One of the most common sights in a pet household is to watch our furry friends leisurely licking their paws away while everyone is busy doing their own things. Dogs lick themselves mostly to groom themselves and sometimes just to kill boredom or when they are under some stress. However, sometimes there are ignored warning signs hidden behind this innocent action.
While licking paws is a normal behavior, it only becomes a problem when your pet does it in excess or carries it to the extreme.
Sometimes, licking and biting can extend to other parts of the body but the idea is to identify the root cause and rectify it before it becomes painful for both the pet and the pet parents.
Why do dogs lick their paws?
There are various reasons why dogs lick their paws. Identifying them and rectifying those reasons can help your dog lead a healthy and happy life.
One of the most common problems in both dogs and humans are Allergy. Dogs can be allergic to various foreign bodies, starting from pollen, insects, particular food or any household chemical that they come in contact with. The most common reaction of allergy is itchy and irritable skin and instinctively dogs try to lick and sooth their skin. While walking on the road, canine paws get exposed to various foreign bodies and that’s why the paws are the most susceptible to allergic skin reactions
It’s good to see a Vet to check the possible allergen that could be causing Itchy paws. Washing the dog’s paws with mild soaps and treating them to a medicated foot soak can remove the allergens and clean up their paws.
Change in diet and particularly switching to grain free dog diet can minimize and most of the times eliminate a lot of skin problems in dogs. Adding fish oil and oats in their diets wonderfully affect their health while primarily soothing their skins and making them nice and healthy.
Parasites and injuries.
Also, check for physical injuries. Licking a particular area is a prominent sign that there could be a physical injury. It’s the best to seek a doctor’s advice if you see anything a miss during inspection.
Bacterial And Fungal Paw Infections
Nibbling and licking and the persistent dampness in foot can sometimes cause infection. Abnormal odor, pain, redness, swelling and limping are the most common signs of these infections. Seeing a veterinarian promptly for a quick medication and treatment is absolutely necessary.
Regular grooming and keeping a clean environment for the dogs and yourself at home is the best way to avoid such infections.
Yeast infections in dogs can be caused because of various reasons, mostly moistness in the paws, lifestyle and diet. Yeast infection can happen to dogs with low immunity and improper diet that contains too many carbohydrates.
The visible symptoms of yeast infection are discoloration and rust colored fur between the paws and hair.
The simple solution to avoid yeast infection is to keep their diet healthy, grain free and balanced. Wise men say, good health begins from good stomach. Adding healthy bacteria, Probiotics and Omega 3 fatty acids to their food have proven to keep your pet’s skin and gut free from troubles.
Boredom and Stress
Like humans, even dogs can go through stress bouts, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Territorial threats, separation anxiety and sometimes just boredom makes dogs scratch, lick and bite their tails and toes to release energy. If not controlled, the dogs can continue injuring themselves, causing infections. The best way to deal with it is to seek a dog behaviorist. They can help you understand your dog’s psyche and give you a lot of insights on pet behavior.
Chew-able toys, love, care and lots of physical activities will keep your baby happy and healthy for life.