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Understanding and Managing Your Dog’s Paw Licking Habits

December 08, 2023

As a devoted pet parent, noticing your furry friend excessively licking their paws can be a cause for concern. At Modern Pets, we understand the importance of your dog’s health and wellbeing. In this blog post, we’ll delve into why your dog might be engaging in this behaviour and provide actionable advice on how to help them.

Why Is Your Dog Licking Their Paws?

  1. Allergies

Allergies are a common reason for paw licking in dogs – environmental allergens like pollen, dust, or even certain ingredients in their food can trigger this behaviour. Pay attention to when the licking occurs – is it seasonal or constant? To aid in your dog’s comfort, consider exploring our range of dog health and well-being products, which includes supplements and skin care items that can help alleviate allergic reactions. 

  1. Foreign Bodies

Your dog’s adventures outdoors can sometimes lead to tiny, pesky intruders like wild oats, brome grass, spear grass, and barley grass getting lodged in their paws. These grass seed awns can be irritating and even painful, so regularly check your dog’s paws after walks and consider protective dog clothing like booties for prevention.

  1. Behavioural Issues

Sometimes, paw licking is a sign of a behavioural issue, such as anxiety or boredom – dogs often turn to licking as a self-soothing activity. To keep them engaged and mentally stimulated, try providing your furry friend with a comfortable resting area. Our collection of cosy dog beds can create a safe haven for your pet.

  1. Pain

If your dog keeps licking a particular paw, it might be a sign of pain or discomfort in that area. It could be due to a thorn, a cut, or even joint pain. Carefully inspect their paws and consult your vet if you suspect an injury or arthritis.

  1. Parasites

Parasites like fleas, ticks, or mites can cause intense itching and irritation, leading to your dog constantly licking their paws. Regular parasite control is essential – check out our dog scratch treatment solutions to keep these pesky critters at bay.

  1. Infection

An infection, either bacterial or fungal, can also be the culprit behind your dog’s excessive licking – look out for signs like redness, swelling, or an unpleasant odour. Veterinary attention is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment.

How to Stop Your Dog from Licking Their Paws

  • Address the Underlying Cause: First, identify the reason behind the paw licking. This might require a trip to the vet, especially if you suspect allergies, pain, or infection.
  • Maintain Paw Hygiene: Regularly clean your dog’s paws with a gentle, pet-safe cleanser. This is particularly important after walks, especially during high allergen seasons.
  • Use Protective Gear: Dog booties or protective balms can help shield your dog’s paws from irritants and harmful substances when outdoors.
  • Provide Mental Stimulation: Engage your dog in activities and provide them with toys to prevent boredom-induced licking.
  • Consider Behavioural Therapy: If the behaviour stems from anxiety, consulting a pet behaviourist can be beneficial.
  • Implement a Soothing Routine: Use pet-safe moisturisers to soothe dry, irritated paws (check out our dog health and well-being section for suitable products).
  • Regular Vet Checkups: Keep up with regular veterinary visits to catch any health issues early on.

In conclusion, understanding the root cause of your dog’s paw licking is key to effectively addressing the issue. By following these tips and utilising the right products from Modern Pets, you can ensure your dog’s paws stay healthy and comfortable. Remember, if your dog’s paw licking persists or worsens, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian for professional advice.