Dog Licking Paws? How to Remedy Irritated Dog Paws (2023)

Is the sound of a dog licking paws becoming the norm in your house? Are you being woken up at night by that jarring toe-slurping noise? Does your dog chew their paws and generally obsess over their feet? Don’t worry, we’ve got solutions for excessive paw licking! Read on to find out why your dog keeps licking their paws, and how to stop this common behavior.


  • When to Worry About Paw Licking
  • Why Do Dog Lick Their Paws?
    • Yeast Infections
    • Dry Skin
    • Anxiety
  • How to Stop Paw Licking
    • Check Paws Over
    • Treat with a Paw Balm
  • When to See a Vet
  • Real Results with Paw Soother

When Should I Worry About My Dog’s Paw Licking?

It’s totally normal for your dog to lick their paws occasionally as normal self-grooming, especially after a muddy walk or whenever their paws might be dirty. However,licking paws excessivelyis cause for concern and can indicate a number of health issues which should be addressed quickly, before the licking behavior causes a hot spot or skin infection between the toes.

Look out for these signs of harmful paw licking:

  • Lick granulomasorhot spots— extreme licking can cause these painful lesions, which often result in asecondary infection
  • Limping— can indicate a wound orforeign objectin the affected paw
  • Paw chewing— chewing feet beyond normal grooming habits
  • Red and irritated skin— particularly paws red between toes
  • Bleeding paws— licking paws until they bleed is a red flag

Any of these symptoms require further attention and possibly avet visit!

Dog Licking Paws? How to Remedy Irritated Dog Paws (1)

Bailey was licking her paws all the time, making them red and inflamed, until her mom tried Paw Soother.@bluestaffybailey

(Video) Dog Excessive Paw Licking: Stop It With Natural Recipe

Why DoDogs Lick Their PawsRaw?

Paw licking can be caused by something as simple as aforeign objectstuck between the toes or a cutpaw pad. If the licking is persistent and neither of these simple issues are to blame, here are fivecommon causesof paw irritation:

Allergies and irritants:

Depending on where you live, your dog may be exposed to dozens of various pollens, mites, spores and otherallergenswhich can triggerenvironmental allergies. Since yourdog’s pawsare constantly in contact with surfaces where theseallergenscan land,itchypawsare a common indicator of environmental sensitivities.Food allergiescan also causeitchyallergic reactionsin the skin and paws.

Winter ground hazardssuch as salt andde-icingchemicals can further irritate a dog’s sensitive paws, leading to excessive licking as they attempt to clean their painful paws. On warm summer days,hot pavement can burn adog’spawpads, causing pain and potentially abacterialinfection if not treated promptly. Also, some householdcleaning productscan cause your pets paw irritation, so take not if you’ve recently used anything new on your floors or laundry.

Yeast infections:

Yeastdermatitisis a common inflammatoryfungal infectionthat can occur in warm, moist areas, including between thepaw pads. Ayeast infectionhappens when the skin overproduces certain types of normally-harmless yeast cells and becomesextremelyitchy. Lickingitchypawscan cause a secondarybacterialinfection which makes skin even more irritated—a vicious cycle that often requires antifungal medication to control.

Besidesitchinessand inflammation, one of the key symptoms of ayeast infectionis rancid, rotten-smelling skin—it smellsreallybad. Dogs with a lot of skin folds, like Bulldogs and Pugs, are predisposed to this type of infection.

(Video) Excessive Paw Licking? Why it happens and What you can do.

Yeast infectionsoften indicate a compromisedimmune system, so it’s important to investigate their root cause. If you think your dog’sitchyskinmay be caused by a yeast, head to your vet for a skin scrape and prescription anti-fungal to combat it.

Dry skinand related conditions:

In winter months, humidity is low both in our homes and outdoors, which can causedry skinin dogs and humans alike. Dog with drypaw padsmay lick them to relieve the itching.

Paw padhyperkeratosisis a common skinconditionin dogs that results in thickened skin on dog paws; it will usually become evident in the first few years of their life. The excess keratin on thesedogs’ pawsmakes theirpaw padsextremelythick and dry to the point that even walking can be painful.

