Are you worried about your dog licking his paws too often? While a paw lick now and then is a regular part of your dog’s grooming regimen, excessive paw licking should be corrected. Why? Because paw licking is linked to paw inflammation, also known as canine pododermatitis, which is generally described as “difficult, complicated, and frustrating to identify and treat.”
Many dogs lick their paws so much that the hair is stripped away, resulting in sores. These sores can quickly get infected and itchy, causing your dog to lick them even more vigorously. The cycle will continue in this manner until your dog’s paws have become gravely diseased.
The good news is that you don’t have to be concerned. We thought we would make the work easier for you and take the worry off your shoulder. In this article, we will learn about some dog-licking paws remedies that you can try in the comfort of your home, and later on, we will also discuss the causes.
Without any further ado, let’s start.
Some Amazing Dog Licking Paws Remedies
The underlying cause of your dog’s paw licking can be distressing and can cause complications. Additionally, frequent saliva exposure causes paw fur discoloration.
Fortunately, there are several simple, do-it-yourself home remedies for treating paw discomfort and offering relief to your pet from the licking obsession.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Do you want a quick remedy until you figure out what is causing the issue? First, apply apple cider vinegar to your furry friend’s paws. The flavor will dissuade your dog from licking on its paws, preventing secondary infections.
Because pure apple cider vinegar may be too intense for dogs, dilute it 50/50 with water.
Before you apply this mixture, make sure to check your dog’s paws for any cuts or bruises, as you would not want to use apple cider vinegar to open wounds.
2. Baking Soda Soak
Baking soda contains anti-inflammatory qualities and is capable of neutralizing acidic sensitivities. As a result, it’s an attractive solution for dogs with dry, itchy skin, lowering the desire to lick their paws.
In a bucket of warm water, dissolve half a cup of baking soda and soak the paws for about 10 minutes. Repeat the process twice or thrice per day. But how to keep him in the bucket for 10 minutes? Use dog treats!
There is another way to accomplish this with baking soda. You can make it into a paste by mixing it with water. Then, apply it on the paws for about an hour. Booties will be required to keep the dog from licking it off.
3. Soak in Oatmeal
Oatmeal baths are commonly used to treat rashes in humans, but you can also treat rashes in dogs. It is exceptionally beneficial for dry, cracked skin because it is a natural moisturizer and anti-inflammatory.
Allow your dog’s paws to soak for around 10 minutes in a pail of warm water with two cups of oatmeal (natural and free of flavors and sweeteners).
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil promotes skin health by assisting in maintaining appropriate moisture levels. It can also help to relieve skin irritations. In addition, you don’t have to bother about your dog licking it off because it’s entirely safe to consume. For this reason, it is one of the most common and many owner’s favorite dogs Licking Paws Remedies.
You can either massage the coconut oil into your dog’s paws or put a small amount in their food dish. Use good quality coconut oil, ideally extra virgin and organic formulations.
This technique does not address your dog’s underlying issue. Therefore the itching will continue. However, it may temporarily relieve irritation, allowing other therapies to effect. It’s especially effective when used in conjunction with booties, which prevent your dog from licking its paws at all.
5. Check His Diet
Suppose regular bouts of diarrhea following a dog’s paw licking. In that case, food allergies are likely to be the cause, and you should reconsider what your dog eats. Wheat, soy, eggs, dairy, meat, chicken, and fish are all common allergens in dogs.
Start with a simple diet, preferable homemade or hypoallergenic formulations available on the market. This will calm your dog’s immune system. Later, you can introduce additional ingredients while carefully monitoring reactions.
6. Try a Different Dog Shampoo
Dog shampoos are designed to be gentle, so they’re unlikely to irritate your dog’s skin. However, if your dog’s skin is dry or inflamed, you can use a specific dog shampoo to help. There are a variety of solutions made specifically for irritated skin.
Before you buy something, look at the ingredients. For example, the perfect dog shampoo should be hydrating and produced with natural components.
