Paw licking can be a normal part of a dog’s grooming process, but what if the paw licking is excessive? There are a variety of reasons dogs might lick their paws, and each of those reasons may have their own medical or behavioral causes. If your dog’s paw-licking is noticeable or otherwise interfering with your daily life and theirs, it’s worth figuring out why they do it.
So, why do dogs lick their paws?
The reasons are many, and variable in severity. A lot of dogs lick their paws as part of a normal grooming routine, but the behavior can also be linked to stress/anxiety, boredom, uncomfortable skin, and pain.
Normal grooming is commonly observed when the dog’s feet are visibly dirty, or they’ve just stepped in something or come in from being outdoors. If your dog’s paw-licking is noticeable and excessive, though, it’s probably not just grooming.