We all know that dogs like to lick their paws. But have you ever wondered why they do it? According to a recent study, there are actually several reasons why pups lick their paws right before going to sleep.
For one, it helps to clean their fur and stimulate their nerves. This can reduce anxiety and stress levels and also help to reduce the amount of dust and debris in their fur. Additionally, licking their paws helps keep them warm and relaxed, making it easier for them to fall asleep.
If your dog is excessively licking its paws, it’s essential to look closely and see if there’s anything causing irritation. If you can’t find anything, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
In most cases, though, licking paws before bed is simply a harmless habit of our furry friends. This post looks at the many reasons dogs lick their paws before falling asleep and what to do if your dog is doing so excessively.
Here are the most common reasons that your best friend is licking their paws:
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Your Pup May Love a Good Self-Grooming Session
Dogs are fastidious creatures and often spend time grooming themselves. This includes licking their fur to keep it clean and free of debris. While your dog’s tongue is mostly hair, it’s also covered in tiny papillae that act like miniature brushes.
These help remove any dirt or grime that may be clinging to your pup’s fur.
It’s not just because they’re dirty, although that’s part of it. In a study conducted by University of Georgia researchers, it was revealed that dogs clean themselves with their paws before going to sleep.
This is done for various reasons, the most important being to clean their fur, stimulate their nerves, relieve anxiety, reduce tension, and decrease dust and dirt in their fur. These things help make sure that your dog is as comfortable as possible when they settle down for the night.
Licking is also a way for dogs to cool down – as they lick, their saliva evaporates and helps to regulate their body temperature. So, if your dog is licking its paws before bed on a hot night, it could simply be trying to stay comfortable.
So next time you see your dog licking their paws, you’ll know that they’re just getting ready for bed.
Your Dog Could Have Allergies
If your dog is licking its paws excessively – more than a few licks – it could signify that they’re allergic to something. Allergies are relatively common in dogs, and they can cause all sorts of problems, from skin irritation to gastrointestinal issues.
There are a few different types of allergies that your dog could be suffering from. Food allergies are the most common, but your dog could also be allergic to pollen, mold, dust, or even their own shampoo.
If you think that your dog might have allergies, the best thing to do is to take them to the veterinarian. They will be able to run some tests and determine what’s causing the allergies. From there, they’ll be able to prescribe the appropriate treatment.
In the meantime, you can try to keep your dog away from whatever you think might be causing the allergies. For example, if they’re allergic to pollen, try to keep them indoors on days when the pollen count is high.
You Might Need to Give Your Dog a Bath
If your dog is constantly licking its paws and you can’t figure out why it might be time for a trip to the groomer. It could be that your dog’s paw pads are simply too dry and need to be moisturized. This is especially common in winter when the air is much drier than usual.
At the groomer, they’ll be able to give your dog a bath with a unique paw pad moisturizer. This will help soothe your dog’s paws and keep them from getting too dry.
If you don’t want to take your dog to the groomer, you can try using a paw pad moisturizer at home. There are a few different brands available, and you can usually find them at your local pet store.
Just be sure to read the instructions carefully before using – you don’t want to use too much and make your dog’s paws even more slippery than they already are.
Your Dog Might Have an Itchy Skin Condition
If your dog is licking its paws excessively, it could be a sign of an underlying skin condition. There are several different skin conditions that can cause itching and irritation, and your dog might be suffering from one of them.
If you think that your dog might have a skin condition, the best thing to do is to take them to the veterinarian. They will be able to diagnose the problem and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to try to relieve your dog’s itching. First, you can give them a cool bath with oatmeal shampoo, which will help to soothe their skin. Also, you can try using a pet-safe topical cream or lotion.
If you’re not sure what to use, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.
Your Dog Might Have Anxiety
Another possibility is that your dog is licking its feet because of stress or anxiety. This happens most frequently in rescue dogs or who have had a traumatic experience.
If you think that your dog might be anxious, you can do a few things to help them. First, you can try giving them a calming supplement, which will help to reduce their anxiety levels. You can also try using a pet-safe anti-anxiety medication.
Many different things can cause anxiety in dogs, so it’s crucial to figure out what’s causing your dog’s anxiety and address it.
Your Dog Might Have Arthritis
Arthritis is a common problem in older dogs, and it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. For example, if your dog is licking its paws excessively, it could signify that they’re in pain from arthritis.
There are a few things you can do at home to help ease your dog’s pain. You can give them a supplement that contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which will help to lubricate their joints and reduce inflammation. You can also try using a pet-safe topical cream or ointment.
If you’re not sure what to use, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.
Arthritis can be a very painful condition, so it’s important to get your dog the treatment they need.
Your Dog Might Have an Intestinal Problem
Another possibility is that your dog is licking its feet because of an intestinal problem. This could be anything from constipation to diarrhea, and it can be very uncomfortable for your dog.
If you think that your dog might have an intestinal problem, the best thing to do is to take them to the veterinarian. They will be able to diagnose the problem and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to try to relieve your dog’s discomfort. First, you can give them a probiotic supplement, which will help regulate their digestive system. You can also try feeding them a bland boiled chicken and rice diet.
Your Pup May have Fleas or Ticks
If your pup is licking its paws excessively, it could be a sign that they have fleas or ticks. These parasites can cause a lot of irritation and discomfort, and they can also transmit diseases to your dog.
If you think that your dog might have fleas or ticks, the best thing to do is to take them to the veterinarian. They will be able to diagnose the problem and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
In addition, there are a couple of things you can do to try to relieve your dog’s discomfort. First, you can bathe them with a flea shampoo, which will help to kill the parasites. You can also try using a pet-safe topical cream or ointment.
Fleas and ticks can be a severe problem, so it’s important to get your dog the treatment they need.
The Risks of Licking Paws
There are certain risks associated with licking paws. For example, if your puppy licks their feet when they have a cut or their tongue begins to bleed, they could get an infection that is difficult to treat. If your dog’s licking behavior is having a negative impact on their life, visit a veterinarian as soon as possible.
The most typical problem is when dogs chew their paws or lick them for an extended period of time, causing discomfort and pain. This can lead to redness and swelling, which might cause infection if left unchecked.
If your pup is repeatedly licking the same location, you may notice little bald places on their coat. Licking might occasionally result in skin damage that needs medical treatment.
If you realize that your pup licks its paws because of stress or boredom, then there are many things you can do to help them stop this habit. For example, try providing them with more toys and interactive playtime to keep them mentally stimulated, or enroll them in a doggy daycare where they can socialize and burn off excess energy.
If anxiety is the root of the problem, consider working with a canine behaviorist to help them learn how to cope with their fears. And if allergies are the culprit, talk to your vet about possible treatment options.
It’s not always easy to know what your dog is trying to tell you. However, once you’ve figured it out, you may use these suggestions to address the situation.