Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?

To clean their paws

Dogs have a natural instinct to groom themselves, and licking their paws is one way they do this.

To relieve itchiness

If a dog's paws are itchy, they may lick them to try to relieve the itch.

To soothe pain

If a dog's paws are injured, they may lick them to try to soothe the pain.

To spread bacteria

If a dog has bacteria on its paws, licking them can spread the bacteria to other parts of the body.

To mark their territory

Dogs have scent glands in their paws, and licking them can help to spread their scent.

To get attention

If a dog knows that licking its paws will get attention from its owner, it may do it for that reason.

What to Do About Paw Licking

Clean your dog's paws regularly: Use a mild soap and water to clean your dog's paws after they come inside from outside.

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