Help! My dog is licking his paws raw and I don’t know what to do!
Is your dog licking or chewing its paws to the point they appear red, irritated, or raw? This is an incredibly common scenario for dog owners. Sure, dogs are weirdos sometimes. But constant paw licking might be a sign that something else is wrong.
Think back to the last time you had a mild to moderate rash, bug bite or scab. Did you get the urge to pick or scratch at it? It’s the same thing for your dog, only your dog doesn’t understand that licking and chewing make the problem worse, so they just don’t quit.
Why Do Dogs Lick And Chew Their Paws?
If your dog constantly licks its paws, it’s likely a sign that something else is wrong. Dryness and allergies are the most commons instigators. But excessive paw licking could also indicate a more serious medical condition, like a yeast infection or hyperkeratosis.
7 Reasons Dogs Constantly Lick And Chew Paws
- Dry dog paws. Weather and the elements can dry out your dog’s paws. Untreated, they can become tender. They could even crack or bleed over time, especially if your dog is licking paws all the time.
- Allergies. Food or environmental triggers can cause allergic reactions that make a dog’s paws and/or skin extremely itchy. Dogs can be allergic to a variety of things, including mold, pollen, pesticides, and certain household cleaning products.
- Yeast Infection. Yeast infections make a dog’s skin overproduce oil and become extremely itchy. Then the scratching usually leads to more sores where the yeast then spreads.
- Pain. Dogs have a strong instinct to lick and clean their wounds. Even if the pain is somewhere other than their paws, they may lick them as a comforting mechanism.
- Hyperkeratosis. Hyperkeratosis is a condition that results in thickened skin on dog paws. Extra keratin on the pads can make walking uncomfortable.
- Exposure to chemicals. Seasonal things like de-icing salts and garden fertilizers can irritate a dog’s skin. Even certain household cleaning products have toxic chemicals that cause itchiness and inflammation.
- Gastrointestinal (GI) problems. It’s much rarer, but GI issues have also been anecdotally linked to excessive paw licking.
What if my dog suddenly starts limping or licking just one paw?
If the licking comes on suddenly, there’s a good chance it’s related to pain — especially if it’s isolated to one specific paw. If you can’t find any visible signs of a wound or insect bite, take your puppy to the vet as soon as possible. The same goes for limping. It’s possible that your dog has a more serious issue, like a muscle sprain or fracture.
How to Treat Itchy or Irritated Dog Paws
Whatever you do, don’t ignore the problem. Allowing your dog to chew away at itchy and irritated paws will make the problem worse and increase the likelihood of infection.
Start with an all-natural balm
Luckily, there’s an all-natural solution to the problem… Meet Paw Soother! This gentle but effective balm glides right on sensitive, sore or damaged dog paws and instantly provides soothing, healing and protective properties. Each organic ingredient lovingly packed inside this pawesome product plays an important role in reducing inflammation and providing the nourishing moisture paws need to start healing.
Paw Soother is a unique herbal-based paw balm that contains just the right blend of moisture-rich properties. It’s used to soothe and treat paw pads that are dry and chapped, as well as hyperkeratosis of the paw.
If you are not 100% satisfied, we offer a money back guarantee.
What if Dog Licking Paws Still Doesn’t Stop?
People ask us all the time: “how do I stop my dog from licking Paw Soother after it’s applied?” First and foremost, know that it’s 100% safe for your dog to consume Paw Soother. Of course, you’d rather the balm stay on your dog’s paws where you put it.
So, try playing a game, brushing your dog, or doing something to distract him from licking for 10-15 minutes after you apply Paw Soother. This gives it time to soak into the skin and start working. As paws begin to heal, licking should decrease.
Additionally, try and find the original cause of the paw irritation to reduce further contact and outbreaks. Continue applying Paw Soother a couple of times per day, or as needed, to provide a barrier of protection between your dog’s paws and potential contaminants.
Looking for even more paw protection after your dog’s paws are healed and back to normal? PawTection is similar but is specially formulated with a waxier base to provide additional protective qualities after Paw Soother works its magic.
A soaking bath can also help relieve itchiness
If your dog’s licking is related to itchiness or allergies, a nice soothing soaking bath can help minimize symptoms. Here are three all-natural soaks to try:
- Colloidal oatmeal. Yep, the same thing you bathed in as a kid with chicken pox works well for dogs too. We recommend using an oatmeal shampoo that’s hypoallergenic or labeled for dogs with sensitive skin. Very few shampoos are all natural, but those usually have the least amount of lower quality ingredients, like formaldehyde.
- Epsom salt. Salts can raise your dog’s natural pH level, which can help to kill bacteria that causes inflammation. Follow the directions on the product to determine the appropriate amount of salt and soaking time.
- Baking soda. Like salt, baking soda can impact skin pH and acts as an anti-inflammatory to soothe the skin. Plus, it’ll help freshen your dog’s coat as well!