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Causes of Paw Licking in Dogs

Paw licking in dogs is quite common but always needs attention if it persists.

This can be caused out of habit, allergies, compulsive behavior, or joint and bone problems.

If you have a dog that spends most of his time licking his paws you may have a bit of a problem trying to find out why this is happening.

Here are a few suggestions for the causes of paw licking in dogs.

Causes of Paw Licking in Dogs


Dogs can be allergic to many things even the grass they walk on.

Just as with humans they can be allergic to mold and mildew and even the food that they eat.

They can inhale allergens that can be quite uncomfortable.

If they are allergic to grass they will lick their paws on the return to their home.

There are some things that can ease your dog’s allergies and reduce the paw licking such as Benadryl, medications for allergies and make sure their shampoo is non-allergenic.

If the allergy is affecting other parts of their body by making them itch it can result in constant paw licking to get relief.

In the case of paw licking from allergies, you should take your dog to a veterinarian so he can suggest a dermatologist to help determine what your dog is allergic to.


Boredom can be the major cause of paw licking. Dogs lick their paws.

It is a normal reaction but when it becomes obsessive then there is a problem.

If your dog is not getting enough exercise or attention it can result in this type of paw licking.

They can lick their paws and make them very sore.

They can become ulcerated and infected.

If your dog is showing this behavior you have to ensure that he is getting the proper exercise and playtime so that boredom does not become a part of his day.

There are also things on the market that can discourage this behavior such as bitters placed on the fur of his paws.

Causes of Paw Licking in Dogs

Joint problems

You see joint problems in older dogs more than any other.

Older dogs suffer from arthritis or hip dysplasia.

They react to this condition by licking their paws.

They may start licking their paws as a reaction to the pain of their joints.

If this is the reason for your dog’s paw licking it is best to take him to your veterinarian so he can get the help he needs in controlling the pain.

Paw licking in dogs can get on the owner’s last nerve.

One thing you can be sure of, there is a reason behind this habit.

Your job will be trying to find out what the underlying reason is for the paw licking and do what you can to alleviate the problem.

There are many causes of paw licking in dogs but usually only one reason why this is happening.

Sarh S

Tuesday 4th of February 2020

This is great information! Not really paw licking, but my mom had a pug mix and she would lick her toe nails and then scratch in her ear with said toe nails and the lick them again. It was the silliest thing to watch.

LeAnn Harbert

Thursday 30th of January 2020

One of my dogs licks her paws. Thanks for the information.

Shannon Holmes

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Thanks for sharing this, I did not know why a dog would licck their paws.

Debbie P

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Thanks for the very interesting article.

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