Dog Grooming

Dog Licking Paw After Grooming


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Is your dog licking paw after grooming? Don’t worry; many dogs lick their paws after grooming. Learn about the common causes of excessive paw licking and if you should do something about it.

Common Causes of Dog Licking Paw After Grooming

Paw licking is something that many dogs due, especially after grooming. Below are some of the reasons for it.


Excessive paw licking soothes dogs after they have been through a stressful situation. It’s a lot like babies who suck their thumbs. Since the stress is temporary, you should see the excessive licking slow down soon.


Dogs heal their wounds by licking them. If the groomer accidentally knicked your dog’s paws or cut his/her nails too short, your dog may be trying to treat the wounds.

Pain from injury can also be the reason for your dog’s licking. Since dogs lick when they are stressed and pain is stressful, that could be another reason for your dog’s paw licking.

Skin Irritation

Environmental allergies can lead to itchy paws or skin and since dogs can’t scratch their paws, they do the next best thing – lick them.

Mimicking Behavior

Dogs mimic other dogs, especially when they are under stress. If your dog was around another dog that may have the behavioral issue of excessive licking, your dog likely just picked it up.

Allergic Reaction

If the groomer used a product your dog is allergic to, it may have led to an allergic reaction. This means it could have caused irritation skin around the paws or itchy paws. Your dog is trying to soothe irritated skin with paw licking.

Food allergies can also cause an allergic reaction and it following grooming is just a coincidence.

Bacterial Infection

If there was a wound on your dog’s paw pads and it became infected, that could be another reason your dog is licking. The licking is your dog’s attempt to heal the infection and pain associated with it.

What to Do About Your Dog Licking Paws After Grooming

If you know the underlying cause of your dog licking paw after grooming, decide if it’s something that will go away on its own or if you need to reach out to the veterinarian.

When Your Dog Needs Time to Stop Licking Paws

The common reasons for a dog licking paws after grooming that you can wait on are:

  • Stress from the grooming appointment.
  • Mimicking the behavior of another dog.
  • Small wounds from the paws being groomed.

The above reasons mean that it will just take some time for your pup to feel better, and you likely may not need a veterinarian.

Tip: Use Aquaphor or Betadine on dog paws for small wounds to help with healing.

dog licking paws after grooming

When to Contact the Veterinarian for Paw Licking

Common reasons to reach out to your veterinarian for help are:

  • You believe an allergic reaction is causing the paw licking.
  • There’s a skin irritation that could be a bacterial infection.
  • You see blood on the floor from the paws.
  • Your dog’s paw licking hasn’t stopped after a long time.

Veterinarians often receive calls with questions about dog paw licking. When you call to schedule the vet visit, it’s a good idea to discuss the situation because your vet may be able to provide advice over the phone.

You may want to contact the groomer as well to see if there was anything out of the ordinary that happened during the grooming appointment. Many dogs act weird after grooming, and it may help you understand the situation better if you’re able to get some information from the groomer.

dog licking paws

Other Reasons for Licking Behavior

It’s possible that dog paw licking may not be due to the grooming appointment. The following are other reasons your dog may be licking his/her paws.

  • Your dog may be experiencing separation anxiety and paw licking helps with the nervousness he/she feels when you’re away.
  • Your dog may have stepped on something outside like a pine needle or another sharp foreign object. Inspect the paws to make sure there isn’t something protruding out and call the vet if there’s any sign of something stuck in your dog’s paws.
  • Fleas can cause a dog’s paws to itch and licking relieves it. Dogs with a flea allergy will also have skin irritation that can lead to excessive licking.
  • Hot pavement can burn your dog’s feet, and that could also be a reason your dog is obsessed with licking his/her paws.
  • Hot spots are common for dogs with long or thick hair. If there have ever been hot spots on your dog’s body, it can be on the feet now.
  • Interdigital cysts, which means cysts in between your dog’s toes may also be the cause for the licking.
  • Skin conditions can lead to itchy skin on any part of your dog’s body, so if you already know of a problem with your dog’s skin, it may have sparked on your dog’s paws.
  • Behavioral issues can arise at any time for any reason. It could just be something your dog has discovered that he/she likes to do or something he/she picked up from another dog somewhere.
  • If the licking starts in the winter months, it could be from dry skin on your dog’s feet.

As pet parents, we want to take care of our pups as much as possible. When a dog starts to do something different, we worry there may be something wrong. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to caring for your precious pup. Contact the vet for advice if you believe the underlying cause may be something other than stress or if the behavior continues for more than a couple of days.

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