There are many reasons why dogs lick their paws. Explanation in pictures.
A dog can lick or bite its paws for different reasons, from the most banal to the most alarming. Indeed, it is advisable to carefully observe the attitude of the animal and to refer to a veterinarian. This will help identify the cause of this behavior as well as prevent potential infections caused by saliva.
Here are 9 reasons why your pet licks its paws.
A dog that returns from a walk during which it has walked on sand, mud or any other dirt that it would like to get rid of, will naturally give itself a few minutes of grooming. He will lick his paws for simple hygienic reasons.
2. An injury
A dog that starts licking its paws may suffer a cut or injury. He may have hurt himself after walking on hot pavement on a sunny day, on broken glass or a thorn. It is therefore necessary to inspect the paws of his dog, to check if he has no broken claws, or anything that is stuck between his toes. Some injuries can be treated at home with the right dog first aid kit. The veterinarian remains at your disposal for better management of more serious lesions.
A dog that has an infestation of fleas, ticks or mange suffers from severe itching. Generalized, these also affect the paws and cause the animal to lick itself. This happens especially in the summer when the pests are swarming. Treatments for these infestations exist. A veterinarian will be able to determine which one is best for your dog depending on the situation.
4. Food allergies
Although it is not always obvious, food allergies are among the first causes investigated by veterinarians when examining a dog licking its paws. Foods responsible for allergies will vary from dog to dog.
Sometimes a dog that continuously licks his paws is trying to relieve himself of pain elsewhere in his body. Indeed, dogs have ways that are sometimes less obvious than others of communicating. When you struggle to find what could make your dog suffer, it is better to seek help from a veterinarian.
If your dog licks his paws for what seems like an oddly long time, that extends beyond a specific season or time, he could be suffering from dermatitis. This disorder can occur as a result of an allergy. Chemicals found in garden products or de-icing salts, certain herbs and plants, pollen and mold are all sources of allergies that can cause dermatitis in dogs. A good way to prevent this kind of disorder would be to wash the dog’s paws after each walk as well as the use of adequate shampoos during regular baths.
7. Behavioral problems
Dogs that are prone to anxiety or boredom may exhibit this by licking their paws. While seemingly calm, they are actually frustrated. The help of an educator and a behaviorist will then be in order, the sooner the better.
8. Plantar corns
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Plantar corns mainly affect dogs of the Greyhound breed and other sighthounds because of the morphology of their legs. These are keratomas that form in the pads. This causes them to lick their sore paws. It is possible to relieve them with special slippers and by preventing them from walking on rigid surfaces.
9. Infections generated by saliva
Oral bacteria, mold, and yeast deposited by licking can cause infection. This will be all the easier to detect in a dog with a light coat because his hair will show discoloration. Either way, the help of the veterinarian will be highly recommended.