Does your dog lick at his paws?

If so I wanna know what you think the reason is, or why they do it

Answer #1

Most animals lick their paws, it is their way of cleaning themselves. Also dogs love dirt, mud and grass so your dog is probably thinking mmmm yummy lick lick lick

Answer #2

Thanks Renee Sorry, I was editing my question cause there was alot more I wanted to say in my question… then a funny something went wrong banner came up. hmm nice.. Also noticed that the format for asking questions is different. bah new format boo. But anyways. Yes I have spoken to my vet and been all over the net. There is nothing wrong with his paws, I did think it was cleaning as my guy loves the mud and muck. but it has gotten a bit excessive. I think it may be boredom due to the breed (ACD) and the fact he is alone in the apt for 9 hours or so.. Just wondering if anyone has had a similar situation with their pet and some advice on how to curb it, based on their experiece.. other than the obvious Thanks

Answer #3

Hmm It may be some kind of doggy Obsessive Compulsive Disorder if he is left alone a lot. I’m not too sure and not very intelligent on the dog subject. @utopia is a member here who is like a god when it comes to animals!! She’ll see this question soon :)

Answer #4

Omg My dog has the same thing! What kind of dog do you have? My vet gave my dog a mild dose of steroids for awhile thinking that would help but it didn’t. I noticed the more I walk him the less he does it. My vet set it could be anxiety as well. Have you had major changes in your life recently? Some dogs can’t handle huge changes.

Answer #5

Hi Erika, thanks for your response. He is a blue heeler, Australian cattle dog. very energetic, very intelligent. No major changes really, I’m at work for a few to 9 hours a day, yet he still gets at least 3 walks a day. Its not too too bad, i like to just correct things before they happen with him cause he easily makes thing habitual due to his intelligence. thanks

Answer #6

Sorry but here comes a long answer…

I have three dogs…one licks, the other two don’t. Charlie will lick his leg and foot until bloody and raw if not stopped. I participated in a puppymill raid and rescued him. He licks for comfort. I gently remind him to stop and have tried using a product, Anti-Lick Strips by Nurtured Pets, but any anti-lick strip will help. The strip will usually stay on long enough for the area to heal.

Constant licking should be taken seriously and you are a good owner to try to intervene early. It can lead to granulomas.

Obsessive licking is a real problem in dogs. They can easily develop lick granulomas that usually develop on the front part of the lower leg. Constant licking leads to hair loss and skin irritation. As the problem worsens, the skin becomes red, raised, ulcerated and infected. Because of the constant licking, the ulceration and infection cannot heal easily. Instead, the condition continues to worsen until the nerves become inflamed, causing the area to be so itchy that the dog licks it even more incessantly. It starts a vicious cycle and the condition becomes chronic.

Any dog can develop lick dermatitis. However, it appears that the condition occurs most commonly in middle-aged, large breed dogs (e.g. Doberman Pinscher, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Irish Setter, German Shepherd, and Boxer).

The true underlying cause of lick granulomas remains unknown, although many veterinarians believe that a combination of medical and psychological factors are responsible, thus adding to the complexity of the problem. One theory about the cause of lick granulomas is that, licking causes the release of endorphins in the dog’s brain. Endorphins are brain chemical compounds that make us (and apparently dogs) feel good. The dog soon comes to associate licking with feeling good; therefore he keeps on licking. Dogs may also lick themselves due to some other psychological/behavioral problems such as separation anxiety, boredom, and stress. These dogs relieve their stress by picking out new areas to focus on, then lick them for extended periods of time.

Once diagnosed, the underlying problem that is causing the licking (e.g. allergies, arthritis, etc.) in the first place will be treated. In addition, the secondary problems (licking and skin lesions) are tackled, most commonly by antibiotics, and/or anti-inflammatory medications. In serious cases, rather harsh methods such as laser and surgery will also be employed. If the licking is a result of behavioral problems, behavioral modification medications will be prescribed. An Elizabeth collar may also be used to prevent the dog from licking.

Answer #7

If he just licks, but doesn’t go so far as licking the hair off, he might be fastidious…does he clean his toenails as well?

Generally speaking, if he’s an older dog, and licks the pasturn joint, just above the foot, it could be arthritus…there are meds for that. If he licks his paws, goes for the bottom of his foot, and between the toes, then I’d think allergies. Could be food allergies (easy to fix)….could be contact allergies (not so easy to fix).

If you want to start off with something easy, change his food to something with NO grain in it….no corn, rice, bran, soy, or wheat…..if you want to take that even further….then Orijens has no preservatives either….There are many grain free kibbles on the market.

If you don’t see a slow down in 10 days to two weeks, then it may be contact allergies (grass, dust mites, etc)…You don’t want to let him get a lick-sore…they are nasty, and hard to cure…..


Answer #8

I have a german shepherd and he licks his paws as well. as we all know, animals bathe themselves regularly and sometimes even excessively compared to what we do as humans. sometimes dogs even chew their fingernails if they feel they’re too long.

I’d say that as long as your dog isn’t in discomfort or licking them until they’re raw, he’ll be fine.

and PS. intelligence has nothing to do with doggy OCD. if a person has OCD, it doesn’t mean they’re dumb either! Many dogs have seperation anxiety and therefore, OCD tendencies. There are many breeds that are known to display signs of anxiety, especially energetic herding dogs such as collies, shepherds, & cattle dogs.

Answer #9

thanks… i never said OCD… I said ACD which is short for Australian cattle dog… I mean due to his intellegence he gets bored with sitting about even thou he has a zillion toys to play with.. so yes I agree with you that it is a type of anxious nous caused by boredom.. but thank you..

Answer #10

Ooh no I said ocd because of the post above me :) But you’re welcome

Answer #11

Yeah she licks them all the time, I dont know why?

Answer #12

I have a yorkie who does…he got so bad at licking his feet he then started nawing his entire body till all this hair fell out…he now has to wear a cone 24/7…poor guy

Answer #13

My dog used to lick his paw when we went on holiday for the weekend. He made a habit of it and kept licking when we got back. We had even given him a bone while we were gone. He licked it and it went red. We gently moved his head away when we caught him doing it and in about a week he stopped. Anyway, long story short - it was anxiety.

More Like This

Pets and Animals

Pet Care, Animal Behavior, Veterinary Medicine

Ask an advisor one-on-one!

Supreme Paw Supply : Premium ...

Dog Clothing, Dog Toys, Dog Accessories


Simply For Dogs

Pets, Dogs, Blogs


Dogs Forum

Pet Care, Dog Training, Dog Breeding


SitDropStay - Dog Training

Pet Training, Dog Behavior Consulting, Puppy Training


Dogdayz Dog Boarding

Dog Boarding, Pet Accommodation, Dog Grooming