Why your dog licks their paws

Are you catching your dog licking or chewing their paws much more often than usual? Although it's normal for them to lick their paws from time to time as a "self-grooming" practice, if it suddenly increases then it might be a sign that something is not quite right. 

What could make your dog start licking their paws a lot

An injury

If they seem to focus on one paw, the first thing to check is if there seem to be any injury. It could be a cut, a damaged nail, an insect bite or something stuck between the pads. Check the whole paw, front and back, nails and pads. 

A skin issue

Dermatitis can make your dog want to lick and chew their paws. This skin problem is cause by bacterial infections, allergies or even food sensitivities. 

A parasite

Fleas can cause itchy paws and the only way to help your dog get some relief is with a specific treatment that gets rid of the parasites.

A food allergy

Food allergy often cause itchiness in the paws but it can be tough to identity which ingredient is the culprit. Consult your vet to get advice on what to eliminate to see if the itchiness goes away. 


Dogs suffering from arthritis tend to lick their paws. The pain could also be elsewhere but your dog might only lick their paw in an attempt to deal with the pain.

If your dog is constantly licking one or both paws, develops other symptoms or looks unwell, don't hesitate to take them to the vets as this behaviour can often be a symptom of a more or less serious condition.