What can I do for my dog that keeps licking at his red sore paws?

Our question this week was:

My Staffordshire Bull Terrier keeps getting red sore paws and keeps licking at them. What can I do?


Joy G.


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that your Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog keeps getting red sore paws and keeps licking at them. The question is …why are his paws getting red and sore? Why do they itch? Does he have an allergy? Is it a food allergy, atopy or a contact allergy? Does he have an interdigital (between the toes) infection?

I’d recommend that you take him to your vet for evaluation. They can help determine the underlying problem and prescribe something to treat the infection or combat the allergy.

In the mean time, if possible – you can gently wash your dog’s feet and dry them well. Keep them dry any time he comes in from the outdoors. You can use use booties or an e-collar to prevent him from accessing and licking the feet.

A couple articles that might be helpful to you are Allergies in dogs, Food allergies in Dogs, User Tip on Getting a Dog to Stopping Licking his Paws, Pruritus (Itching in Dogs), and Interdigital Dermatitis.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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