Dogs have a very important place in our lives as they are our greatest companions. They entertain us all the time through their adorable acts like cuddling, licking, and hugging, which is a way of showing their love. But sometimes, their cute habits are a serious matter of concern, too.

One of the most common acts noticed by many dog owners is often finding their dog licking his paws. Now dogs may lick their paws for a variety of reasons. Some dogs lick their paws for cleaning while others enjoy doing it. But, it is also possible that your furry friend might be in pain and he wants relief.

In this article, we will discuss some common possible reasons why dogs lick their paws and the meaning behind it.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are the most common reason a dog licks his paws frequently. Imagine when there is something wrong with our diet or we consume any food we are allergic to. Our body starts showing signs that give us an indication of the allergy. Similarly, when a dog is facing food allergy the most common thing that will happen with him is itchy skin.

To get rid of that frustration, he will anxiously start licking his paws. However, in addition to itchy skin, there may be some other symptoms of food allergy as well like vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite etc.  In that case, the first thing you have to do is to take your furry friend to a vet. In order to get rid of the allergy, it is important to know which food is causing that allergy.

Moreover, you should stop giving your dog dairy and poultry products as they trigger the allergy. If you want to add something cool to your furry friend’s winter wardrobe collection, you can check out some wonderful Italian greyhound sweaters.

Aches and Pains

If your dog’s food is on point and he is still licking his paws, it might be because of something external. There may be an ingrown nail or even a cut due to contact with a sharp thing. Sometimes, there is a bee sting, or maybe some insect is responsible for the itchiness on the paw. To figure it out you have to check your furry friend regularly and ensure he is out of discomfort and not feeling any type of pain.

Skin Irritations

If you have recently moved to a new city or even a new home and noticed your dog licking his paws frequently, it might be because of a change in the environment. As climate differs from area to area, that change may cause skin irritation.

The atmosphere of some cities is dry, and dryness is the most common cause of skin irritation, too. On the other hand, the air quality index of some areas is not up to the mark, resulting in itchy skin.

Furthermore, it has also been seen that while shifting into a new home, we have to experience a lot of dust and dirt, which can also lead to skin irritation. The most common symptoms of itchy skin are runny nose and swollen eyes.


Dogs are not just limited to a room; instead, they require proper exercises and outdoor activities for their better nourishment. So, while being outside your furry friend is also exposed to some unwanted parasites. The most common parasites irritating your buddy’s skin are fleas, ticks, lice, and mites. They will make your dog feel uncomfortable and he will start licking that spot to eliminate that irritation.

These parasites are usually concentrated in one spot, but when your dog starts licking that particular spot, they also spread through his mouth to other parts of the body. Next time, if you find your dog licking a particular spot of the body, check carefully his coat and look for any parasites. If you find one take your buddy to the nearest vet as soon as possible.

Ringworm Fungal Infection

Here is another reason behind your dog licking his paws which is ringworm. It is a type of fungal infection in which there is a redness in the skin and irritation. It usually happens because of frequent contact with infected soil or even animals. Now the part of your four-legged buddy’s body that is in direct contact with the soil is his paws. Therefore, you might find him licking his paws in case of infection.

Another symptom of ringworm fungal infection is hair loss. While it’s not a common symptom, it might be possible that there is no hair loss, but a dog is still infected with ringworm infection.

If your dog is infected with ringworm first thing you have to do is wash the infected area with medicated soap and apply topical creams. If your dog has long hairs, it is important to shave them first, as it will keep the infection from spreading. Most importantly, after giving him first aid, take him to the nearest vet for a thorough checkup and treatment.


While walking on the jogging track in hot summers your dog’s paws may be burnt. On the other hand, sometimes there is a burning sensation because of floor cleaners as well. Floor cleaners often contain harsh chemicals that can cause skin burns. Your dog might be licking his paws to overcome that burning sensation.

It is important to treat your dog just like you treat another family member. Don’t take him out in harsh weather and eliminate anything from the cleaning supplies that can hurt your buddy.

Anxiety and Boredom

Well, it is also possible that your four-legged buddy feels bored and has some anxiety issues. When dogs face this kind of issue, they start licking their paws. Although it is quite normal, frequent licking can cause slight hair loss in that area. However, it may become a serious problem if it causes lick granulomas. In that case, take him to the nearest pet and ensure a thorough treatment.


Lastly, if your buddy licks paws occasionally, it’s also because he might be conscious about his elegant look. Dogs often lick their body parts to get rid of the dirt or dust.  So, it’s a healthy thing it’s not something you should worry about.

The only problem with licking that you are going to face is a bad odor. In order to avoid that, you need to set up a proper grooming routine for your buddy and ensure he is clean and taken care of well.

Key Takeaways

Our dogs are our family, and they need proper attention from our side in all aspects. Whether it’s about their diet, exercise routine, or grooming they expect us to take care of it. Although they can’t directly tell us about their needs and why they are in pain, it is our duty to figure it out by ourselves. We can only figure out these things if we properly engage with them and care for them daily. We have to look for any behavioral change and take immediate action accordingly to provide our dogs with the treatment they deserve.