Puppies and Dogs For Sale in UK

Paw Licking

When your dog begins to lick its paws in an excessive manner it could be for a number of reasons. The first step is to establish whether it is due to an underlying medical problem or not and the best way to ascertain this is by visiting your dogs vet.
Now if the medical side of things has been ruled out then it will come down to a behavioural problem and if this is so then there are a few questions to be answered. You need to think whether the licking is a new behaviour or not and take note of the paws licked, is it a front or back paw? Observe your dog and look for other relevant symptoms such as the dog limping or any noticeable swelling around the paw region.

The problem is that there could be a small medical problem such as a cut or graze on one of the dog’s pads and the dog has licked the area because it has been feeling slightly sore. The ‘catch-22’ to the dog continuing to lick is the more he/she licks the paw the slightly sore feeling will develop into an extremely sore feeling!

If the paw appears to be swollen, crusty or red this could be due a local irritant or an inflammation from a bacterial or parasitic source. Now even if there is no evidence remaining of the source because the dog is constantly licking and possibly chewing the area the problem becomes a self-propagating cycle of ‘trauma’ to the skin. Check for lumps and bumps between the dog’s toes as small growths or cysts can occur without warning and these can cause discomfort for the dog therefore encouraging him/her to lick the area.

In some ways a simple medical cause is the better option to discover as a behavioural one can be harder to combat. To modify the behaviour will take a considerable amount of time, consistency and above all patience. There are a variety of topical products which can be applied to dissuade the dog from licking, they work on the concept that when the dog licks it receives a nasty taste sensation in its mouth therefore when it goes to lick again it will hesitate as it remembers the experience.

Distraction is often the best solution though however this obviously only works when you are around to observe your dog in action, when he/she goes to lick simply distract their attention by calling their name or making a sudden noise. Very often the dog’s attention is removed from licking for that instance and that is enough to forget what exactly it was they were going to do!

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