Hi! Just discovered these forums, been reading all morning. I have a 2-year-old 68lb rescue dog (over half boxer, plus lab and rott according to his DNA profile–he looks like a tall, lean, shiny black lab:-). He licks his feet constantly when he’s not active. The vet has ruled out yeast, etc., and guessed allergies, but allergy meds did not seem to help. I’ve read so much conflicting info on this, but I don’t think it’s just merely a “bad habit.” I’m wondering if it could be related to his diet? I use non-toxic cleaning products, etc., so I don’t believe he is getting any irritants in our home. I don’t like that he may be uncomfortable or itchy all the time, plus the wet spots caused by his licking that he leaves all over my couch and house are really annoying!
He has been on Pure Balance’s grain free (usually the Salmon and Pea, occasionally Lamb if that one’s not available) the entire 2 years since I’ve had him. I switched my other rescue dog to it at that time as well (boxer/beagle), and the latter dog’s “sensitive” stomach issue was immediately resolved, so I’ve been happy with the food. But now I’m wondering if a change may help my licky feet doggy? I do give them regular treats/bones that are not grain-free (ok, they’re probably all crap products, to be honest. I’m working on changing that, but I do love to spoil my boys!)
Any suggestions would be appreciated!anonymousMember
Make an appointment with a veterinary dermatologist, asap.
Don’t be foolish, it’s not the food.
See my posts here: /forums/search/environmental+allergies/SusanParticipant
have you tried giving baths twice a week in “Malaseb” medicated shampoo?? baths wash off any allergens that are on the paws, skin & fur, when I first rescued my boy he was a paw licker, now he’s been diagnosed with IBD, Environment allergies & food sensitivities/intolerances, he was put on a high omega 3 skin vet diet but it didn’t help with his red itchy paws or sloppy poo’s, it helped his skin, so I did a food elimination diet & worked out what foods he was sensitive too that were causing his red itchy paws, itchy ears where he’d shake his head, bum surfing on the carpet, & itchy skin… but when they have both environment allergies & food sensitivities it’s very hard to work out what’s causing what…so its best to do food elimination diet in the winter the colder months when all the pollens flowers etc aren’t out..
Have you joined face book group called “Dog, issues, allergies and other information support” group a Dermatologist is in the group, Dr Karen Helton Rhodes DMV, DACVD she has a F/B group called “Canine Skin Solutions”
I use Hydrocortisone 1% cream on his paws & in between toes at night then during the day before our walk I use “Sudocrem” on his paws & white sections of fur & pink skin the Sudocrem is for nappy rash, eczema & dermatitis & acts as a barrier & protects the skin it’s excellent if your dog has grass allergies, itchy bum & skin, when my boy walks on wet grass he gets his red paws also, chicken, barley, oats, corn & wheat causes itchy skin & itchy paws within 20 mins of eating these foods, carrots make his ears itch & the head tilting & shaking start… start keeping a diary..
It’s best to give baths, use creams & socks to stop the paw licking & have you looked into a raw diet?? all Patches skin problems disappeared within 1 week when he started a raw diet high in omega 3 & probiotic to strengthen his immune system also high potency vitamin C is excellent..
If I see Patch licking his paws I say NO lick & I stop him licking his paws & go & get the Sudocrem & apply if it’s in the day & before bed I apply the Hydrocortisone 1% cream you’ll get into a routine & work out what works best for your boy….baths in Malaseb shampoo twice a week will stop & relieve any itchy skin & paws. also when he looks bored & starts to lick paws give him something natural & healthy to chew on, a healthy raw meaty bone will stop any paw licking, chicken & turkey bone is the softest bone to chew & digest… read all ingredients to any treats you buy..
can I ask 1 question after he licks & licks his paws does he burp, do you hear him burp??pitloveParticipant
Welcome to the forums!
The hallmark signs of a food allergy noted by doctors are “ears and rears”. So, ear infections, itchy ears, licking the rear end (anal opening). Feet licking is most often associated with grooming, or environmental allergens. My chocolate Lab, who has no allergies, will lick his feet sometimes after its rained or when they get wet to groom himself.
I would not change his food just yet, but instead look to see if the paw licking stops when fall/winter hit. It took a couple years for me to figure out that the dog in my avatar most likely had environmental allergies because I kept realizing that the symptoms started when summer hit.DewperMember
Thank you all for the helpful replies! It sounds like I could likely narrow this down to environmental allergies, so I will start there. He is otherwise very healthy and I have never even seem him regurgitate even once in two years, so I’ll stick with his current food for now. He did lick his feet in the winter but my local vet said they have had a lot of allergies with pets this past winter, due to us having a mild winter I suppose (near Pittsburgh). But it’s definitely worse now since Spring.
