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Licking is an incessant behavior done by our lovable dogs that tends to annoy us as pet owners! Licking is a natural instinct to them, just like breathing. However, why do they lick their paws? Usually it’s a sign of discomfort…there’s a problem there.
As far as licking goes, since the day they were born, their mothers licked them as a sign of affection. Their mothers groomed, licked and cared for them lovingly with their tongue!So for the pet owners who are worried or annoyed of their dog’s licking behaviors, here are some of the reasons why dogs lick:
Dog Licking Behavior
- Dogs lick as a way of showing affection. Their mother licked them when they were young to show her affection, therefore your dog licks you to convey the same emotion towards them.
- Dogs lick because they want to clean themselves. This happens regardless of whether you ‘clen’ them or not. Let’s face it we all can clean ourselves better than anyone else! So let them take matters into their own paws. 🙂
- Dogs lick because it’s their way to gather information. Studies show that the senses of a dog is 100 times more sensitive than those of humans. Licking is one way that a dog can gather information about a person or his owner. Through licking a part of his owner’s body, he can gather information through the sweat and other elements produced by the body. Clever aren’t they!?
- Dogs lick as it can be a sign of discomfort. They can’t tell you what they feel, so they show it through licking. More especially if they are in some kind of pain, they lick the sensitive area to comfort themselves.
Dogs Licking Their Paws
So if you look at the top reasons, it could be because they are cleaning them or there is something wrong.
Some studies show that most cases of dog licking is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. The most common cause of excessive dog licking are skin problems.
Dog Skin Problems Can Cause Paw Licking
Dogs tend to lick when they are uncomfortable, and this discomfort may be due to:
- Dog skin allergies – These skin problems manifest mostly on areas that they can lick like the paws, their tails, and reachable parts of their bodies. These skin problems might first be noticed as red patches between the dog’s paws or their fur.
- Parasitic infections – This can be where your dog is itching but has no fleas. Microscopic parasites might also cause these red patches all over the body, and tends to spread due to excessive licking.
- Yeast infection – Yeast infection can also cause red patches on the skin and is harder to treat. Yeast loves moist and warm environment, and the licking habit of our dogs contributes to the growth and survival of these yeasts.
- Acute dermatitis – Your dog may need a natural dog dermatitis treatment. Furthermore, food allergies cause acute dermatitis to our canine friends and are commonly rooted from low grade dog food that are made of scrap meat and unhealthy food sources.
There can be many reasons as to why our dogs lick their paws. In cases where our dogs tend to lick excessively, the best action is to see a veterinarian. A vet can do some blood tests and check if the licking is normal or a symptom of illness. We can never be sure all the time, so seek professional help if it continues.