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Why Do Pomeranians Lick Their Paws – Is It Normal & Top 10 Causes

Paw licking is a common behavior observed in Pomeranians, as well as other dog breeds. While some degree of paw licking is considered normal, it’s important to understand the context and frequency of this behavior. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Dogs, including Pomeranians, use their mouths as a means of exploration and grooming. Paw licking is a natural part of this behavior and can be seen as a normal grooming habit to keep their paws clean.
  • Occasional and brief bouts of paw licking, especially after walks or activities, are generally considered normal behavior.
  • However, excessive or persistent paw licking, where the dog continuously licks their paws to the point of causing irritation or injury, may indicate an underlying issue that requires attention.

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Pomeranian Licks Their Paws:

Paw licking in Pomeranians can have various underlying reasons. Understanding these reasons will help you identify the cause behind your Pomeranian’s paw licking behavior and take appropriate measures to address it. Here are the top 10 potential causes:

  1. Allergies and Sensitivities:
  • Pomeranians can develop allergies to environmental allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, or certain foods.
  • Allergic reactions can manifest as itching, which leads to paw licking as a way to alleviate discomfort.
  1. Dry Skin or Dermatitis:
  • Dry skin can occur due to environmental factors or underlying health conditions.
  • Paw licking may be an attempt to moisturize the skin or relieve itching caused by dryness or dermatitis.
  1. Insect Bites or Stings:
  • Pomeranians, like any other dog, can be susceptible to insect bites or stings.
  • Licking the affected area is a natural response to alleviate the irritation caused by these bites.
  1. Foreign Objects or Splinters:
  • Pomeranians’ curious nature may lead them to step on sharp objects or get splinters stuck in their paws.
  • Licking is their way of trying to remove the foreign object or alleviate discomfort.
  1. Pain or Injury:
  • Paw licking can be a sign of pain or injury, such as a sprain, strain, or wound.
  • Dogs may instinctively lick their paws as a soothing mechanism or to clean the affected area.
  1. Boredom or Anxiety:
  • Pomeranians are social and intelligent dogs that require mental stimulation and companionship.
  • In the absence of proper exercise, mental engagement, or company, they may resort to paw licking as a self-soothing behavior caused by boredom or anxiety.
  1. Fungal or Bacterial Infections:
  • Fungal or bacterial infections, such as yeast or bacterial dermatitis, can affect a Pomeranian’s paws.
  • These infections can cause itching and discomfort, leading to excessive paw licking.
  1. Environmental Irritants:
  • Contact with irritants like certain cleaning products, chemicals, or lawn treatments can irritate a dog’s paws.
  • Paw licking is their way of relieving the discomfort caused by these irritants.
  1. Nutritional Deficiencies:
  • Inadequate nutrition can impact a Pomeranian’s overall health, including the condition of their skin and coat.
  • Nutritional deficiencies may manifest as dry, itchy skin, leading to excessive paw licking.
  1. Behavioral Habit:
  • In some cases, paw licking can become a habitual behavior that dogs engage in without any underlying medical or physical cause.
  • This habit can develop due to boredom, stress, or as a learned behavior from repetitive actions.

Medical Concerns Related to Paw Licking:

Excessive paw licking in Pomeranians can lead to various medical concerns that should not be ignored. It’s important to be aware of these potential issues and take appropriate action to ensure your Pomeranian’s health and well-being. Here are some medical concerns associated with paw licking:

  • Irritated, Red, or Raw Skin on the Paws: Excessive licking can cause irritation and inflammation of the skin on the paws. This can lead to redness, soreness and even raw or ulcerated areas.
  • Open Sores, Hot Spots, or Secondary Infections: Intense and persistent paw licking can result in the formation of open sores or hot spots. These are areas of skin that become inflamed, moist and infected due to constant licking and scratching. Secondary bacterial or fungal infections can develop in these vulnerable areas.
  • Hair Loss or Thinning on the Affected Area: Excessive paw licking can cause hair loss or thinning on the paws. Continuous friction and moisture from licking can damage the hair follicles and lead to hair breakage or loss.

