Licking is a dog’s most natural way of grooming himself. As a matter of fact, licking is the most common solution to most dog problems. However, sometimes the dog may start licking an obsession to the level of hurting himself. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to cure your dog’s licking obsessions today.
According to Google, “how to stop dog from licking paws” is one of the most commonly searched terms. So it won’t be wrong to say that millions of dog parents around the world face the dog licking paws problem. Hence, I will share my collection of expert opinions on how to stop dogs from licking paws?
Table of Contents
Why Are Dogs Obsessed With Licking Their Paws?
Are you wondering what causes dogs to constantly lick their paws? There are a number of views of different experts on the topic. Therefore, it is impossible to tell exactly the reason behind your dog’s behavior. In some cases, the pup has a childhood habit of licking paws or other parts of its body.
On the contrary, sometimes, the dog starts the licking obsession out of the blue. Hence, it is very important to notice your hound’s routine to shortlist the number of causes for such behavior. Some reasons for the dogs licking their paws frequently are as follows:
However, the reasons behind your buddy’s newfound habit are not limited to these only. If you didn’t find any solid purpose behind the constant liking, you should consult a vet.
- Childhood Habit: Some pups develop an early habit of licking and chewing their paws and other parts of their body. Such behavior is very common in most dogs and is completely harmless. Unless the obsession grows to the level of pink or reddish marks on the paws or even bleeding skin.
- Allergy: Like humans, dogs also tend to develop an allergy to various objects. For instance, dogs are generally allergic to mites, mycotoxins, spores, dust, and even some types of dog food. Therefore, if the mutt gets an allergic reaction on paws or some other body part, he will instantly start licking it. This is because dog saliva can cure many wounds, including allergic reactions. You can look for signs of allergic reaction by looking for symptoms such as corn on paws, inflammation, itchiness, flu, and pink shade in the eyes.
- Yeast Reaction: Yeast is omnipresent in every organism, including humans and dogs, as well as in the environment. This yeast produces an inflammatory reaction when exposed to a warm and humid climate. Such a reaction usually takes place between the paw pads of the dogs. The most common symptoms of yeast reaction include inflammation, itchy skin, and rotten smell from the skin or paw pads.
- Anxiety: That’s right! Your dog may be anxious or even depressed due to some recent event. Dogs tend to start licking themselves when feeling anxious to relieve their stressful feelings. Moreover, some dogs even develop habits like pacing, higher drooling & panting, and lack of interest in playing. Therefore, it would be best to know your dog’s emotions before trying out any dog licking paws remedies.
- Wounds: Dog saliva acts as a natural anti-septic, and they know it too well. Therefore, you will notice the pup starts to lick as soon as he gets wounded. Though smaller wounds tend to heal over time, the bigger wounds or burns may require medical attention.
How Much Paw Licking Is Too Much?
Even though the dogs have a natural habit of licking their paws. You should remain vigilant about how often he grooms his body. Moreover, you need to be sure whether it is just a routine behavior or something more serious. However, sometimes the licking becomes too much, and you need to stop the dog from licking paws. There are a number of signs that you can look to find the motive behind excessive paw licking.
If you notice your buddy doesn’t take an interest in anything other than paw licking. It may be the right time to consider finding the motive by keeping a check on his routine. For instance, too much dog paw licking may lead to hot spots and reddish skin spots. These spots are more sensitive and can easily get wounded or catch fungus.
It is best to consider a vet appointment if you see any of these signs in your dog’s paw:
- Excessive Paw Chewing: Dogs chew their paw pads habitually. However, sometimes they chew for a number of reasons, such as removing foreign objects such as pebbles between the paws.
- Lumps: if you notice any lumps on the paw pads, you should immediately check the affected paw. It is because a lumped paw indicates the presence of a foreign object between the toes, which may result in infection.
- Sore Skin: A sore skin may be a sign of dry skin or even a severe skin condition. Dry paw pads are very uncomfortable for dogs and can cause excessive paw licking.
- Bleeding: Dogs prefer to keep chewing their paws if they sense something wrong. Typically, excessive chewing results in bleeding and leaves your dog prone to infection.
Cure Dog’s Paw Licking Habit Using Food:
According to experts, the most common reason behind a dog’s paw licking habit is yeast reaction. Yeast is a natural fungus present in every organism, including humans and dogs. However, sometimes the dog’s skin produces too much yeast as a result of improper diet. This yeast, when exposed to a humid climate and warm conditions, develops itchiness, inflammation, and even a rotten smell from the dog’s skin.
