Top 3 Reasons Why Dogs Lick their Paws

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Licking is a common way for dogs to interact with the world around them. It’s perfectly normal for dogs to lick their paws. It’s only a red flag if the licking behavior becomes compulsive. Here are the most common reasons that explain why dogs lick their paws.

1. It’s a self-grooming act

Dogs like to keep themselves clean. The paws are one of the most exposed parts of a dog’s body. Naturally, it’s part of a dog’s self-grooming routine to lick their paws every once in a while to get rid of the dirt and debris that may have gotten embedded.

2. Paw injury or infections

What if the licking is excessive? This might indicate an injury or infection in the dog’s paw. The dog is trying to lick his paws to relieve the pain and discomfort. It could happen if your dog has a skin infection such as a yeast infection. It could also happen due to an allergic reaction. Your dog might have environmental allergies. He may have stepped on something he is allergic to such as grass or mold.

3. Bored and anxious dogs

Another cause of compulsive licking is boredom. Your dog will find something to do on his own if you aren’t fulfilling his need for entertainment and exercise. One way they may try to do this is by licking their paws. It may get worse over time and the dog might lick until the paw pads become raw.

Anxious dogs may also lick their paws. Licking could be a way to distract themselves from whatever is causing the anxiety and stress. This could happen if your dog is in an unfamiliar environment or there are noises and smells that are bothering him.

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