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Does Your Dog Lick Their Paws More Than Usual and What Could This Mean?

Posted by David on

Our dogs may not be able to verbalize to us how they feel each day, but their behavior gives us plenty of clues that can tell us when they need a little extra attention. Excessive vocalizing, sleeping more than usual, pacing and limping are all visual signs that something may be wrong. But, there are more hidden clues that they give us as well, many of which can be overlooked if we’re not paying close enough attention.

One sign that something may be off with our furry friend is excessive licking of their paws. All dogs groom themselves in an effort to be clean, which is why they will lick certain parts of their body each day. But, if a dog is licking his or her paws more than usual, this can mean that something is wrong.

Why Would a Dog Be Licking Their Paws Excessively?

Before we begin listing the reasons why a dog may be licking their paws more than usual, it’s important to mention that no advice is more valuable than that which comes directly from their veterinarian. While there are plenty of harmless reasons why this may occur, your vet can do advanced tests and prescribe treatments that really target the issue, while making sure that there is nothing more serious going on.

Usually, a canine will lick their paws excessively when their paws hurt. Whether they lick one paw or multiple paws can tell you how many paws are actually affected. So, what can cause their paws to hurt in the first place?

Dryness Caused by Rough Terrain

A reason that’s more common than many dog owners realize is exposure to rough terrain. A dog’s paw pads are extremely sensitive, and in the wild, a dog usually encounters grassy areas and soft dirt patches – not concrete patios and gravel walkways, which you may have on your property. A dog’s paw pads will naturally become irritated if they’re always exposed to rough surfaces.


Dogs can get allergies just like people can, which can be seasonal, usually during the spring months, or the result of exposure to certain allergens, whether internally or externally. Pinpointing the exact allergen can be tricky, as it can be anything from a detergent you used to clean your rug, to an ingredient in their new dog food. But, a veterinarian can help you figure this out.

A Puncture

If your dog is licking just one paw, it may be because the paw has been punctured somehow. This is more common than you may think. A dog who is running around your yard may end up with a splinter, or step on a thorn. Some punctures are naturally more serious than others, so you should take this seriously if it is, in fact, the culprit.

An Insect Bite

An insect bite can cause your dog to lick their paws quite excessively in an attempt to get rid of the itchy and irritated sensation. This can be caused by fleas, spiders, mosquitoes, or any other insect that preys on mammals.

A Scrape

Your pooch may have scraped their paw pads, and so, is licking them in hopes of healing the wound.

An Injury

Sometimes, the issue isn’t the paw pads, but the actual paw. If your dog has injured their paw, they may not only lick it excessively, but try to put as little weight on it as possible, which means you may notice a slight limp.

Is CBD the Answer to Your Dog’s Excessive Paw Licking?

Once you take your dog to the Veternairan to have their paws examined, you should consider asking them about cannabidiol (CBD). Canines have cannabinoid receptors (CB receptors) built into each system of their bodies, just like we humans do. Since they’ve an endocannabinoid system (ECS), these receptors do the same things for dogs that they do for us- help regulate processes of the body that pertain to how we feel, from head to toe.

Many studies have shown that cannabidiol offers both anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which can be useful to any dog whose paws are in a state of discomfort. Anti-inflammatories can reduce inflammation, eliminating irritation while easing the associated pain. Analgesics, meanwhile, help to disrupt the communications between pain receptors in the nervous system and the brain, to increase pain sensitivity.

Choosing a CBD Product for Your Dog’s Paws

If you do decide to use cannabidiol as an option for your dog’s paws, consider a topical formula. Why? Because topicals are for localized areas, as the compounds of the hemp plant absorb through the skin to reach the deeper tissue and provide a more targeted way to approach issues pertaining to the paws. But, not just any topical will do. You need to go with a topical formulated specifically for dogs, primarily because many topicals that are safe for humans are simply not safe for canines.

Ingredients like peppermint and tea tree, which are found in many human topical formulas, are actually toxic to dogs. Remember that a dog may try to lick off what you apply to them topically, so you need to know that the ingredients are safe for ingestion as well as topical administration.

Ultimately, we recommend a dog-friendly CBD balm, which absorbs very quickly through the skin while offering moisturizing benefits that can help the skin heal more quickly.

Applying a CBD Topical to Your Dog’s Paw Pads

If your dog’s paws are affected to the point that he or she is licking them excessively, you’ll want to consider using a CBD topical on a daily basis. Remember that hemp is nontoxic and non-psychoactive, which means that you can apply it liberally and use it multiple times a day if needed. We recommended starting with two applications per day to provide a more intensive form of care. Because of the fact that a dog’s paw pads are vulnerable, you may want to consider using a CBD balm on their paws daily even after they are no longer licking them excessively.

Overall, CBD Might Be What Your Dog Needs in Order to Help Your Dogs Paws

A dog’s paws are quite sensitive to all kinds of factors, and this is especially true of the delicate skin that makes up their paw pads. To protect their paws while addressing any immediate concerns regarding this area, you can opt for a dog-friendly CBD topical, such as a balm, which can be applied as needed to help the skin and the tissue below. Look through the ingredients to make sure that they are safe for your dog, and make sure to always buy your CBD from a trusted company.

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