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How to Stop Dog from Licking Paws

How to Stop Dog from Licking Paws

Have you noticed your dog licking his paws much more than usual? While it’s a common grooming habit for canines, excessive paw licking may indicate a bigger health problem. If your dog can’t seem to stop licking his paws, there’s a chance he might be experiencing irritation, itchiness, or pain. If he’s unable to stop for whatever reason, it could lead to complications such as swelling or infection. If you want to know how to stop a dog from licking paws, you have to find out what causes him from doing so. Here are some of the most common causes:

1.   Yeast infection or allergies

Dogs can be allergic to food, household products, plants, mold, dust mites, cleaning products, grooming products, or medication. Your dog may be licking his paws more often than usual because he may be suffering from an allergic reaction. Yeast infection, which causes severe itchiness, is also a probable reason for excessive paw licking. How to stop a dog from licking paws if he has allergies? Try giving him a foot soak by mixing water with oatmeal shampoo for dogs.


Your vet can prescribe antihistamines but you must also try to find the source of the allergy, whether it’s from food, chemicals, or other environmental factors. Refrain from using cleaning or bathing products that cause irritation and itchiness to your dog. Find out if your dog is allergic to a particular type of food or brand and stop feeding it to him.

2.   Gastroenteritis problems

Research showed that excessive paw licking can be an indication of gastrointestinal (GI) issues in canines. If you suspect that your dog might have GI problems and want to know how to stop your dog from licking its paws, take him to the vet for a checkup where he will undergo tests and examinations.

3.   Boredom

As much as we love our dogs, it sometimes happens that we get too busy that we may not realize we’ve been neglecting our pets. Dogs can get bored if left at home for long periods of time and have the tendency to engage in destructive behavior like licking or chewing of the paws. How to stop my dog from licking his paws out of boredom? Make sure that you spend some time playing with your dog. Short training sessions and proper socialization are also important. There are also several ways you can keep your dog entertained indoors.

4.   Anxiety

Dog anxiety can manifest in symptoms such as aggressive or unusual behavior like paw licking. How to keep dog the from licking paws if he’s anxious? You must find out what’s causing your dog’s anxiety to be able to address the problem. It could be because of boredom, depression, separation anxiety, lack of exercise, or an underlying medical condition.


5.   Chronic pain

If your dog can’t suddenly stop licking his paw, consider the possibility that he might be injured and is experiencing severe pain. An inflammation, sprain, or fracture would often be accompanied by limping. If you want to know how to stop a dog from licking his paws, you should take your dog to the vet immediately.

6.   Skin problems

Canines can suffer from skin problems like dry skin, irritation, and dandruff. Dry and flaky skin can irritate your dog and cause him to lick his paws more than usual. How to stop dog from licking his paws if he has skin problems? Skin dryness, itchiness, and irritation can often be resolved by making changes to your grooming and bathing routines. Your dog’s overall skin and coat maintenance may also be addressed with a proper diet.

7.   Hormonal imbalance

Hormonal diseases like hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease may make dogs prone to developing skin problems like bald patches or red spots that they may lick constantly because of irritation. How to stop your dog from licking his paws? Inspect his paws and see if there are cuts, growths, or scrapes that can lead to infection. Take your dog to the vet to rule out the possibility of a hormonal imbalance problem.

8.   Fleas or ticks

When a dog infested with fleas, he may have a reaction that he’s trying to relieve by licking his paws. A dog’s immune system may react when the fleas’ saliva comes in contact with his skin, resulting in a condition known as FAD or flea allergy dermatitis. Afflicted dogs suffer from itchiness and other symptoms like, redness, thickened skin, hot spots, hair loss, and paw licking.

How to keep a dog from licking paws if he has fleas or ticks? You can have him wear a cone for protection. Distracting him with chew toys might also work.


9.   Sore paws from cold weather

Your dog may lick his paws excessively during winter, when he may have been exposed to deicing salts, which are applied in the driveway and roads to melt ice. Ice balls may also form in between a dog’s hairy toes, causing cracking, bleeding, and pain. If this happens, how to prevent dogs from licking paws? When it’s winter and you take your dog for a walk, make sure to wipe his paws with cloth and water when you get back inside. Make sure to dry his paws properly to prevent moisture buildup. For more read winter safety tips for your dog,

10.  Displacement / obsessive behavior

If the paw licking isn’t caused by physical health issues, it’s possible that the habit is stemming from behavioral problems. Dogs can suffer from what is known as a canine compulsive disorder, with symptoms that include paw licking, chasing their own tail, and sucking toys and blankets. Displacement behavior may also occur in dogs in the same way it does in humans.


How to stop the dog from licking paws raw? You can also try boosting your dog’s immune system by providing him with a high-quality fish oil supplement. Fish oil is rich in omega fatty acids and serves as an excellent anti-inflammatory. Whatever the reason for your dog’s excessive paw licking, you may consult a vet for professional help if the habit is causing your pet harm. 


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