You can treat a yeast infection easily by visiting the vet, using an anti-fungal medication, and correcting the dog’s diet to prevent future infections. The most common cause of yeast infection is a diet rich in carbohydrates. It is because carbs are rich in sugar, and more yeast is required to break it down. Therefore, it is recommended to cut down the carbs from the dog’s diet and include more proteins in the form of beef and other forms of meat. For instance, you need to maintain a protein-rich diet for up to 90 days to regulate the body’s PH levels.
How to Make a Homemade Dog Food Rich in Protein?
Homemade dog food is best because you are in charge of his nutritional intake. Moreover, most of the readymade dog foods are rich in carbohydrates that can cause yeast infections. So, if you are trying to control a yeast infection on your dog’s paw, you should use homemade food for up to 90 days. Finally, homemade dog food is more economical than boxed dog food. It is because you can make large batches of dog food and refrigerate it for up to 15 days.
Things You Need:
- 10 cups cooked white rice (useless for lower carbohydrates)
- 8 oz. LickoChops or SuprOmega
- 1.5 lbs. Dogs powdered supplement
- 10 lbs. of ground beef (Any meat)
- 12-15 hardboiled eggs with the shells (or use calcium supplement)
- Food processor
- Put raw ground beef (meat) in the food processor and process for 1-2 minutes to achieve a uniform texture.
- Add hardboiled eggs with shells and process till the eggs become completely powdered. Usually, this step takes 3-5 minutes at high speed. However, you can skip this step if you choose to use a calcium supplement.
- Add the preferred amount of boiled white rice, LickoChips, and again process for 2 minutes.
- Finally, add the dog supplement powder and mix thoroughly using the processor at low to medium speed.
- Make biscuits of the processed food, place in a dish, cover with wrapping sheet and refrigerate for 2 hours before feeding.
How to Prevent Habitual Licking or Chewing?
Dogs are naturally interested in licking different parts of their body as an act of grooming. Moreover, the most favorite licking spot for any dog is its paw pads. However, if you feel that this habitual chewing is getting too much. Or you are simply intolerant of such behavior for any reason. You can use the following technique to prevent the dog from licking paws.
- Spray the most licked body parts with either cider or bitter spray. However, make sure that the spray is not harmful in any way.
- Put on some thick socks on his paws if it is winter season. He will slowly start avoiding the fabric taste.
- Boredom and anxiety can also cause obsessive paw licking. Therefore, try to keep him busy in various activities such as long walks.
- If all fails, try the old-school technique of cone or collar to prevent him from reaching the spot.
- However, if the licking doesn’t stop even after all this, it would be best to get your pooch checked up by the vet.
How to Stop a Dog from Chewing paws?
There are many reasons why does the dog constantly lick his paws. However, most of these causes can be cured using home remedies such as soothing and diet correction. The first thing you should do to prevent the dog’s licking is to soothe the paws at least twice a week. You will instantly start seeing positive changes because of his relaxed skin.
The best way to treat paw pad problems is to soothe them in warm water with baking soda or Epsom salts. The main goal is to stabilize the skin’s PH level and kill any bacteria or fungus active on the paw.
- Take a tub and fill it with warm water.
- You can check the temperature using your pinky. The water is suitable if you can keep the pinky submerged for 30 seconds.
- Put baking soda or Epsom salts and mix thoroughly till it dissolves completely.
- Soothe the paws in the solution and gently massage the affected region with your fingers. (wear gloves!)
- You can even bathe your dog with this solution to cure itchiness and relaxing effects.
- Soothe for at least 30 minutes before rinsing him with clean, warm water and drying with a towel or hair drier.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How to stop my bulldog from licking his paws raw?
Your English bulldog is either grooming or feeling troubled. Check for the reason behind licking and treat the habit accordingly by soothing or diet correction.
Can I put apple cider vinegar on my dog’s paws?
Yes, ACV is best for soothing paws infected with bacteria or fungus.
How to stop dogs from licking paws due to seasonal allergies?
Try to soothe his paws in warm water and Epsom salts for 30 minutes twice a week.
How long can you refrigerate homemade dog food?
Refrigerated dog food covered with wrapping sheets stays good for 15 days.
Why does my dog lick me all the time?
Dog’s licking is an act of affection similar to kissing unless it becomes too much. Excessive dog licking may be due to fear, anxiety, or depression.
To wrap it up, dog licks their paws to either groom themselves or to treat a wound and infection. In any case, it is best to pay attention to the dog’s habits to determine the cause and stop the dog from licking its paws. I hope now you know how to treat your dog’s licking problems without freaking out.