7. Chamomile Bath
Chamomile is a strong herbal medicine that has antibacterial and antioxidant properties. In addition, its relaxing characteristics will assist manage the anxiety associated with itching paws and offer local irritation relief.
Use a mixture of chamomile and warm water to wet your dog’s feet for a few minutes gently. Then, you can either bathe the paws with chamomile tea or apply chamomile tea bags straight to the sore paws.
8. Pest Medications
Suppose your dog is infected with external parasites. In that case, you may notice red or bumpy patches of skin, dandruff, and excessive scratching, in addition to itchy paws. The actual bugs can be seen (fleas and ticks are easy to identify).
Anti-pest drugs are readily available over the counter. If you’re unsure which product is best for you, consult your veterinarian before the situation worsens. In addition, you should update your dog’s protection at least once a month.
9. Dog Booties
Dog booties help them keep away from licking their paws. Additionally, these booties will also provide them protection against external irritants.
A good pair of dog booties won’t fix the problem entirely, but they will assist. Please make sure they’re comfortable and secure. It’s also a good idea to get some tough booties that your dog won’t be able to chew through.
10. Try Paw Balm
Paw balm can aid with skin irritations, rashes, minor wounds, and dry, itchy skin on your dog’s inflamed paws. Plus, because it’s developed specifically for dogs, you won’t have to worry about any potentially harmful components being swallowed by your pet.
11. CBD Oil
CBD oil may appear to be a trend for easy DIY Dog Licking Paws Remedies. Still, it is a scientifically proven treatment for various ailments, including itchy paws. CBD, for example, can aid on a variety of levels, from skin moisturization to immune system modification.
You can apply the CBD balms directly to itchy paws or mix the CBD oil with the kibble.
12. Try Adding Extra Vitamin E to Your Pet’s Diet
Vitamin E is essential for the health of your dog’s skin. However, they may not be receiving enough vitamin E in their food if the skin of their paws is inflamed. Even if a vitamin E deficiency doesn’t cause your dog’s skin problem, increasing their vitamin E intake may help relieve some of the irritation.
Switching to vitamin E-rich dog food is the most straightforward approach to increase their vitamin E consumption. You might want to try their vitamin E supplements as well.
Remember that too much vitamin E might be harmful. Always read the supplement labels carefully and see your veterinarian if you have any issues.
13. Fish Oil
Fish oil is a popular supplement for dogs who want to improve their skin and coat. Ideally, your dog should get all they require from their current pet food. That’s not always the case, though.
If your pet has skin issues, they may require additional fish oil in their diet. There are alternatives available. You might also replace their diet with a new recipe that incorporates more fish oil. Not all dog foods contain fish oil, but as its benefits become more well recognized, more are beginning to do so. As a result, fish oil supplements are more likely to be included in fish-flavored dog meals.
14. Try Honey
Honey is well-known for its antimicrobial qualities. It’s high in sugar, contains hydrogen peroxide, and has a low pH, all of which inhibit bacteria development.
If your dog’s paws are infected with bacteria, apply honey to the affected region. Honey is also non-toxic, making it one of the safest Dog Licking Paws Remedies.
Many dogs, of course, will eagerly lick honey off their paws. As a result, you might want to consider wearing boots or a dressing over the honey. Otherwise, your dog will most likely lick all of the sweetness before it gets a chance to help.
Turmeric is a highly beneficial yellow-colored spice that has anti-inflammatory properties. Form a paste by mixing half spoon turmeric powder with a bit of coconut or olive oil. Apply it to your dog’s paws, bandage them, and keep them on overnight. Do it at least once a day.
You can also add some turmeric to your pet’s food. But, again, consult your veterinarian for the proper dosage.
Neem, often known as Indian lilac, is a natural antibacterial that can aid in the treatment of paw infections. It also aids in the reduction of itching and inflammation.
