San Diego Mobile Pet Grooming Blog
The Most Common Reasons for Paw Licking
Disease – Pesky fleas, fungal infections, and mange mites cause an insistent burning itch if they burrow around the pads of your dog’s feet and in between the toes. Additionally, dogs with chronic arthritis and diabetes often suffer from bone pain and nerve damage in their paws, and will chew and lick to alleviate the ache.
Injury – Broken nails, fractured toes, split and cracked pads, or even a foreign body stuck in a paw pad will cause your pooch to lick at the injured area to ease the pain and begin the healing process.
Habit or boredom – Restless animals will do almost anything to relieve their boredom, and with some dogs, that includes excessive chewing and licking on their paws. For high-energy dogs who need a ton of exercise, licking their feet can become a soothing habit.
Anxiety – Without consistency in a daily routing, a sensitive dog can become anxious and upset. A new family member, a new pet, a change in the diet or meal times – all of these circumstances can push some dogs into anxiety and they will comfort themselves by licking their paws.
Obsessive/compulsive disorder – Like their human owners, some dogs develop a psychological disorder of the obsessive- compulsive type that compels them to constantly lick their paws. Some veterinary behaviorists suggest that the licking releases endorphins – opiate-like chemicals – from the dog’s brain that produces a sense of well-being and calmness during times of stress or anxiety that can become addictive.
Paw Licking Can Be a Problem
See Your Veterinarian
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