How To Stop Dog From Licking Paws

Your dog, like most, likely gives you plenty of doggie kisses by licking your skin. It is normal for dogs to lick their pet owners and also to lick themselves as a way of bathing. However, a dog licking its paws excessively could be a sign of a problem.  

Why is my Dog Licking his Paws so much?

If your dog is licking or even chewing his paws, it could be a health concern.  Your dog may lick excessively as a result of anxiety or boredom, but it is crucial to rule out health-related issues first.  

But why do dogs lick their paws?

One reason your dog may be licking his paws is as a means of grooming.  Some dogs are great at self-grooming. So if your pup is giving their paws a lick after coming in from outside or after eating a meal, this is not a sign of concern. 

Your dog may even lick their paws when they curl up for a nap. All of these are normal dog behaviors and shouldn’t cause you to worry. 

Another reason dogs may be licking their paws is because of allergies. They may engage in excessive paw licking because they have dry skin that causes itchiness, irritation, or pain

The irritation on your pup’s skin can be a sign of food allergies, skin conditions, or cysts.  These allergies may, in turn, cause something more than itchiness. It can lead to fur loss, open wounds, skin infections, and even pain.

All of these reasons are areas of concern that you should address immediately by visiting the veterinarian.

The likely culprit for your dog’s licking is their diet.  Food allergies cause itching. Most dog foods are high in filler ingredients, which can cause skin irritation for your dogs.  The more they lick their irritated skin, the more moisture that accumulates. This can lead to issues such as yeast infections.

In some cases, separation anxiety causes a dog to lick his paw. Along with this, boredom is another reason why your furry companion engages in constant licking.

Insect bites cause a reaction on your dogs’ paws that leads them to lick. Most often, these bites can cause itchiness. When this happens, our dogs resort to licking and chewing to alleviate the itch.

There are many reasons why dogs engage in paw licking

How can I get my Dog to Stop Licking His Paws?

Our team has reviewed a few great products to help get your dogs to lay off the paw licking. But, again, be sure you have taken your dogs to the veterinarian to rule out health-related issues.  

Topical Sprays

If you are looking for a topical spray, there are many products. such as Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray that can be applied to your pup’s paws, as well as household items to prevent chewing. 

Another successful product is a topical spray that treats your dog’s skin irritation, such as Chlorhexidine Spray.  

If your pup’s paw licking is frequent but not an area for concern, you can use a itch relief spray that will deter your dogs from licking.  This spray can be applied to their paws daily.

Cone or Inflatable Collars

BENCMATE Protective Inflatable Collar for Dogs and Cats - Soft Pet Recovery Collar Does Not Block Vision E-Collar (Large, Blue)
  • SCRATCH AND BITE RESISTANT - The inflatable collar is designed to protect your pets from injuries, rashes and post surgery wounds, it will prevent pets from biting and licking their injured area or surgical site and promote recovering from surgery or wounds

If your dogs have been persistent with the licking and chewing and you need to prevent their access to paws for a time, consider buying a cone or an inflatable collar

These items will only aid in temporarily getting your dogs to stop licking their paws.  This will prove especially helpful if your dog has a yeast infection or other health-related issues. If your dog continues licking, it will just escalate the problem.  

Supplements

Giving your dog supplements to lessen or even prevent the licking may be one of the most long-term solutions. PetHonestly provides a daily allergy relief supplement that contains the suggested fish oil as well as probiotics and colostrum. 

Another immune support supplement comes from Zesty Paws and will help give your dog what they need to prevent or lessen the licking behavior. 

Should I Stop my Dog from Licking his Paws?

Depending on the reasons why your dogs lick their paws, it might be necessary to stop them from continuously doing so.

When the reason for the licking is self-grooming, there is no need to stop this behavior as it merely a means of cleaning himself.

But if the reason is other than that and licking and chewing is done excessively, then there is every reason to act now to stop this habit. Understand the underlying cause for the habit and address it properly.

Steps to Curb Paw Licking and Chewing Behaviors

The first step to stop your dogs from licking their paws is to visually inspect their paws.  Be sure to check the areas between their nails and paw pads. This will allow you to see any visible cuts, scrapes, or growths. 

The next step to getting your dogs to stop licking their paws is taking them to visit the vet. This will help to ensure that the behavior is not related to any health problems.

If your vet has decided it is, in fact, a behavioral concern, you can begin taking steps to train your dogs and discourage the licking habit.  Excessive licking can create new sores and health problems for your dogs if it continues.

 How to Stop your Dog from Licking Paws

Many behavioral challenges can be solved by ensuring that your dog has the proper amount of exercise and playtime

A vet visit is necessary to identify the causes of his excessive licking. If your veterinarian confirmed that a diet or health-related issue is not causing the behavior, giving your pup plenty of walks and playtime will help keep them distracted.  This also helps them burn off excess energy or anxiety.

Also, be sure to provide your dog with a variety of toys to play with.  This helps combat his boredom and any other underlying cause for this health problem. Keep him pre-occupied with something other than the dog’s paws by engaging him in regular, fun activities.

Keep him busy to forget boredom and pain

It is also important to make sure your dog is not left home alone for long periods every day.  Keeping a dog alone or confined to a crate or small space may be fostering licking behavior. 

Consider hiring a dog walker or taking your dog to daycare if you cannot be home for long stretches each day.  

If the licking has become very intense, or your vet has already prescribed a treatment to heal a wound or cyst on their paw, you may need to have your dog wear a cone to prevent them from licking.  

Dog Licking Paws Remedies

Many home remedies would be a good option to help keep your dog from licking his paw.  

One suggestion is to bring a humidifier near your pup to put moisture back into the air.  This may be especially helpful if there are certain times of the year your dog is licking. 

Your dog may also get relief from their dry, itchy skin with an Epson-salt bath. Have your pup stay in the bath for 30 minutes to kill bad bacteria and lessen inflammation.  

Another home remedy is spraying apple cider vinegar directly to your dog’s paw.  It is important to make sure your dog has no open wound or cuts to prevent this remedy from being very painful. 

You can also give your dog high-quality fish oil supplements. These supplements have ample amounts of fatty acids, which prevent dry skin and strengthen your pet’s immune system. They help alleviates your dog’s sensitivity to any food allergy and prevent itching.

A veterinarian can help with your dog's excessive paw licking

Summary

It may seem like just an annoying habit when your dogs begin excessively licking their paws.  This behavior may be a sign of food-related or health-related concerns.

It is important to get your dog checked out by your veterinarian to decide.  Providing your dog with exercise, play, and daily supplements can help to lessen the urge to lick their paws.

Be patient but also persistent in helping your dog attain the best behavior and health.