You and your dog come in from a walk, and you settle down with a warm cup of tea. Then, from the doggie bed, you hear lick, lick, lick, chew, chew sounds, which are becoming a bit of a nuisance. While it’s normal for dogs to lick their paws occasionally, excessive paw-licking could be a sign of a problem.
Why do dogs lick their paws?
Paw-licking is an important part of a dog’s self-cleaning routine. The paws get dirty quicker than the rest of the body, so a few light licks from the dog will clean up any dirt that was gathered during a walk or playtime.
When your dog is constantly licking, it’s important to know why. Some dogs are habitual lickers, but never assume the excessive licking is normal. Often there’s an explanation behind the licking.
• Parasites – ticks and mites like to snuggle in between toes and can act as a source of irritation.
• Allergies – common allergens including pollens, dust mites and molds can trigger an allergic reaction.
• Infection – dogs can suffer from a condition caused by fungal infection similar to Athlete’s foot.
• Pain or discomfort – the licking creates a rhythmic massage with a warm tongue that can be soothing.
A dog constantly licking is a sign they need help. Work with your veterinarian to identify the cause of the excessive licking and set up a treatment plan.