Why Does My Dog Lick His Paws? Causes and Remedies

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As a dog owner, you may have observed your furry companion licking his paws excessively. While it’s common for dogs to lick themselves, excessive paw-licking could be a sign of an underlying problem.

We will find out the various reasons why your dog might be licking his paws and what you can do to help him.

Dogs use their tongues to clean themselves and as a form of communication. Licking is also a way for dogs to soothe themselves when they’re feeling stressed or anxious. However, when a dog licks his paws excessively, it could be a sign of an underlying problem.

Normal Dog Behavior: Why Do Dogs Lick Themselves?

Dogs naturally lick themselves to clean their fur, get rid of dirt, and remove parasites like fleas and ticks. Licking is also a way for dogs to cool themselves down since their paws have sweat glands that help regulate their body temperature.

Why does my dog lick his paws all the time

If your dog is excessively licking his paws, there could be an underlying problem. Here are some common reasons why dogs lick their paws excessively:


Dogs can develop allergies to certain foods, environmental allergens like pollen and dust, and even certain materials like plastic or rubber. Allergies can cause itchy skin, which can lead to excessive paw-licking.


Fleas and ticks can cause intense itching, which can cause dogs to lick their paws excessively. Some dogs may also develop allergies to flea bites, which can worsen the itching.

Dry Skin

Just like humans, dogs can develop dry skin, which can be caused by a lack of moisture in the air or poor nutrition. Dry skin can cause itchiness, which can lead to excessive paw-licking.

Boredom or Anxiety

Some dogs may lick their paws excessively out of boredom or anxiety. This can be a form of self-soothing, and it can become a compulsive behavior over time.

Pain or Discomfort

Dogs may also lick their paws excessively if they’re experiencing pain or discomfort. This could be caused by an injury, an underlying health condition, or a foreign object stuck in their paw.

Why does my dog lick his paws before bed

Dogs may lick their paws before bed for several reasons. Anxiety and stress can cause them to engage in self-soothing behaviors, while skin allergies, infections, or irritations can lead to itching and paw licking.

Additionally, boredom or lack of stimulation can cause paw licking as a way to pass the time. Dry skin or hot spots can also lead to paw licking, as can pain or discomfort in the paws. It’s important to identify the root cause and provide appropriate treatment or behavior modification.

Why does my dog lick his paws after eating

Dogs may lick their paws after eating for a variety of reasons. One reason is to clean their paws after getting them dirty while eating. Another reason is that some dogs may have food allergies or intolerances that can cause itching and discomfort, leading to paw licking.

Additionally, some dogs may have a habit of licking their paws as a way to self-soothe, especially if they experience anxiety or stress. In rare cases, paw licking after eating could be a symptom of a medical condition such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

It’s important to monitor your dog’s behavior and consult with a veterinarian if you notice excessive paw licking or any other unusual behavior.

Dog Licking Paws Remedies

If your dog is so much licking his paws, here are some things you can do to help him:

Identify the Underlying Cause

The first step in helping your dog stop licking his paws is to identify the underlying cause. Take your dog to the veterinarian for a thorough examination to rule out any medical conditions that may be causing the excessive paw-licking.

Provide Distractions and Mental Stimulation

Provide your dog with plenty of toys and games that will keep him mentally stimulated and distracted from licking his paws. Puzzle toys, chew toys, and interactive games can all help to keep your dog’s mind occupied.

Regular Grooming

Regular grooming can help to keep your dog’s paws clean and healthy. Trim your dog’s nails regularly and keep the fur around his paws trimmed to prevent dirt and debris from getting stuck between his toes.

Use Anti-Lick Products

There are several anti-lick products available that can help to deter your dog from licking his paws. These products usually have a bitter taste or an unpleasant smell that will discourage your dog from licking.

Consult with Your Veterinarian

If your dog’s excessive paw-licking is caused by an underlying medical condition, your veterinarian may recommend medication or other treatments to help alleviate the symptoms.


Excessive paw-licking in dogs can be a sign of an underlying problem. If your dog is licking his paws excessively, it’s important to identify the underlying cause and take steps to address it. With the right care and attention, you can help your dog overcome his excessive paw-licking and live a happy and healthy life.


Can I apply human lotion to my dog’s paws?

No, you should not apply human lotion to your dog’s paws. Human lotion can contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs and can cause skin irritation.

Is it normal for my dog to lick his paws after a walk?

Yes, it’s normal for dogs to lick their paws after a walk. This is their way of cleaning their paws and removing any dirt or debris that may have gotten stuck between their toes.

Can dogs lick their paws too much to the point of causing harm?

Yes, dogs can lick their paws excessively to the point of causing harm. Excessive paw-licking can lead to skin irritation, infections, and even injuries.

Should I punish my dog for licking his paws excessively?

No, you should not punish your dog for excessive paw-licking. This behavior is usually a sign of an underlying problem, and punishing your dog will only make him more anxious and stressed.

Can a change in diet help my dog stop licking his paws?

Yes, a change in diet may help to alleviate the symptoms of certain allergies that may be causing your dog’s excessive paw-licking. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your dog.

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Paul Smith

Paul Smith is an author who loves animals and helps readers understand how to handle their pets well. He is an expert writer who has written about the life of pets in digital media.