The Dangers of Excessive Dog Licking

Dog licking is one of the dog behaviour issues that pet owners often come across. There are many reasons for dog licking. In order to understand the dog licking habit, you first have to find the reason for the canine appetite for licking. There are various reasons for dog licking but they can be narrowed down to a few major reasons. You need to know these reasons so that you can deal with the issue properly.

The Dangers of Excessive Dog Licking


The major reason for dog licking paws excessively is an allergic reaction. Most dogs get this kind of allergic reaction when they come into contact with a particular allergen. You need to take time and patience to figure out the cause of the allergy developing your dog paw licking habit. Ask for the advice of a professional vet to start proper medication for this serious issue.


Dog licking and pawing are signs of anxiety disorder. There can be many causes of anxiety in your dog. They may have come across a new situation that upsets them or it could be the sign of some disease like distemper or giardia. If it’s a behavioural issue, you could help your dog by training it to give up the habit of incessant dog licking and chewing at its own paws.


When dogs have a lot of energy, they tend to want to expend this energy in as short a period as possible. This itchy and excessive paw licking habit could be a way for them to expend this energy in as little time as possible. This can sometimes be a sign of depression if it’s happening to your dog due to boredom or loneliness.


Another cause of excessive itchy paws is seasonal allergies. Dogs are usually affected by seasonal allergies throughout the year. These allergies can be treated with antihistamines, corticosteroids and other medicines prescribed by a veterinarian. The most common allergy symptoms experienced in dogs are scratching during the night, licking and chewing at themselves, licking and watering of the eyes and nose, excessive licking of feces and saliva, whining, and in some cases – even death from complications caused by these types of allergies. You should immediately contact your vet if you observe these symptoms in your dog.


Allergies to fleas are another very common cause of excessive paw licking. It’s not unusual to hear of dogs that keep biting themselves to keep their skin dry all the time. Flea allergy is normally diagnosed based on the blood test results showing the levels of IgE anti-bodies, which signifies the dog’s sensitivity to the allergens from the fleas. The level of allergy depends on how severe the allergic reaction of the dog is to the flea bite.


You might also notice your dog licking it’s own paws while they are idle. Excessive dog licking is also caused by inactivity. Dogs want to have fun, and spending too much time inactive makes them feel bored. Exercising your dog daily helps rekindle its love for exercise and playtime and relieves it from being bored, anxious and irritable. When your dog is happy, it less likely to lick itself to relieve the itchy feeling.


One very easy solution to stop your dog from excessive licking of its paws is to provide a lot of praise and attention when it picks up its toys or walks around. If you see your dog licking its paws a lot, stop praising him and take note of why – maybe his nails are hurting him. If your dog has any health problems like urinary tract infection, diabetes, heartworm or any other chronic health problem, visit your vet immediately. By providing your dog with proper nutrition and regular medical check-ups, you can prevent him from any health problems, which may include excessive licking of feet.

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