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Why is My Dog Licking Its Paws and Panting?

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Dogs lick their paws and pant because they’re nauseous. Nausea is one of the most common causes of both panting and paw licking. Pain and injuries to the paws also lead to licking and panting.

Dogs often lick their paws. Occasional licking is nothing to worry about. They do so to groom themselves and to clean their paws.

Excessive licking coupled with panting can be a cause for concern though. It indicates health issues that require urgent attention. 

Deal with this behavior as soon as possible to avoid skin infections or a hot spot on the paws.

This article talks about the various causes of licking and panting in dogs and provides you with the steps to stop this behavior.

Dog Licking Its Paws and Panting: Injury

Your dog can be licking its paws and panting due to an injury. Look for signs of cuts or wounds on your dog’s paws and provide proper treatment to the affected areas.

There are several reasons why dogs lick their paws and pant. It is possible that both these symptoms are unrelated to each other. But, when these symptoms appear together, it usually indicates an injury in or on the paws.

Look for other signs and symptoms of injuries to identify the root cause of the problem. Take your dog to a veterinarian if you are unsure of what is causing your dog to lick its paws and pant or if the condition worsens.

Related: Why Is My Dog Limping and Licking Its Paws?

Dog Licking Its Paws and Panting outside

Why is My Dog Panting and Licking Me?

Excessive panting is a sign of pain. If your dog suffered an injury, panting helps relieve some of the pain. 

Dogs also try to grab their owners’ attention when they are in pain. Your dog can be licking you to direct your attention towards its injury so you can treat the wound and provide proper medical care.

Why is My Dog Panting and Biting Feet?

Dogs groom their paws by licking them occasionally. It is not normal for dogs to bite their feet and pant. Sudden, obsessive, or chronic panting and feet biting can indicate an underlying problem requiring your attention.

Wounds, allergies, and infections are the leading causes of feet biting and panting. Observe your dog’s behavior and look for signs indicating an injury or discomfort.

5 Reasons Dogs Lick Their Paws and Pant

Injuries are one of the most common causes of panting in dogs. If your dog is licking its paws, there can be a wound or a cut on its paws. Allergies and infections are also probable causes of panting and paw licking.

Obsessive panting and licking paws are not common for dogs. There can be a medical condition associated with such behavior.

Here are five reasons why dogs lick their paws and pant.

1. Pain and Injury

Injured Paw

Injury causes dogs to pant and lick their paws. Panting is one of the most common signs of pain in dogs. They do so to relieve some of the pain and comfort themselves.

Running, jumping, and playing around on unprotected legs can lead to injuries and cuts on your dog’s paws. A broken glass shard, pebble, or thorn can cause an injury to the paws.

Check for signs of cuts and scrapes on your dog’s legs. Injuries and fractures also cause shaking in dogs’ legs. Take your pooch to a veterinarian if the panting worsens.

2. Allergies

Dog Paw with Parasites

Allergies are one of the most common causes of paw licking in dogs. There are several environmental allergens leading to allergies:

  • Pollen
  • Spores
  • Salt
  • De-icing chemicals
  • Mites

If your dog is suffering from allergies, it can cause itching in its paws. Certain food allergies can also cause allergic reactions in dogs’ skin.

Consult a veterinarian for proper guidance on how to proceed.

3. Dry Skin and Infections

Low humidity leads to dry skin in humans and dogs alike. If your dog has dry paws, it can start licking them to relieve pain. There are certain medical conditions that cause dry paws in dogs.  Paw Pad Hyperkeratosis[1] is one such skin condition resulting in thick skin on dogs’ paws.

Some dogs also suffer from skin infections, mostly in moist areas. Fungal infections such as Yeast Dermatitis[2] cause inflammation in the paws leading to severe itching. Dogs with multiple skin folds are more prone to yeast infections than those with no folds.

Look for signs of infection in your dog’s paws:

  • Hot spots
  • Rough skin
  • Redness
  • Inflammation
  • Bad smell

4. Anxiety

dogs lick their paws out of boredom or anxiety
Image Source

Some dogs lick their paws out of boredom or anxiety. If your dog is panting and licking its paws, without sign of injury or illness, it’s most likely suffering from anxiety. 

Several things can make a dog anxious:

  • New places
  • Other animals
  • Past traumatic experiences
  • Sudden noise

Separation anxiety[3] is another reason for panting in dogs. When dogs are left alone for long periods, it can make them anxious. Dogs who haven’t been trained for separation anxiety often end up becoming destructive.

Look for signs of anxiety in your dog and provide the required care for it.

5. Nausea

Nausea Causing Licking and Gagging

Nausea is a common condition among dogs. Overeating, pregnancy, motion sickness, and eating unhealthy food lead to nausea. Dogs suffering from nausea pant excessively due to discomfort. They also start licking everything to relieve the discomfort.

There are several symptoms of nausea in dogs:

  • Dry heaving
  • Drooling
  • Excessive shaking
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you notice any of these signs, take your dog to a veterinarian to provide proper treatment and care.

How to Stop Dogs from Licking Paws and Panting

To stop dogs from panting and licking their paws, observe your dog’s behavior and identify the primary reason for the behavior. Take your pooch to a vet if the condition worsens.

Obsessive paw licking and panting are not normal for dogs. Identify the root cause of the problem and provide the required treatment for it:

  • Check your dog’s paws for signs of injury.
  • Use home remedies to treat small wounds.
  • Identify your dog’s allergies and try to prevent your dog from encountering any allergens.
  • Moisturize your dog’s paws during the dry season to reduce the chances of developing infections.
  • Calm your dog down when it is experiencing anxiety.
  • Start training your pup for separation anxiety at a young age.
  • Feed healthy food to your dog on time.

Visit a veterinarian if your dog starts panting aggressively or if you are unable to identify the reason for such behavior.

Related: Remedies to Stop Dogs From Licking Their Paws

Conclusion

Dogs pant when they are excited. They also lick their paws to groom themselves every now and then. Excessive panting and paw licking are signs of a medical issue that needs prompt veterinary attention.

Identify the cause of the problem and take the necessary steps to stop your dog from panting and licking its paws.

FAQs

Why is My Dog Panting and Licking Paws?

Panting and licking paws are usually a sign of pain in dogs. If your dog is suffering from an injury in its paws, it can cause excessive licking. Check your dog’s paws for signs of cuts, wounds, and scrapes. Use home remedies for small injuries. Take your pooch to a veterinarian to provide proper medical care.

Why is My Dog Licking Everything and Panting?

Nausea is one of the leading causes of excessive licking in dogs. Dogs who suffer from nausea pant obsessively to relieve some of the pain. Anxiety is another reason for panting and excessive licking. Observe your dog’s behavior and identify the main problem to provide the required treatment. 

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.

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