Wash a handful of neem leaves properly. Boil them for 10 minutes in a pan of water. Allow the water to cool before straining it and transferring it to a spray bottle. Allow your dog’s paws to dry after spraying the solution on them. Once a day, repeat.
Alternatively, you may combine two tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil with a few drops of pure neem oil. Apply it to the pet’s paws twice or thrice a day for 30 minutes.
Some Additional Useful dog licking paws remedies
- Feed your dog a natural, healthful diet free of artificial tastes and colors, along with supplements to help him stay healthy.
- Make walking a part of your dog’s habit if he licks his paws owing to arthritic pain.
- Adding omega-3 fatty acids to your pet’s diet can help reduce licking due to skin irritation. The fatty acids aid in the prevention of dry skin and itching.
- Prevent your dog from going into any sections of your house where allergens might be present, such as the garden or the laundry room. Use a shampoo formulated exclusively for dogs to bathe your dog. For softer, less inflamed skin, choose one made with oats.
Now that we know some of the straightforward DIY dog licking paws remedies, let’s move on to see what causes paw licking.
What makes Dogs Lick Their Paws So Much?
Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for dogs paws licking obsession-
1. Skin Dryness
Changes in external factors might cause dryness in dogs with sensitive skin. For example, itching and pain are expected when the skin on its paws dries up and loses its natural flexibility, resulting in paw licking.
Environmental allergies (pollen, molds, dust mites) and food allergies make the paws more susceptible to allergic reactions (chicken, beef, dairy, wheat). Fleas and insect bites can also cause allergies. Allergies can be identified by paw licking and chewing.
3. External Parasites
The presence of bugs (fleas, mites, or ticks) on your pet’s paws might be the cause of their licking. Flea saliva is also an allergen that can cause flea allergy dermatitis. Skin parasites are commonly not easily identifiable due to their microscopic size.
Because it is dark, warm, and damp, the region between the paw pads is ideal for bacteria and yeast to thrive. As a result, paw licking is caused by bacterial and yeast infections, which cause swelling, irritation, itching, and discomfort.
5. Cuts or Scrapes
Your dog may be licking at its paws due to a minor scrape, or other injury acquired while out walking. In addition, dogs tend to lick themselves excessively for unclear reasons when dogs are in pain.
6. Behavioral Problems
Humans are not the only ones who suffer from compulsive habits. For example, constant foot licking in dogs is a common characteristic of OCD-like disorders. Boredom and separation anxiety are two more behavioral disorders that cause paw licking.
Any unpleasant condition on the foot or paw pads (thorn nails, minor cuts from foreign things, blisters from walking on hot pavements, or even arthritis) can induce persistent licking and biting.
Dermatitis is the clinical term for skin infections. Infectious agents such as germs, fungus, parasites (mange), dietary sensitivities, and poor grooming methods can all cause them (excessive bathing, human shampoos).
9. Hormonal Imbalance
Endocrine disorders (hypothyroidism and hyperadrenocorticism, often known as Cushing’s disease) disrupt normal hormone levels, causing skin and fur issues (poor coat quality, fur loss, dandruff), as well as obsessive paw licking.
When dogs are agitated or anxious, they may lick or gnaw on their paws. Although licking is a proper coping method, it increases the chance of developing open sores and secondary infections, leading to a vicious cycle of itchy paws.
Overall, excessive paw licking in dogs is a complicated problem caused by a variety of health issues. Fortunately, the dog licking paws remedies to try at home listed above can be highly efficient and helpful for your dog.
If the home cures don’t seem to be working, or you can’t figure out what’s causing your pet’s itchy paws, consult your veterinarian for more information.
Also, if the paw licking is interfering with daily activities, you should contact a veterinarian.
Elena Gherman is a highly skilled and knowledgeable animal care expert. At the start of her career, she gained practical expertise with multiple animals. In addition to that, she works as a DVM veterinary editor for Joy Pet Products, which focuses on offering reliable information on pet health and wellbeing. She meticulously reviews each piece of writing before it is published to make sure pet owners get the most precise and updated information possible.