Why does my dog keep licking his paws?

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The two reasons why a dog would keep licking its paws are associated with a potential medical problem or a behavioral issue. It’s best to first rule out that there is no medical issue that would cause your dog to lick his paws constantly. This type of behavior could indicate an allergic reaction, a cut or scrape, something stuck in the paw, a parasitic infection, arthritis, cysts or dermatitis. Look for any signs of swollen, red or flaky spots on the paws. If you see anything abnormal, take your dog to the veterinarian for professional help as soon as possible.

If there are no visible signs of infection, you still may want to take your dog to a veterinarian just to be sure that the issue isn’t something hard to spot. If paw licking is not due to a medical problem, it could instead be a behavioral issue. Some dogs lick their paws excessively because they are stressed or bored, while others lick their paws as a sort of relaxation technique.

Whatever the reason for the paw licking, it’s a good idea to take steps to correct the problem and stop the licking, before the issue gets worse. Take care of any medical problem right away; if there are no medical problems, you’ll still want to stop the licking, because prolonged licking and moisture on the paws can cause inflammation, swelling and infection over an extended period of time.

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