Why do dogs lick their paws? - Vet Advice by Vet Dr Scott Miller
Is there a meaning behind my dogs paw licking?
There are both medical and behavioural reasons for a dog to lick their paws. The four most common causes are:
Dogs perform self grooming as cats do, and the paws after a walk are a prime cleaning target. Removing dirt or irritating particles from between the toes and the feet makes sense, using their highly effective tongue to keep your canine comfortable and clean.
A very common reason for excessive licking is as a response to contacting allergic or irritant substances such as grass or cleaning products. Grass allergies or other contact allergies are very common in dogs, and if licking is incessant then it should be discussed with your vet.
Licking can sometimes be in response to nervous anxiety, where a pooch will lick their feet to calm themselves. In some cases they can cause burns to the skin with excessive saliva exposure, and again this should be discussed with your Vet if licking seems excessive.
Injured nails, foreign bodies such as glass in pads or even arthritic joints can cause a dog to lick their feet. It is always worthwhile when licking is noted to perform a quick exam to see if there is any foreign body stuck or pain elicited when touching the toes, pads, or joints, consulting your vet if discomfort or injury is found.
Vet, Dr Scott Miller and Barking Heads