Ever wondered why some dogs lick their paws and legs obsessively? Find out 5 possible reasons below!
1. Injury or Foreign Object
If your dog is suddenly focused on a specific paw or leg, an injury or foreign object could be to blame. Carefully inspect the site for signs of irritation and administer first aid where required. Be sure to contact your vet if your pup is showing signs of pain and/or distress.
Does your dog’s licking coincide with a change of season? Seasonal allergies could be to blame. Food and environmental allergies are also common culprits when it comes to paw and leg licking in dogs, as well as bacterial and yeast hypersensitivities.
Parasitic dermatitis and flea bite allergies may also cause your dog to lick and chew at their paws and legs. If this is the case, administer appropriate topical and environmental treatments as necessary and be sure to keep an eye out for secondary infections as these may require veterinary treatment.
4. Behavior Issues
If your dog is licking for no physical reason, the problem might be psychological. For example, your dog may lick to relieve boredom, out of frustration, or to get your attention. Many dogs will also lick compulsively as a coping mechanism for anxiety and stress. For these dogs, sometimes a consultation with a qualified veterinary behaviorist is the best course of action. For dogs that lick out of boredom, never underestimate the power of physical exercise, engaging game play and enrichment.
Check-out these boredom-busting Bulltug dog toys:
5. Pain and Disease
Arthritic joint paint in the paws and legs may also cause your dog to lick, as well as abnormal growths in these areas. According to PetHelpful, pain in other parts of the body can also manifest in the feet or legs, causing your dog to lick.
Thyroid issues, nausea, nutritional deficiencies, and hormonal imbalance can also contribute to excessive itching and licking in these areas for some dogs.
Finally, pain from something as simple as an untrimmed nail might also be to blame.