Why do dogs lick their paws? Just like with their staring, paw licking among dogs is considered normal behavior. In fact, you will observe dogs gently licking their paws, sometimes even chewing it. But while it looks icky to any pet owner out there, it’s only natural for your dogs to lick or chew their paws.
So what exactly is the reason why dogs lick their paws? Here are 5 common reasons you might want to check out.
Paw licking is akin to dog entertainment
Boredom can cause your dog to lick their paws excessively at times. It’s their own way of entertaining themselves when they feel like they have nothing better to do.
Most of the time, high-energy dogs are more likely to lick their paws out of boredom so make sure you keep them occupied with plenty of play or exercise time.
Dog paw licking is linked to anxiety
Dog anxiety is real. Just like when anxious people bite their nails, anxious dogs sometimes resort to paw licking to help relieve their anxiety. Sometimes, dog become anxious when they become separated to their owners or feel stressed about their environment.
Why do dogs lick their paws: They might be suffering from allergies or other infection
Sometimes, you’d find your dog licking their paws after your walk in the park. It’s just their way of “cleaning” their paws from pesticides present in the grass or anything else that might irritate their pause. On the other hand, the excessive licking can be because of allergies or infection that is causing their paws to get itchy, thus the need for constant licking to relieve the discomfort. If your dog happens to be suffering from allergies or infection, a quick trip to the vet would do the trick for some prescription or you can change his or her food with healthier choices.
Blame it on the fleas
The presence of fleas or ticks can cause severe itch not only to your dog’s paws but overall their body. It can even get worse when your dog suffers from allergy. The only way you can get around this is to get your dog flea medication and clean your house or the place where your dog usually stays to avoid flea infestation.
Dry skin itches, too
For humans, it’s dandruff. For dogs, dry skin can cause irritation and even reddish bumps. The usual reason for this is overgrooming your dog – so now you know that excessive bathing is not always good for your loyal furry buddy.
Just like with humans, your dog’s skin and hair has its own natural oils and excessive bathing or over grooming can strip if off. Harsh chemicals are also to blame so keep that in mind the moment you buy your dog’s shampoo next time.
When does paw licking becomes a cause for concern?
If you see your dog licking their paws always and there are visible signs of redness, odor, swelling, limping, bleeding, or any other symptoms of infection or obvious pain, then yes any of those reasons would be a cause for concern.
A quick visit to your veterinarian would ease your mind and give you prescription or advice to remedy the underlying problem. Otherwise, just let your dog lick or chew his or her paws as is their wont to do.