As with other dog behaviors, there can be several reasons that lead dogs to lick or chew their paws, including boredom, injury, skin problems or allergies. If your dog is constantly licking or chewing at their paws, you should first examine the paws to make certain that there is not an injury such as a cut, a torn nail, a growth, or other problem. If the paw pads and feet appear normal, the licking could be due to a skin condition dermatitiswhich often is the result of bacterial problems, allergies or food sensitivities.
Paw licking in dogs is one of those behaviors that may occur occasionally or in some dogs may occur a whole lot, but why do dogs lick their paws in their first place? Paw licking is one of those behaviors that you need to watch carefully because its meaning may vary based on context. Is your dog licking gently, or is he licking aggressively and it is difficult to distract him?
There's a good chance you have noticed your dog licking their paws from time to time. While it's normal for dogs to lick their paws occasionally, excessive paw-licking could be a sign of a problem. Is your dog's paw-licking a concern?
But not all canine behavior is as easily explained, leaving many pup parents wondering: why do dogs lick their paws? Essentially, dogs lick their paws for reasons similar to those a human might scratch their skin or pick at an irritated area: the licking serves to alleviate any discomfort that your dog might be feeling. Though there are various potential explanations as to why your dog is licking their paw, none of them are particularly favorable. Related: Paw effort!
Excessive paw licking in dogs is a common problem which can have different causes and clinical presentations. It may or may not be associated with other symptoms such as licking or scratching other parts of their body, shaking their head etc. It is certainly a sign that your dog is experiencing some discomfort and you should not ignore it.
Have you ever wondered: why does my dog lick my feet? For some owners, this behavior may seem odd. But licking is a perfectly normal behavior for dogs.
So it can be strange to see your pooch licking his paws frequently. Sometimes paw licking can just be about boredom. But paw licking can point to a medical problem that needs to be addressed.
Dogs do things that we might not love, and licking our feet is one of those things. We should never forget that our dogs are designed to communicate with others without using words. Communicating with dogs is like trying to learn a foreign language, only harder… because even the familiar letters are absent. Understanding why your dog does what he does is critical in maintaining your bond and growing your friendship.
Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, former veterinary assistant, and the author of "Brain Training for Dogs. It is very frustrating when you watch your dog incessantly and obsessively licking their paws, especially when they lose interest in everything around them. There are specific reasons for this behavior, and it is up to you, as the owner, to try to figure out what the problem may be.
However, just because this behavior is common does not necessarily mean that you should not be worried or look for a way to prevent your dog from insistently licking and chewing their paws. Sometimes, your dog licking his or her paw can be problematic, but other times it is completely normal behavior. Telling the difference between normal chewing and dangerous chewing can be difficult, and preventing your dog from licking their paws more than necessary can pose an even bigger challenge. Dogs will also lick and then use their paws to clean their face and head similarly to cats, though this behavior is somewhat rarer in dogs than their feline counterparts.