If you have a dog, then you might have noticed the dog licking their paws. The dog licking its paw is actually a very normal behavior for the dog. Their can be various reasons for this type of behavior of the dog.
People often try to discourage their dog from licking their paws but before doing that it is important for you to look into the reason as to why the dog is licking it’s feet.
When you are able to discover the reason, it becomes easier for you to decide whether you should ignore this behavior of the dog or discourage this behavior of the dog or whether it indicates towards any medical problem.
While the dogs licking its paws again and again then it might indicate some problem but if the dog is doing so occasionally, then it can be normal behavior as well and therefore there can be a a lot of answers to the question why do dogs lick their paws? We would be going through the causes of this behavior in dogs below.
Why do dogs lick their paws?
This behavior of the dog can indicate a medical problem or it can be just force of habit of the dog and it is important to notice the behavior of the dog and the frequency at which the dog is licking its paws to find out the answers to this question.
The feet of the dog are one of the most unhygienic parts of the body of the dog since the dog can get into plenty of unhygienic surroundings when the dog is playing outdoors and therefore the germs and bacteria can cause allergic reactions in the dog. Since, these germs and bacteria are directly exposed to the feet of the dog, the allergic reaction first occurs in the feet of the dog.
Dogs are allergic to a lot of things like certain type of plants or grass and therefore when they are walking over that, then also they can suffer from allergy which would not allow them to keep their licking behavior in check. When the dog is suffering from allergy or allergic reactions in the feet, the dog would be continuously licking its feet. This is because there are some antibacterial properties in the saliva of the dog through which the dog might be able to keep the allergies in check.
This does not mean that you should ignore this problem because the allergic reactions can only be cured if you’re taking your dog to your vet. Some of the allergic reactions are so severe that they would be requiring proper antibiotic treatment. That is why, if you find your dog licking its paws frequently, he or she might be suffering from allergic reaction.
The bacteria from the feet of the dog can also spread in your home as well and therefore it is important to ask your vet about the home cleaning solutions which you might be using to kill that bacteria which is in the feet of the dog.
Dogs lick their paws due to yeast infection:
Yeast infection is actually pretty common in humans but it can occur in dogs as well. If you are giving more quantity of food-grains in the food which you are giving to the dog, then it is very common for the dog to suffer from yeast infection. While food-grains can be nutritious for the dog but you have to keep a limit on the quantity of the food-grains which you are giving to the dog. While planning the diet of the dog, you need to ensure that you are keeping it well balanced with different type of foodstuffs and not just food-grains.
Cleaning by licking their paws:
As we mentioned above, the saliva of the dogs has antibacterial properties and therefore when the dogs are trying to clean their feet, they would be licking their paws continuously. Dogs know that there is a lot of dirt and other contaminants which are stuck to the feet of the dog and therefore by licking their paws, dogs try to remove these contaminants and bacteria.
Also, licking can be due to the grooming as well specially in dogs which are having a lot of hair. Dogs groom their body with the help of licking and same goes with their paws as well. Some of the dogs form a habit to lick their paws to groom themselves and such dogs would be licking their paws out of force of habit forcing you to think that something is wrong with the dog due to which it is licking its paws continuously.
In many of the cases it has been seen that when the dog has nothing to do, the dog would start licking its body including its paws and if your dog licks its paws when it is resting then it might be time to give a new toy to your dog or to engage your dog in some other activity to keep it away from licking its paws.
Very rarely, the problem of licking their paws is actually due to removing insects from the paws but it is quite possible and therefore you have to keep a look around for that as well. The more hygienic your dog is the lesser would be the problem of licking their paws by the dog. That is why, you need to always keep an eye on the hygiene of the dog and you have to make the dog bath frequently as well. If you do not prevent the dog from licking their paws again and again then the habit may turn into compulsive disorder and then the dog would be licking their paws much more frequently.
Licking their paws due to injury:
In the outdoors, there can be a lot of injuries to the feet of the dog specially if you are living in the countryside. There are a lot of plants and there are types of wild grass which can put a rash on the feet of the dog or create a even larger injury and in such a situation, the skin in the paws around the rash or the injury would be inflamed and constantly itching as well and due to this reason as well the dogs might be licking their paws. You can find out this by visually inspecting the paws of the dog and if injury is the cause of the licking then you need to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible to get that injury treated because the infection from that injury may spread pretty fast.
So, as you can see there are a lot of reasons for the question why do dogs lick their paws, but you need to find out the cause so and if required you need to consult your vet to solve that problem due to which the dog’s licking his or her paws.