Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?

If your dog occasionally licks their paws, do not worry! The occasional act of paw licking is completely normal behavior. There may be cause for concern if your dog is constantly licking their paws. Excessive paw licking is a symptom of multiple different health conditions but with the proper diagnosis and treatment, you can help your dog feel comfortable again! 

What Causes Dogs To Lick Their Paws?


Whether your dog has sensitivities to food, environmental factors, household items, or even products you use in your yard, an extremely common symptom of allergies in dogs is excessive paw licking. While it is difficult to pinpoint what exact allergen is causing your dog to experience allergy-related symptoms, paying close attention to your dog's symptoms is a great way to start narrowing down what is causing your dog's itchy paws! 

Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs

  • Itching

  • Licking or chewing on affected skin areas- commonly the face, ears, paws, the base of the tail, armpits, and abdomen 

  • Hair loss 

  • Recurrent ear infections 

  • Swelling of face, mouth, ears, and/or eyes

  • Sneezing

  • Difficulty breathing and/or wheezing


Parasites can cause infections that can make your dog's paws extremely itchy. Fleas or mange are typically to blame when it comes to itchy paws caused by parasites. Depending on what parasite your dog has, a veterinarian will recommend a treatment method and possibly prescribe medication to treat your dog and eliminate the parasite. 


If you notice your dog is paying extra close attention to one paw and frequently licking it, this could indicate an injury to the paw. The first step to confirming whether or not your dog potentially has a paw injury is to examine for cuts, torn nails, stones, thorns, or ice stuck in the paw. Pay extra close attention to the nails, toes, paw pads, and the top of the paw. It is recommended to consult a veterinarian to examine and provide proper treatment for any serious injury to your pet. 

Treatment Methods For Allergies in Dogs

Before you decide what treatment method would be most beneficial for treating your dog's allergies, it is important to figure out what type of allergy your dog is suffering from. If you believe your dog has a food intolerance, a helpful way to find what food your dog is allergic to is by trying an elimination diet! This will help you to single out the food your dog has an intolerance to. Common food allergies for dogs include; beef, soy, corn, wheat, dairy, chicken, and eggs.

Allergy and immune support supplements are a very proactive way to ensure your dog is receiving a nutritionally balanced diet which in turn, can decrease the chance of your dog developing skin conditions and symptoms related to allergies and atopy. Supplements are also a helpful way to manage already existing skin conditions and symptoms caused by allergies.