It's not that your pup wants to lick his paws. If it was up to him, he'd leave them dry and not-so-awful smelling. But for some reason he has an unbelievable urge to lick away, and sometimes that's all he does for hours. So it's time to enlist the help of a product to lessen his urge to lick, or at least block that wet tongue from making a mess of his paws.
Rather than spending his day licking his paws, your pup could be sporting some highly fashionable dog booties. Not only would he be the talk of the canine neighborhood, but the fancy footwear will also prevent him from turning his feet into a wet, stinky mess. The boots can also make walking on slick surfaces, such as hardwood floors, easier and keep his little feet from getting so cold in winter. Make sure you get breathable booties so his paws will have plenty of air circulation. Booties are ideal if your pup is licking his paw in response to a minor injury or if you need to keep his paw covered for a topical medication to set in.
Cleaning and Soaking
Sometimes the perfect response to obsessive paw licking is giving those paws a nice scrub-down. Dog shampoos, especially those formulated to lessen itching, sometimes work, but other options also exist. Solutions meant for sanitizing or cleaning dog paws do the job and keep mess to a minimum, since they typically only require you to dunk the affected paws into the solution. Epsom salt diluted into warm water can also help, especially with minor scrapes and nicks, by cleaning the affected area, soothing pain and helping dry out the wound. About 1 cup in a gallon bucket works well.
If your dog is reading this article with you, his eyes are probably a bit wide right now. Elizabethan collars, better known as E-collars, are not fashionable, fun or comfortable. They fit around your pup's neck and form a cone that wraps around just beyond his nose. Other more comfortable collars exist, such as inflatable collars and soft E-collars, but they don't prevent paw licking. The downside to E-collars is that your pup will probably knock over his water and food bowls a few times and might put a few marks on your wall as he runs into just about everything.
Incessant paw licking can happen for a few reasons, from something minor like dry skin to a more serious condition, such as a yeast infection. Taking it upon yourself to make your pup stop licking immediately by grabbing one of the aforementioned products is not going to cause problems, but it won't address the underlying cause. Anytime you notice your pal licking his paws non-stop, make a vet appointment. It's fine to put booties on him, give him an Epsom salt bath or outfit him in a cone for a day or two, but he needs to see the doc. Short-term antihistamines, a diet change, antibiotics and other treatment options can help stop his urge to lick completely.
- PetMD: An Ode to the Lowly Epsom Salt (And Why It’s My Number One 'Home Remedy')
- Happy Dog: Caring For Your Dog's Body, Mind and Spirit; Billy Rafferty and Jill Cahr
Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.