Dog Licking Paws? How to Remedy Irritated Dog Paws (4)

(Video) Natural Remedy: How to Soothe Red, Itchy, Irritated or Infected Paws with Epsom Salt

Older dogs may lick their paws in an attempt to relieve pains caused by arthritis.

Pain and arthritis:

Dogs have a strong instinct to lick and clean their wounds, even if there isn’t an actual wound to clean. A dog with painful paws may lick them to try and soothe the pain. If you notice that your dog is also stiff, reluctant to play, losing weight, or generally more grumpy than normal, take a trip to the vet to determine theunderlying cause.


Licking is a self-soothing act for dogs, so a dog who feels anxious or nervous may obsessively lick their feet to try and relieve these stressful feelings. Othersigns of anxietyincludecompulsive behaviorslike pacing, excessive panting or drooling, avoiding interaction, and unusual vocalizations.Separation anxietyin particular can result in self-destructive behaviors likeobsessive-compulsivepaw-licking, so consult with abehavioristif you think your dog is dealing with anxiety.

How To Stop Your Dog From Licking Paws

Before you can truly help your dog, you need to figure out what’s causing all the licking. Here are a few steps that will help you identify the underlying issue and determine if you should call you your vet.

Check for injuries, debris, and bites.

The first thing you should do is inspect your dog’s feet. Do you see any foreign objects like glass, pebbles, seeds, or ice balls? Is a burr stuck between its toes? If the paw pad is cut or bleeding, then your dog is probably licking to clean the wound. If the paw pad is cracked or skin is inflamed, it’s likely your pup is suffering from either dry skin, allergies, or an insect bite. Rinse dirty paws with cool, clean water and follow up with a grooming wipe to be sure all irritants are eliminated.

(Video) Home Remedies For Your Dogs Itchy Paws

Treat symptoms with an all-natural balm.

Chewing on irritated paws can make the problem worse, so it’s important to help your dog manage the symptoms while you investigate the root issue.

A high qualitysoothing balmis one of the best ways to reduceitchinessand start the healing process. Once applied, try brushing ordistracting your dog for about five to ten minutes so that most of the balm soaks into the skin. Natural Dog Company’s Paw Soother is a great solution foritchypawscaused by allergies, environmental irritations,paw padhyperkeratosis, and more.

Dog Licking Paws? How to Remedy Irritated Dog Paws (6)

Snickers has had an obsession with paw licking ever since he was a youngster. As a result, he often gets nastyfungal infectionson his paws and his pads had become severely dried out. We have tried multiple other ointments but nothing helped. However, after applyingPaw SootherandSkin Soothertwice a day for a week, the results were amazing! Snickers’fungal infectionis gone and his pads look better and feel softer than ever before. — Rachel; Bethlehem, PA

When To See Your Vet About ItchyDog Paws

If the paw licking hasn’t lessened after a week or so, or if your dog is showing other concerning symptoms, consult with your veterinarian. Some conditions, like allergies or hyperkeratosis, can be easily managed with good habits, soothing balms, and limited ingredientdog foods. But others, like arthritis or chronicyeast infections, require more intensive care and can be far more uncomfortable for your canine friend.

Real Results With Paw Soother

Natural Dog Company Paw Sootheris an ideal all-natural solution foritchypaws, and the reviews speak for themselves! If you’re dealing with constant paw-licking due to dry paws,paw padhyperkeratosis, allergies, minor wounds, extreme weather, or other common paw issues, try ourPawdicure Packfor the best deal on all-around paw health.

Dog Licking Paws? How to Remedy Irritated Dog Paws (7)

I am very particular when it comes to products that I use on my dog because Frenchies are prone to being pretty sensitive and can have a lot of allergies. I wanted something that was as natural as possible and wasn’t going to cause further issues with his problems areas. Since the weather has gotten a little colder and wetter, in between the pads on Winston’s paws were becoming raw and irritated.

(Video) How to Cure Itchy and Irritated Paws

Within 4 days of using the Paw Soother, the raw and irritated skin on his paws completely cleared up! I absolutely LOVE these products and will definitely be buying more! — Blake; Cleveland, OH


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