Why Do Maltese Lick their Paws? (Causes and Solutions)

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Maltese dogs lick their paws for various reasons. One common cause is self-grooming, as dogs naturally clean their paws and legs to remove dirt and debris. However, excessive paw licking in Maltese dogs could be due to other factors such as dry or itchy skin, which can result from environmental allergies like grass, or dust.

Injuries, such as cuts, stings, or ingrown nails, can also lead to paw licking as a way for the dog to manage pain. Anxiety, stress, and boredom may contribute to this behavior as well. Additionally, parasites like fleas, ticks, or mites can cause irritation and prompt the dog to lick the affected area.

Reasons Behind Why do Maltese Lick so Much Paws and Their Solutions


One of the most common reasons for paw licking in Maltese dogs is allergies. These small dogs can be sensitive to various allergens, including pollen, grass, mold, and even certain ingredients in their food. When exposed to these allergens, Maltese dogs may experience itchiness and irritation, leading them to lick their paws for relief.

Solution: Consult with a veterinarian to identify the specific allergens affecting your Maltese. They may recommend allergy testing, medication, or a change in diet to alleviate the symptoms.

Skin Infections

Maltese dogs are prone to skin infections, such as yeast or bacterial infections, which can cause itchiness and discomfort. These infections can be a result of excessive moisture, poor grooming, or an underlying health issue.

Solution: Regular grooming and keeping your Maltese’s paws clean and dry can help prevent skin infections. If you suspect an infection, consult your veterinarian for appropriate treatment.

Anxiety and Stress

Paw licking can also be a sign of anxiety or stress in Maltese dogs. This behavior may serve as a coping mechanism for dogs experiencing emotional distress, such as separation anxiety or changes in their environment.

Solution: Identify and address the source of your Maltese’s anxiety. Providing a consistent routine, engaging in positive reinforcement training, and offering mental stimulation can help reduce stress levels.

Pain or Discomfort

Maltese dogs may lick their paws due to pain or discomfort caused by injuries, arthritis, or other health issues. This behavior can be an attempt to soothe the affected area.

Solution: Regularly inspect your Maltese’s paws for signs of injury or discomfort. If you suspect a health issue, consult your veterinarian for a thorough examination and appropriate treatment.

Habitual Behavior

In some cases, paw licking can become a habitual behavior for Maltese dogs. This may occur if the dog has been licking its paws for an extended period due to one of the reasons mentioned above, and the behavior persists even after the initial cause has been resolved.

Solution: Interrupt the paw licking behavior with a distraction, such as a toy or treat. Consistently redirecting your Maltese’s attention can help break the habit over time.

Final Words

Paw licking in Maltese dogs can be attributed to various factors, including allergies, skin infections, anxiety, pain, and habitual behavior. Identifying the underlying cause and addressing it with the help of a veterinarian is crucial to ensure the well-being of your Maltese.

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