Why is my dog CONSTANTLY licking his paws!?

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Riaz Rhemu

Veterinary Surgeon and co-founder of Tatton Veterinary Practice

Why is my dog CONSTANTLY licking his paws!?

This question might seem all too familiar for you! There are a few reasons why dogs tend to lick their paws.

Firstly, it would be a good idea to rule out there is nothing stuck between their toes or pads and there are no wounds or sores causing discomfort.

Once this has been ruled out, the second and main reason dogs tend to lick their paws is because they are itchy! Whilst people suffering from allergies tend to rub their eyes or sneeze, dogs tend to get itchy feet, ears and eyes! 

There are two main types of allergic drives which cause this specific type of presentation for dogs. The first may be due to a recent walk through the long grasses or pollens causing a high allergic burden on the feet. If your pet constantly licks, not just post-walks, the likelihood is that your pooch suffers from environmental or food based allergies. 

It can be really frustrating to determine the specific allergen causing your pet to be itchy. We can undertake some tests to help narrow down the allergies but unfortunately our pooches just can’t tell us exactly what makes them feel itchy!

Some dogs can be so itchy with their feet that they can cause traumatic wounds and infections to their feet from overgrooming the area. If your pet’s feet look red, sore or your pet just won’t stop licking them it is best to get them checked out and if needed we can prescribe some medication to help soothe the itch!

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