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How to Stop Dogs from Licking Paws

by | December 27, 2019 | Pet Care

Puppy sticking tongue

Here are some tips to help your dog to stop licking its paws. There are many reasons why dogs lick their paws, ranging from common causes such as dry skin to more serious reasons such as bacterial or fungal infections.

Dogs licking their paws constantly can cause worry for the pet owner. In addition to offering helpful hints on stopping paw licking, the following will highlight when it might be time to take your faithful pup to the veterinarian for medical assistance.

Whatever paw licking situation your pup might currently be in, the good news is there are remedies for this type of habit. Find out the answer to why dogs constantly lick their paws and how to stop your dog from licking its paws.

How to Tell if Your Dog is Licking Their Paws Excessively

Yorkshire in grass

There’s a few ways to tell if your dog is licking their paws excessively. The first way is through visual signs. You see that your pup is licking their paws more than normal and this behavior is a continual one.

Since you can’t watch your pup 24/7, you might not know if your dog is just engaging in occasional paw licking. An indication that shows excessive paw licking is stains on the fur of their paws. When a dog continually licks its paws, the repetitive nature will cause the fur to be visibly stained, especially if your dog has a light colored coat.

Your dog may also be engaging in too much paw licking if they develop wounds on their paws. These wounds can be red, inflamed, and swollen as well as persistent.

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?

Tired dog on the floor

If you’re wondering why do dogs keep licking their paws, dogs lick paws for a variety of reasons. Some of the more common reasons for incessant paw licking include:

  • Allergies
  • Yeast infection
  • Pain
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Dry skin
  • Anxiety
  • Boredom
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Fleas
  • Bacterial or fungal infections

When you see a pattern of dogs licking paws, the first step is to identify the problem and then you can move on to how to stop your dog from licking its paws. Complete a visual inspection of your pet’s paws to see if there’s any visible signs of cuts, wounds, or redness. After this, whether or not you see any visible signs of injury, it’s important to contact your veterinarian to determine the reason for the paw licking and rule out any infections or allergies that might need medical treatment.

How to Stop Your Dog From Licking Their Paws

Dog paws close up

When you notice there’s a pattern of paw licking, the next step is to remedy the situation and find a treatment for dogs licking paws. If your pet has a wound, such as a dog licking paws and limping, that is causing the paw licking, first aid is required to treat the area. Once the area is treated and has healed, you should notice the paw licking wound subside.

For a dog licking paws with allergies, your veterinarian will test your dog and see what elements are causing your pup to react and lick their paws continually. Dogs may also be licking paws when they have a yeast infection, which can occur due to a poor diet. In order to combat paw licking for this type of issue, switching to a different pet food might help.

If your pup suffers from gastrointestinal problems they may experience excessive paw licking. Your veterinarian will be able to offer a remedy for dogs licking paws. Other areas where a veterinarian will have to provide treatment include a hormonal imbalance and fungal or bacterial infections. Medical treatment will be provided, which will help to reduce or eliminate the issue.

Paw licking caused by the following issues can be treated at home in various ways:

  • Fleas: If your dog is experiencing paw licking because of fleas, you can purchase an OTC flea treatment to eliminate fleas and stop the licking.
  • Anxiety or Boredom: Paw licking can also be brought on by anxiety or boredom. The best way to treat these issues is to take your pup out for more walks, entertain them with chew toys or ball fetching, and simply show them love and attention.
  • Dry Skin: Dry, itchy skin can also be a cause of paw licking. Treat your dog’s dry skin by avoiding frequent baths and harsh shampoos. Be sure to also ask your veterinarian for dog lotion and vitamin recommendations.

It’s Possible to Safely and Effectively Stop Your Dog From Excessive Paw Licking

Cuddly dog in blanket

By treating the issues that cause dogs to lick paws you can help your pet with this problem once and for all. Whether your pup has allergies or is bored, there’s ways to treat the continual paw licking that follows. Treating excessive paw licking will help your dog be healthier and happier.

Looking for more ways to ensure the optimal health of your pet? Obtain a dog insurance policy from Prudent Pet! This pet insurance provider is well-versed in this specialty area of insurance coverage and will find the perfect insurance plan to suit your needs and the needs of your four-legged family member.

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Alice

Alice is the proud mama to her beautiful 3-year-old Labrador Retriever, Bella. Bella loves to cuddle up with Alice when she's reading a book on a cold Chicago night. No matter what the occasion is, Bella is always ready to pounce at the closest squirrel or rabbit when Alice runs with her along Lake Michigan in the summertime. When Bella's not tracking down random animals, she's taking a cozy nap or destroying toys left and right.