Understanding Why Some Dogs Lick Their Paws

labrador with bone laying down at homeIf your dog spends a lot of time licking their paws, it is usually not cause for concern; however, when the licking becomes obsessive, a trip to the vet or a home remedy might be in order.

Lankas Labs has highlighted some common reasons why some dogs lick their paws and how you can help prevent it.


Boredom, depression, separation, and illness are a few factors that could lead to anxiety in dogs, who turn to licking their paws excessively to self-sooth or calm down. Anxious dogs searching for relief from feelings of unease may lick their paws raw, developing uncomfortable ulcers.

Try to find out the cause of your dog’s anxiety to prevent distress. Avoid leaving your furry friend alone too long if they have separation anxiety. Ensure they receive enough exercise and take them for a checkup to make sure they are in optimal health. Consider prescribed sedatives if needed.


Allergies to food, medications, shampoos, outdoor triggers (like grass, pollen, and mold), and more can cause dogs to itch, making them lick their paws for reprieve. Pay attention to when your dog is licking his paws and feet and decipher what they were doing before they started the licking. If your dog was eating, they may be allergic to their food. If your dog just came in from running around the yard, maybe grass is causing an issue.

Take your dog for an allergy test at the vet to figure out what he might be allergic to. From there, treatment comes in the forms of avoidance to the allergen and prescribed anti-histamines.


Like humans, dogs also get bored when not stimulated for long periods of time. You may leave your pet at home alone during the day while you work, leaving them to themselves for hours on end and causing boredom. Unable to expend their energy while cooped up in the house, your dog might turn to chewing and licking their paws.

If you need to leave your pup at home alone, leave him with plenty of toys to keep him occupied. Offer plenty of time for your dog to exercise and give him lots of room to run around and play where possible.

Bring home your next best friend from Lankas Labs, raising Pointing Labradors over the last 25 years.