Help for a Dog Licking Feet Problem

by Irene

Reader Question on a Dog Licking Feet problem

My Jack Russell Terrier has recently started to lick the tops of all 4 of his feet & they are now starting to look irritated (very pink under his white fur). Why is he doing this? & how can I make him stop?


Vet Suggestions Dog Licking Feet

Hi Irene,

Itching, pain, and a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder are the top reasons for dogs to consistently lick a particular area of skin.

When all four feet are involved, itchiness is most likely. This can develop because of an allergy, infection, or because of irritation to the feet (i.e., they’re coming in contact with something in the grass, carpeting, etc.).

If he is truly licking only his feet and his skin there doesn’t look too bad, you can try washing his feet several times a week with a shampoo designed to help with itching and inflammation. (e.g; DermCare Medicated Shampoo).

If he is itchy elsewhere, I’d just go ahead and bathe his whole body. But, if his skin is starting to look very irritated, or if the bathing doesn’t work, I’d get him in to a veterinarian ASAP for diagnosis and more aggressive treatment.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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