Identifying and addressing the underlying cause of paw licking is crucial to prevent further complications.

Prevention & Treatment Options:

Preventing and addressing excessive paw licking in Pomeranians is essential for their overall well-being. By implementing preventive measures and utilizing appropriate treatment options, you can help alleviate any discomfort and promote healthy paws. Here are some effective prevention and treatment strategies:

  • Maintaining Proper Hygiene and Regular Grooming Practices: Regularly inspect and clean your Pomeranian’s paws to ensure they are free from dirt, debris, or irritants. Trim the hair around the paws to minimize the accumulation of foreign objects.
  • Identifying and Eliminating Potential Allergens or Irritants from the Environment: If your Pomeranian has allergies or sensitivities, identify and minimize exposure to potential triggers such as certain foods, pollen, dust mites, or chemicals.
  • Providing a Balanced and Nutritious Diet: Ensure your Pomeranian is receiving a well-balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate diet and address any nutritional deficiencies that may contribute to paw licking.
  • Regular Exercise, Mental Stimulation and Companionship: Pomeranians thrive on physical exercise, mental stimulation and social interaction. Engage in regular play sessions, provide stimulating toys and ensure they receive sufficient companionship to prevent boredom and anxiety-related paw licking.
  • Using Veterinary-Recommended Products for Flea and Tick Control: Effective flea and tick prevention measures are crucial to prevent these parasites from causing irritation and subsequent paw licking. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the most appropriate and safe products for your Pomeranian.
  • Applying Paw Balms or Moisturizers: If your Pomeranian has dry, cracked paws, using paw balms or moisturizers can help soothe and hydrate the skin. Consult with your veterinarian for suitable products that are safe for dogs and specific to their needs.

When to See a Vet:

While some cases of paw licking in Pomeranians can be managed at home, there are situations where veterinary intervention is necessary. It’s important to be aware of the signs that indicate the need for professional care. Here are some instances when you should consider seeing a veterinarian:

  • Excessive or Persistent Paw Licking: If your Pomeranian is constantly and obsessively licking their paws, even to the point of causing rawness, bleeding, or irritation, it’s crucial to seek veterinary attention. Excessive paw licking can be a sign of an underlying issue that requires medical intervention.
  • Swelling, Redness, or Signs of Infection: If you notice swelling, redness, or signs of infection such as discharge, foul odor, or pus in the paw area, it is important to have your Pomeranian examined by a veterinarian. These symptoms may indicate an infection that needs appropriate treatment.
  • Changes in Behavior, Appetite, or Overall Well-being: If your Pomeranian exhibits behavioral changes, such as increased restlessness, lethargy, decreased appetite, or changes in personality, in conjunction with excessive paw licking, it may indicate an underlying health problem. Consulting with a veterinarian will help determine the cause and provide appropriate care.
  • Inability to Walk or Use the Affected Paw(s): If your Pomeranian is experiencing difficulty walking, limping, or shows signs of pain when using the affected paw(s), it’s important to have them evaluated by a veterinarian. These symptoms may suggest an injury or underlying condition that requires prompt medical attention.
  • Frequent Paw Licking Despite Home Remedies or Preventive Measures: If you’ve tried home remedies or implemented preventive measures but your Pomeranian continues to excessively lick their paws without improvement, it’s advisable to consult with a veterinarian. They can conduct a thorough examination, diagnose any underlying conditions and provide appropriate treatment options.

Seeking veterinary advice is particularly important when you observe persistent or concerning symptoms. Your veterinarian will conduct a comprehensive evaluation, provide a tailored treatment plan and offer guidance on managing your Pomeranian’s paw health.

Understanding why Pomeranians lick their paws is vital for their well-being. By identifying the causes behind excessive paw licking, you can take appropriate preventive measures and seek veterinary care when necessary. Remember to observe your Pomeranian’s behavior, provide a healthy environment and consult with a veterinarian to ensure their overall health and happiness.

Why Do Pomeranians Lick Their Paws – Is It Normal & Top 10 Causes