Why is my dog licking?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – my dog is doing a lot of licking – especially of his paws. Why is he doing this?


Bill H. – Grove City- Ohio


Hi – thanks for your email Bill. You wrote that your dog is doing a lot of licking and wonder why. You also said he is focusing on his paws quite a bit. Dogs will lick as a way of itching or grooming. They can lick if they have a wound, skin infection, or because they are grooming. Some dogs will even do it as a behavioral problem when they are “nervous”.

Many dogs lick because of parasites such as fleas or allergies. Those are probably the most common reasons. Especially if he is licking at both paws- I’d worry about allergies.

Articles that might be helpful to you are Allergic Dermatitis in Dogs and Pruritus (Itchiness) in Dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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