Dogs have many behaviors which, as pet parents, we often ignore or deem as normal. However, sometimes our dogs are trying to tell us something. Like, when they lick their paws, although sometimes normal (see below when this is considered normal), it may be due a number of other reasons, such as;
- Allergies (food, environmental, other) that causes irritation to the skin around the paws
- A wound they sustained (which often occurs to city dwelling dogs who walk or run a lot on pavement)
- Injuries such as a broken bone, or broken toe nail or other related injuries as a way to ‘self-soothe’ (which unfortunately, usually results in them causing more problems!)
- A foreign object caught in their fur/skin/pad such as a grass seed, pebble, piece of glass etc which is likely causing pain/discomfort.
- Anxiety. In an attempt to relieve stress, similar to the way we may bite our nails, a dog may lick their paws when anxious.
- Boredom. If not mentally stimulated, a dog will find other ways to entertain themselves, which may include self destructive behaviors such as licking their paws.
- Skin irritation. This can be from a bee sting or the ice-melt or salt on the side-walks during the winter.