Before looking for a solution, it’s a good idea to understand when and why your dog licks its paws repeatedly.
The behavior of a dog licking its paws could be completely normal or hide a more important problem. The act of licking a paw from time to time can be normal. After all, even a dog likes to keep himself clean, albeit in a lesser way than a cat.
But what to do if the dog licks his paws repeatedly? In this case, this could mean that the dog is experiencing discomfort or even pain. The causes of which must be found as soon as possible. The only one who can give a definitive explanation is the veterinarian. From which one must therefore go if this behavior becomes obsessive, because the causes could be of various kinds.
5 reasons why dogs lick their paws
At least 5 explanations can be identified for this strange dog behavior. Each of these is generally linked to other factors, which must be kept in mind to understand if it is a problem or not.
- The dog licks its paws to clean itself. It is the most frequent and least problematic cause: if the dog licks itself after eating or before sleeping, quietly and for short periods of time. It is simply a normal time dedicated to their own cleaning. Similar to what they do, very much more often, cats.
- The dog licks its paws because it feels pain. The first thing your dog does if he feels pain or simple discomfort is to lick himself, to give some relief to the affected area. There are many causes that can cause discomfort to the paw: the bite of a flea. The presence of a splinter between the fingers, one or more broken nails, just to name a few. If you are unable to locate the foreign body, it is best to go to a veterinarian for a more thorough check.
why dogs lick their paws
- The dog licks his paws because he has an allergy. The presence of an allergy is one of the most frequent causes of paw problems, but also one of the least easy to identify. It can be an intolerance to a food, or to a new detergent or to molds and mites. The only way to figure this out is to look at how often and when your dog licks and talk to your vet about it.
- The dog licks himself because he is cold. In very cold temperatures, the sweat glands in the pads can form small crystals and annoy the dog. Or the pads can simply crack due to the cold, especially if the dog has walked on snow or rocky ground.
- The dog licks himself because he has a behavioral disorder. This is the most difficult cause to identify and also the most complex to solve. In severe cases, the dog may even injure itself and then relieve the pain on its own. Resulting in an even larger wound and so on. At the base of this behavior there are traumas, such as those that explain why the dog is afraid of loud noises . Or affective and psychological disorders, which can only be resolved with the help of a dog trainer.
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