Causes of Excessive Paw Licking

Excessive paw licking in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors. It’s no secret that feeding your pooch a grain-free diet can help stave off inflammation issues, but if you are already doing this and still have the problem of excessive paw licking, there are other factors you can consider as well including underlying neurological issues, yeast infections, and exposure to bacteria. Treating your dog’s itchy paws is an important matter because if left alone it could cause infections and long term health issues.


A lack of exercise can cause your dog to lick its paws. If they are bored, lonely or understimulated, they may compensate by chewing or licking their paws. It may become a habitual or compulsive behavior to deal with general anxiety as well. If this is the reason, you can help remedy the situation by giving your dog more attention in the form of play and exercise.

Grain Free is Best

Grains cause inflammation in many breeds. Unfortunately most of the commercially available dog food is full of grains because it’s cheaper to produce. This doesn’t translate well for the long term health of your dog though. It’s best to invest in a nice grain free dog food that will give your pet the proper nutrition and stave off unnecessary inflammation issues. This is one of the easiest ways to ensure your beloved pet will live a long, happy and healthy life.

Environmental Conditions

Dry air can cause dry, itchy skin issues, especially in older animals, and something as simple as setting up a steam vaporizer where your dog sleeps can help combat this. Exposure to pollen and other yeast and bacteria from walking in grass and dusty areas can also irritate your pet’s paws. Using a simple paw spray solution of apple cider vinegar and water can help stop the itch. If you don’t want to make your own, there are many brands of organic paw sprays to choose from that feature holistic healthy ingredients to help ease your dog’s itchy and irritated paws.

Neurological Inflammation

New research into the neurological functioning of dogs is showing that using a standard collar may not be the best idea, especially for dogs that tend to pull when you have them on a leash. This is because the nerves in their neck can become damaged due to the constant stress of jerking and pulling their leash. This neurological stress can lead to chronic inflammation which can cause itchy paws and forearms. Using a front-clip harness instead of a traditional collar can help alleviate cervical spine stress, and thereby reduce paw licking.

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