You can be sure: if your dog licks his paws extensively over and over again, something is wrong. Various allergies or other medical causes can be behind this – but also stress. Your animal world tells you what to do then.
First of all, it should be said: If your dog only licks its paws every now and then, this is usually nothing to worry about. On the contrary: it is part of normal dog behavior. For example, many dogs clean their paws after they’ve run around outside or before they take a nap.
It looks different, however, when licking the paws becomes obsessive. You should get to the bottom of the behavior at the latest when you notice rough, irritated skin or even loss of fur between the balls.
Then there can be a medical cause behind it. For example, maybe the paw is injured. But nervousness can also cause your dog to repeatedly work his paws intensely with his tongue – or to actually chew on them.
The following circumstances can cause the leak:
- Injuries to the paws
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Anxiety and stress
Dog can lick paws for a variety of reasons
“There are many reasons why dogs lick their paws,” explains veterinarian Dr. Alex Blutinger. “But one of the most common are allergies.” These could be allergies to environmental influences, but also to food, fleas or ticks. Even everyday objects like plastic food bowls can cause allergies.
Or maybe the paw is injured. For example, from burns from walking on hot asphalt, from irritation from strewn roads in winter, from splinters, broken nails, insect bites, injured bones or ligaments. Therefore, it is always a good first step to examine your dog’s paws carefully if they keep licking them.
Is your dog particularly sensitive? Or maybe he’s just scared and stressed when he licks his paws. Try to find out in which situations your four-legged friend works his paws in this way – maybe you will discover the cause of his stress and can avoid it in the future.
Should your dog see the vet?
In addition, certain gastrointestinal problems such as pancreatitis and out of balance hormone levels can also cause the licking.
Regardless of which of these causes you suspect your four-legged friend is licking his paws: It is always a good idea to talk to a veterinarian about it. He can confirm your suspicions – or find another cause – and give tips on how to eliminate possible disruptive factors.