws in iodine diluted with warm water for a minute. Then, remove the paws from the iodine and pat dry them.
The remedy works with an immediate effect that heals your dog from yeast infections.
Baking soda is a fabulous ingredient in the kitchen and a solution to many other problems. For example, it can restore the PH balance in the body in seconds.
If your dog is licking paws due to allergic reactions, a mixture of water and two tablespoons of baking soda can be the solution.
Dip the infected paws in the mixture of water and baking soda for 2 minutes. Baking soda neutralizes the itchiness and relaxes the inflamed area.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider is a remedy to many diseases, including the treatment of rashes caused by poisonous ivy. It is also significant in relieving flea related rashes.
If your pet licks paws because of poison ivy rashes, mix a liter of apple cider vinegar and a liter of hydrogen peroxide with water.
Thereafter, soak your dog’s paws in the mixture for two minutes and dry his paws.
Products You Can Use To Help Stop Dog Paw Licking
Here are a few items you can buy and use to help your doggie stop licking those paws.
Head Halters and Muzzles
The main purpose of a head halter is to stop your dog from biting. Did you know that you can also use it to stop his excessive paw licking behavior?
This simple gadget is strapped around your dog’s mouth and extends to the neck.
Any time your dog develops an urge to lick his paws, pull the leash attached to the halter to close his mouth.
Another similar option includes:
- Protective Inflatable Collar (at Amazon)
An E-collar is worn around the neck of a dog and extends beyond the dog’s mouth. It restricts your dog from licking wounded paws.
Choose an Elizabeth collar that will be ideal to restrict your dog from licking paws and at the same time allow it to eat from his bowls.
Taste and Smell Aversive
A taste aversive is a simple but effective trick to stop your dog from licking his paws. Apply it to the area you want your dog to stop licking.
The foul smell will make the dog gradually stop the licking.
Other similar options include:
- Grannicks Bitter Apple Taste Deterrent for Dogs (at Amazon)
- Davis Dog and Cat Chlorhexidine Spray (at Amazon)
Licking can be a sign of boredom or stress. Dog toys keep your dog active.
He can choose to chew and lick them. Anytime you run into your healthy dog licking paws, get him more toys to divert his attention.
Mild paw licking is normal among dogs. Nonetheless, your dog could be communicating through excessive paw licking.
Your doggo could be suffering from a condition that needs instant attention. It could be stress, parasite infections, allergies, injuries, or boredom.
If your healthy dog starts behaving in such a kind of behavior, seek the services of a vet. You may also use home-based remedies to stop your dog from licking paws.
Head halters, dog toys, e-collars are also excellent products to contain your dog’s paw licking habits.
credit: Deposit Photos