Why does the dog lick its paws?

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It will surely have happened to all the owners to come across their own dog intent on licking their paws as if they had confused with the cat cousins. But few will have asked themselves the real reasons and, above all, if such behavior underlies a pathological condition to be taken into due consideration.

There are many reasons that can cause a dog to lick its legs and, if the behavior is sporadic, there is not much to worry about. An itch, dirty hair, some pebble stuck between the support pads will surely be the most probable reasons. But what happens when the action becomes continuous, insistent, a real mania? Regarding the dog paws problems the solutions, you will have now.

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dog paws problems

The legs are very delicate areas of the dog’s body because they are always in contact with the ground. They can be prone to wounds, can come into contact with toxic substances and, generally, they are an area often affected by irritation and allergies. If the dog is licking them continuously, therefore, a veterinary visit is required to establish the causes. If an allergic dermatitis were found, specific antihistamine creams would be provided, even if understanding the source of intolerance is anything but simple. From household dust to pollens, from substances for the care of the road surface to a detergent, a possible dog allergy imposes a serious change of habits for the whole family.

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There is, however, another argument, this of a purely behavioral nature. It seems that some dogs continue to lick undeservedly their paws even at the complete recovery of an annoying disease, without any other triggering cause. In this case, it is an acquired behavior, a sort of tic that drives the dog to nibble uselessly. In this case, re-education of the animal is needed, especially actions that serve to divert its attention from the body. Proposing a game, a walk, or even just a kibble every time the dog gets ready to lick its paw, can associate positive ideas with previous annoyance, gradually eliminating tic.

Behavioral Problem

After excluding the previous causes, one can also think of a behavioral problem. It is certainly not the first cause of this behavior, but it is perhaps the most serious, given that you can hardly solve it yourself. You will need the intervention of an educator or a behaviorist veterinarian. In some cases, in fact, some psychological problems of the dog may lead to excessive attention to personal cleanliness. We know that licking is the equivalent of kissing dogs, and in this way, it is as if it is self-reassuring.

The problem is that by licking each other over and over, injuries can occur that can lead to self-mutilation. It licks itself to affection and to release tension; it creates a wound; it licks itself to relieve the discomfort; it creates a bigger wound. It’s a never-ending vicious circle. If this is the case, it is advisable to intervene as soon as possible with the help of a professional.