Dogs lick most parts of their body simply to clean it, this includes licking their paws, which is pretty normal. However, the licking and licking, biting and biting all night long until the skin bleeds is not natural.
They do it for a wide-range of reasons, including anxiety, allergy, as well as external factors. At first, you may find it quite annoying but as time goes by and your dog continue doing it, he may hurt himself and you don’t want that to happen, right?
So, what triggers my dog to lick his paws persistently? And the most important question, how to stop my dog from licking his paws again and again?
In order for you to put an end to it, the first thing to do is to determine what is the reason behind the paw licking or biting and be aware of the ways to stop or even prevent it from happening.
Why my dog licks his paws and how to stop it?
1. Allergic reactions
Just like humans, dogs are not an exception for allergies. They can get contact dermatitis where the skin is irritated which roots from making contact with chemicals, highly formulated soaps, and insecticides.
The food they intake may also contribute to some allergic reactions. Dogs are naturally carnivores but we tend to feed them with sustenance consisting of little meat but lots of grains and carbs. Even the best commercial dog foods may sometimes be the grounds of allergies for them to lick their paws.
Also, dog’s skin can be very sensitive with some environmental allergens which can also lead to various reactions that could impact your dog’s skin, that being said, their skin will get irritated so they tend to lick and bite it.
It will be best to keep your dog away from the stimulant that is causing the allergy. Observe what’s triggering the allergy – if he’s allergic to some chemicals, avoid putting it in areas that he can access, train him to stay away from the areas where you may use chemicals.
Make sure to check the ingredients of whatever food you feed to him, as well as, the shampoo you use when you bathe him.
2. Parched skin
Can you imagine how uncomfortable it is for you to have a dry skin? It goes the same with your dog. During winter, dogs are very vulnerable to dry air as it can make their skin to become very dry. The drier their skin is, the itchy and irritated it becomes, so they have a tendency to bite it due to the discomfort. In addition, the more they lick and bite it can make their skin to lose moisture and later become chapped, causing it more painful and uncomfortable for him.
Dog’s diet should contain adequate fatty components that will help nourish and protect their skin from dryness.
Feed your dog with a high-quality dog food. Check its ingredients and see to it that it is formulated with well-balanced nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. You can also use shampoos for your dog that contain essential components that will moisturize and hydrate his skin.
Make sure that your dog is also well-hydrated especially during hot days and when they are doing training or any extreme physical activities that may dehydrate them.
We really love to show off our beautiful dogs so we walk them in the streets or parks. Doing this may cause scratches, prickle, or even smalls rocks to get stuck in their paws – that can result in pain or discomfort. This will force them to remove whatever foreign object caught on their foot by licking or biting it.
Remember to check your dog’s paws from time to time especially when walking them on the streets or parks. Look for any signs of injury or wound and treat it as soon as possible with proper medications. Embedded foreign objects must be removed immediately. Take him to the nearest vet if needed. Moreover, try to clean his paws with warm water and antiseptic soap every after walking him outside to get rid of any impurities.
4. When they are bored or anxious about their surroundings
Paw chewing or licking is not always caused by skin problems or allergy. Sometimes dogs tend to play with their paws through biting or licking it whenever they are bored which later on becomes their habit.
There are some cases dog do this, specifically when he is unease about some external elements in his environment, like fireworks, moving to a whole unknown zone or unfamiliar pet in his surroundings which often results for them to constantly worry and feel unease.
Give your dog a toy that he can play with and provide activities that will entertain him. If you feel like he’s bored, try to distract him with toys and lots of affection. Also, if there will be parties or any event that may use fireworks or loud music, take him to a place of your house where he cannot be disturbed by those factors or even to a pet spa where he can relax and get groomed. Just make sure that wherever you take him he will be at ease and comfortable.
5. Fleas or Ticks
Fleas and ticks are one of their worst enemies. They instigate severe itchiness and pain that triggers your dog to lick and sometimes chew their paws.
Make sure to regularly bathe your dog with shampoos that will prevent him from having fleas or ticks but at the same time taking care of his fur and skin. As much as possible, avoid him getting contact to dogs that may be infected by ticks or fleas. Additionally, take him to a vet from time to time to check any signs of flea or tick infestation.
No one knows your dog as much as you do. You must be aware of any unusual activity that they do. While it’s normal for them to lick their paws now and then, too much licking or worse, biting, may indicate a bigger problem that may harm your dog. You don’t want that, do you?
Make them feel your love and care, find ways to entertain your dogs to avoid them from licking or biting their paws. However, if you don’t see any improvement and the paw-licking or biting gets out of hand take your dog to a veterinary clinic for a more accurate and thorough examination.