Susan, he does not burp after licking his paws. Giving him bones does help, but every second that he’s just laying around unoccupied, he licks! If I turn my back for 5 minutes, another wet spot appears on the couch:-( Do you get the Sudocrem from the vet? Or store?
The vet gave me medicated wet wipes once to clean his feet with twice a day so I think I’ll get those again, I didn’t use them very consistently before because at the time he wasn’t that bad.pitloveParticipant
I have found that foot soaks with a medicated shampoo a few times a week helps a lot with paw licking and using wipes on their feet when they come in from outside.SusanParticipant
if you live America then there’s a cream similiar to the Sudocrem sold at supermarket but I can’t remember the name, a lady posted it on the “Dog, issues, allergies and other information support” f/b group, it has the same ingredients, (I think) as the Sudocrem has.
I live Australia & the Sudocrem is sold supermarkets & chemist in the baby section with the coconut oil & aloe & cucumber baby wipes are, I’ve read people who live America buy Sudocrem from Amazon or read ingredient list & look for a baby cream sold at supermarket with similiar ingredients…..
When your boy wasnt licking his paws real bad was he eating the same food he’s eating now or a different food? it’s so hard to work out allergies cause dogs normally will have both food & envrionment alergies, I was thinking is he may be a compulsive licker?? my Patch was when I first rescued him, paw licking sets off their endorphins, especially when they lick & lick themselves to sleep…my Patch all of a sudden dissappears & I find him in my room or the spare room licking his paw, then there’s the big wet patch on the bed aaaaaarrrrhhhhh it’s always just one of his paws he’s licking not both paws, he has white paws, I have a quick look at his paw & paw will be red up & sometimes in between his toes, so if he’s due for his weekly bath in a couple of days I bath him earlier & I bath him in the Malaseb shampoo also sold on Amazon & you leave the shampoo on his paws 5-10 mins if you can, the Malaseb is excellent for Allergies, itchy skin & yeasty skin….after his bath his paws look heaps better & aren’t itchy no more, so something in the Malaseb reduces the reddness & itch, then that night I apply the Hydrocortisone cream in between the tows & everywhere that’s red by morning all reddness is all gone, when I get a bit lazy I dont keep up with his daily routine applying creams his red paws happens….
It’s Winter in Australia & this is the worst Winter Patch has had so far, he normally does real well thru the colder Winter months as long as I’m not feeding him any ingredients he’s sensitive too, but this Winter has been heaps warmer & plants are flowering so I’d say the pollen count is higher…. another thing check what the Omega 3 % is in the kibble your feeding him some kibbles arent balanced properly & are higher in Omega 6 & real low in Omega 3, the omega 3% should be around 1/2 of what the omega 6% is…..as soon as you open your bag of kibble all the oils start to go rancid from the air/oxygen, so your omega 3% becomes less, they say a kibble only last about 2 weeks once you’ve opened it google ” How long does a kibble stay fresh once it’s opened”
The best thing to do is add a few small sardines to his diet a day, start buying the tin Sardines in spring water or olive oil, Aldi’s sell cheap good sardines & salmon in spring water, just add a few sardines or spoons of the salmon to 1 of his meals or give as a treat, I make salmon cakes just boil some potato or sweet potatoes & cool then mix with the drained tin of salmon or start giving him a fish capsule if he has sensitive stomach/bowel then get the Krill Oil capsules they’re suppose to be better for senstive stomach, my boy can’t have fish/salmon oil it gives him acid reflux, he does better when he eats foods high in Omega 3, almonds are excellent I give about 3 Almonds some days but make sure he chews them or they will come back out whole, I don’t know but a lady said her dog got into the bag of almonds & it wasnt nice, I bite 1/2 an almond & give the other 1/2 of the almond to patch & say chew, even have a look at the K-9 Natural Green Lipped Mussels freeze dried treats Chewy sell them & other brands as well, I give my cat & Patch a couple mussels a day as treats… You just need to keep in a daily routine, 1 lady from f/b group I mentioned above said she has a water tray near the front door & her dog walks thru it to wash off any allergens on his paws but I’d rather put him in a empty bath, wet his paws & wash & leave soaking in the Malaseb shampoo this works really well then rinse & dry. another thing in the beginning after I applied cream if you know he’s going to lay down to sleep & lick, then I put on a baby socks or a cut up elastic bandage with the bandage tape around the top, this stops the paw licking & gets him out of the compulsive licking.. this is what I had to do with Patch in the beginning..
When your boy is licking his paw do you look at the paw to see if it’s red, swollon etc ?
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