If your dog is constantly licking his paws then you need to address the problem. Constant licking and chewing of paws means that the paws may be itchy and/or sore. If your dog continues to lick their paws it will exacerbate the condition and the problem will only continue.
To address the problem it is important to find out the cause of paw licking. There are a number of possible reasons for paw licking which need to be considered.
Something Stuck in the Paw: Sometimes your dog has actually got something lodged between their pads and at other times has managed to get a thorn, a grass seed or a splinter of some sort stuck in a pad so if your dog suddenly starts limping or trying to lick their paw a swift inspection is called for. Over the years I have extracted large thorns from the actual pad and horrid prickly beech mast from between the pads. Foxtail grass seeds are shaped like little arrows and can be very nasty if they get between the toes and work their way up and into the foot. If you suspect that a grass seed has got under your dog’s skin, be it foot, leg or ear, a quick trip to the vet will be needed.
An Allergic Reaction: A dog sweats through their paws as well as their nose, so paws are sensitive yet are exposed to everything a dog walks on. On a walk this can include grass, mud, weed killers (even in built up areas councils spray pavements), fertilisers, salt on frozen pavements and at home whatever you use to keep your floors and dog beds clean. An allergic reaction to any of the above or even something in their food can cause itchy paws. Consider what your dog might be allergic to and think about whether your usual routine or cleaning products have changed recently. If the paw is very irritated our homeopathic Skin Combo should help soothe and calm the itch or try our herbal Skin Aid. It is advisable to clean your dog's paws after walking. Our microfibre cleaning glove is a fantastic way to clean and dry your dog's paws after a walk. In addition, try spraying their paws with our First Aid Spray or using Colloidal Silver to gently cleanse and disinfect their feet.
Yeast and Foot Fungus: Yeast infections and foot fungus can occur in dogs as well as humans, and are generally thought to be the result of a diet that is high in yeast. The body turns carbohydrates into sugar, so your dog should avoid a high-carbohydrate diet to help get rid of the yeast infection. Avoid a biscuit based diet, even if it claims to be grain free because potatoes and sweet potatoes are also full of carbs to feed a fungal infection. A dog's moist paws create an ideal environment for yeast to thrive so if your dog has a foot fungal infection make sure you dry the paws off carefully after a walk. You could also consider using Colloidal Silver on the paws 2 or 3 times daily to help with the problem.
Stiff Joints: Paw licking and nibbling is sometimes an indication that your dog has stiff joints so again you may need to see a vet initially. If you prefer a more natural approach to dealing with stiff joints, then browse our range of natural joint supplements. Our best seller is Spring which is a liquid supplement added to dog food on a daily basis. It contains Devils Claw, MSM and Yucca Filamentosa. It seems to works very quickly and we have had los of positive feedback for it.
Boredom/Stress: Some dogs lick their paws when stressed or bored and this can become a habit like any other. If this is your dog then maybe another walk in the day or a new interactive toy might help.
Fleas: Yes they can bite between the toes so you need to do a careful check and if you find any sign of fleas then both your dog and your home need attention. Read Farewell to Fleas for lots of helpful tips and advice or browse our range of natural flea treatment products.
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