You pay close attention to your dog because you love them. You’re obsessed and enamored and delighted with everything they do because they are your pride and joy, and with each and every move, your adoration just grows deeper and deeper. As you hang onto their every move, it’s important to know which habits and behaviors are normal for your pup and which ones could be signs of more serious issues. One such habit that we get lots and lots of questions about is the constant licking and chewing of their paws:
“Why does my dog lick its paws so much?!”
Is it a normal grooming habit? Is it a normal behavior in dogs that may just suggest boredom? Or is it a more serious issue that needs to be properly addressed? While dogs and cats naturally groom themselves, all four paws included, excessive licking of their paws actually isn’t so natural after all. If you’ve noticed that your dog has started licking their paws, and well, hasn’t really stopped since, it’s worth the read to find out the cause, whether or not a visit to the vet is required and the treatment.
More often than not, the constant, excessive licking of paws is due to extreme itchiness. Unbearably itchy paws and paw pads cause your dog to seek relief by licking and chewing nonstop. To protect your pet’s health, it’s important to determine what exactly is causing the your dog’s itchy paws in the first place.
7 Reasons Why Your Dog May Be Excessively Lick its Paws
Yeast infections or food allergies
Yeast infections or food allergies can occur from dog food not containing enough meats and proteins that dogs, natural carnivores, need in their diets. Many types of dog foods don’t contain adequate amounts of meat, and are instead filled with grains, carbs, chemicals, preservatives and vegetables. The lack of protein and meat, paired with harmful fillers and artificial ingredients can cause dogs to lick their paws excessively. Why? Yeast infections are the probable cause.
Dogs’ bodies, like all of ours, contain yeast in their guts. The yeast remains balanced when their immune systems are strong and healthy, and fueled by the foods that their bodies truly need. As mentioned earlier, a dog needs meaty proteins like beef and chicken, but sadly, many popular and affordable dog foods don’t do a great job of providing that for man’s best friend. So often times, the yeast in a canine’s gut tract is thrown out of balance and causes them to itch. If a dog has “yeasty paws” our number one solution is Skin Soother, which possesses powerful yeast, fungal and bacteria fighting properties.
When they do get yeasty paws, dogs can experience intense itching on their paws and between their toes, and naturally develop the urge to lick them. It’s really the only way they know how to temporarily relieve itch or pain on their paws. Obviously, one might assume that the constant licking does more harm than good — and they’d be correct.
Excessive paw licking and chewing can cause redness and swelling, raw skin, bleeding, red and irritated skin between toes and even changes in a dog’s fur. When yeast is out of whack in dogs, the pH levels of their saliva actually changes too, which is why you might notice pink or red-ish fur on their paws as they continue to lick and chew.
Dogs are very similar to us in that they suffer from a lot of the same things that we do! Take for instance — allergies. Their paws could be itchy and irritated from allergies to grass and pollen from various outdoor plants. And while it’s rather impossible to prevent their contact with grass altogether, there is a simple way to relieve their itch from outdoor allergies. The Itchy Paw Pack has everything you need to protect, prevent and treat dry, itchy and irritated paws. PawTection, in particular, creates a protective barrier against outside elements, pollen and allergens that can potentially irritate dogs’ paws.
I Am In Utter Shock! He Stopped Licking Within the First Day!
I am in utter shock! Odin suffers from environmental allergies and since we have moved to Washington his paws have gotten really bad probably from the constant wet ground here. I noticed he had been licking them and decided to check them out and they were bad! Missing hair, really red and inflamed, and oozing. The worst I had ever seen them get. I had seen before and after pictures of dogs with inflamed paws, so I figured I would give the Skin Soother a shot (next step was to a vet). I noticed he stopped licking within the first day. So I kept at it. Applying it at least 3-4 times a day. It’s been just about three weeks since we started using it and figured I would do another exam and was shocked to see the hair had almost grown back completely and no redness or ooziness. This stuff is amazing and saved us a costly trip to the vet!
-Kayla Conner, Tacoma, Washington
Anxiety or Boredom
It’s true — dogs experience bouts of anxiety, too. They tend to become anxious when they are left alone for long periods of time, when they are bored, feeling depressed or are becoming ill. Licking their paws is often a way that dogs comfort themselves. However, excess licking can cause eventual irritation and possible bacterial infections of the skin.
Whether your dog is licking its paws because they itch, hurt or because he or she simply feels like it, constantly licking can cause secondary skin issues for them, like bacterial infections. Typically, this type of skin issue is a medical problem that should be examined by your dog’s veterinarian. He or she might prescribe antibiotics and then suggest ways to prevent irritation in the future. Additionally, Natural Dog Company’s Skin Soother, which possesses powerful and effective bacteria-fighting properties, can soothe and heal skin infections that develop on dogs’ paws due to excessive licking.
Dogs tend to pay obvious attention to areas of their bodies that are injured and in pain. Scratching, licking or chewing injured paws can make them temporarily feel better. So, simply check your dog’s paws and paw pads for injuries, cuts, cysts or even foreign bodies that don’t belong — like splinters, glass or thorns, and be sure to observe your dog for limping. Too much licking due to pain can even cause “lick granuloma”, painful ulcers that appear on the skin, so look out for those types of sores, too. Even if you can’t see any objects causing pain, look for red or swollen areas and seek veterinary attention if necessary.
Just like our skin becomes dry, cracked and irritated, so can a dog’s. Reasons for dry skin varies, and dog’s are affected in many similar ways. The heat in our homes, the cold, dry outdoor weather and certain products can dry out a dog’s skin and paws. Avoid excess bathing and especially avoid products that contain harsh chemicals and preservatives — they have no place in a dog’s grooming routine. For overly dry skin, apply Paw Soother once per day. To reduce the chances of this nourishing paw protection rubbing off on carpets, beds and rugs, apply it at night when your dog is naturally settling in for a night’s sleep. This will allow the product to penetrate deeply and reveal desirable results after just a few applications.
De-icing Salts, Pesticides and Other Outdoor Chemical Elements
Dogs’ paws come in contact with a lot of things. (Don’t think about that for too long — we’re here to discuss why your dog won’t stop licking his or her paws, after all.) If your dog is licking his paws and they look irritated and itchy, they may have come in contact with chemical or abrasive irritants like lawn pesticides, deicing salts on the sidewalk, fertilizer, sand from the beach and more. Some of these chemical elements can be irritating and drying to a dog’s delicate skin and paw pads, and may be the reason why he or she won’t stop licking.
Prevent and Treat Dry, Itchy, Irritated Paws
Stop your dog’s paw itchiness and relieve the irritation that all the licking and chewing has caused with one of Natural Dog Company’s best selling solutions — Paw Soother. It’s an organic, vegan and natural product that heals, soothes and treats dry, irritated dog paws regardless of the cause — weather, allergies, diet, harmful elements or infections or injuries.
Dogs will continue to lick their paws until they are treated with a product like Paw Soother, that can bring their paws back to a healthy, hydrated and spongy state. So first, determine the cause of all the excessive paw licking. Next, apply Natural Dog Company’s Paw Soother to bring their adorable paws back to life and restore comfort to your four legged best friend!
For added protection and prevention of dry, irritated dog paws, try PawTection, a blend of natural oils and waxes that create a safe and natural barrier between your dog’s paws and elements that can irritate and dry them out.
Protect, treat and soothe all types of irritated paws with the complete Itchy Paw Pack!