9 best dog food for dogs that lick their paws in 2024

By Amber Smith
Jan 1, 2024 4:00 AMJan 1, 2024 6:31 PM
Pupper Fuel Dog Food


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Does your furry friend constantly lick their paws? It might seem like a harmless habit, but it could be a sign of something more. Paw licking is a common behavior among adult dogs that can indicate underlying issues. But why do they do it? Well, dogs often lick their paws to soothe discomfort or relieve stress. It's their way of finding some relief. However, identifying the cause behind this behavior is crucial for finding an effective solution.

Paw licking can be triggered by various factors, ranging from allergies to ear infections. By understanding what's causing your dog's paw licking, you can provide them with the best care possible. So, if you've noticed your furry companion obsessively licking their paws for the first time, don't ignore it! Let's delve into the reasons behind this behavior and discover how to address it effectively.

9 Best Dog Food for Dogs That Lick Their Paws

  1. Pupper Fuel Dog Food

  2. Ps for Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food

  3. Dr. Harvey’s ALLERGY Dog Food

  4. The Farmer’s Dog

  5. Yum Woof! Perfect Kibble

  6. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food

  7. Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Limited Ingredient Natural Dry Dog Food

  8. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Hypoallergenic Potato & Duck Dry Dog Food

  9. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food

Causes of Paw Licking in Dogs

Excessive paw licking is a common cause for concern among dog owners. It can be frustrating to see your furry friend constantly gnawing at their paws, but understanding the underlying causes can help you address the issue effectively.

Allergies: Food and Environmental Triggers

One of the primary reasons dogs lick their paws excessively is due to allergies. Just like humans, dogs can develop sensitivities to certain foods or environmental factors. Food allergies often manifest as itching and inflammation, leading dogs to lick their paws in an attempt to find relief.

To identify potential food allergies, it's best to consult with your veterinarian who may recommend an elimination diet or allergy testing. Common allergens include beef, chicken, dairy products, wheat, and soy. Once identified, you can switch your dog's diet to one that avoids these triggers.

Environmental allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or mold spores can also provoke excessive paw licking. In this case, keeping your dog indoors during peak allergy seasons or using air purifiers can help minimize exposure.

Parasites: Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks are not only bothersome pests but also major culprits behind paw licking in dogs. These tiny creatures bite and irritate the skin, causing intense itching that leads to excessive licking.

Prevention is key. Regularly use flea and tick preventatives recommended by your veterinarian to keep these pesky critters at bay. Ensure your dog's bedding and living areas are clean and regularly treated for any existing infestations.

Skin Infections: Bacterial or Yeast Overgrowth

Skin infections are another common cause of persistent paw licking in dogs. Bacteria or yeast overgrowth on the skin can result from various factors such as poor grooming habits or immune system deficiencies.

If you notice redness, swelling, or a foul odor coming from your dog's paws, it may indicate an infection. A visit to the vet is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment. Depending on the severity of the infection, your veterinarian may prescribe topical or oral medications to alleviate the symptoms.

Harmful Effects of Paw Licking and the Importance of Finding a Solution

Excessive paw licking in dogs can have harmful effects on their overall health. It is important to understand the potential consequences of this behavior and find a suitable solution to prevent further complications.

  1. Excessive paw licking can lead to skin damage and secondary infections.

When dogs excessively lick their paws, the constant moisture from saliva irritates their skin. This repeated contact can cause redness, swelling, and even open sores. The continuous licking disrupts the natural barrier of the skin, making it more susceptible to infections caused by bacteria or fungi.

  1. Constant moisture from saliva can create a favorable environment for bacterial growth.

Dogs' saliva contains enzymes that aid in digestion but also harbor bacteria. When they lick their paws excessively, the moisture provides an ideal breeding ground for these microorganisms. Bacterial overgrowth can lead to various skin issues such as dermatitis or pyoderma, causing discomfort and pain for our furry friends.

  1. Resolving the root cause of paw licking is essential to prevent further health complications.

It is crucial to identify and address the underlying cause behind excessive paw licking in dogs. In many cases, allergies play a significant role in triggering this behavior. Allergic reactions to food ingredients, environmental factors like pollen or dust mites, or even certain materials such as carpet fibers can all contribute to paw licking.

Finding appropriate solutions involves several steps:

  • Consultation with a veterinarian: Seeking professional advice is vital in determining if allergies are responsible for your dog's paw-licking habit.

  • Allergy testing: Identifying specific allergens through blood tests or intradermal skin tests helps pinpoint triggers and develop an effective treatment plan.

  • Dietary changes: Switching your dog's food to one that addresses allergies may help alleviate symptoms.

  • Environmental modifications: Minimizing exposure to potential allergens at home, such as using hypoallergenic bedding or air purifiers, can aid in reducing allergic reactions.

  • Medications and supplements: In some cases, veterinarians may prescribe antihistamines, corticosteroids, or fatty acid supplements to manage the symptoms associated with allergies.

Resolving the root cause of paw licking not only improves your dog's quality of life but also prevents further health complications. By addressing the problem head-on, you can help your furry companion find relief from discomfort and ensure their overall well-being.

Home Remedies to Stop Dogs from Licking Their Paws

Regularly cleaning your dog's paws with mild antiseptic solutions can help reduce itching and irritation. Dogs often lick their paws due to allergies, irritants, or even boredom. Cleaning their paws regularly can help alleviate these issues and prevent excessive licking.

To clean your dog's paws effectively, start by preparing a mild antiseptic solution. You can mix warm water with a few drops of gentle pet shampoo or use a veterinarian-recommended paw-cleaning solution. Gently dip each paw into the solution and massage it for a few seconds to ensure thorough cleaning. Then, dry their paws completely using a clean towel.

Using bitter-tasting sprays or applying natural remedies like apple cider vinegar may deter excessive licking behavior. If your dog continues to excessively lick their paws despite regular cleaning, you can try using bitter-tasting sprays specifically designed to discourage licking. These sprays have an unpleasant taste that dogs dislike, which helps break the habit.

Alternatively, you can create a natural deterrent by diluting apple cider vinegar with water in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture on your dog's paws daily as needed. The sour taste of apple cider vinegar is often effective in discouraging dogs from licking their toes.

Providing distractions, such as puzzle toys or interactive games, can redirect your dog's attention away from their paws. Sometimes dogs lick their paws out of boredom or anxiety. By offering engaging activities and mental stimulation, you can divert their focus away from incessant paw licking.

Consider introducing puzzle toys that require problem-solving skills or interactive games that involve treats hidden within different compartments. These types of toys provide mental stimulation while also rewarding your dog for engaging with them instead of obsessively licking their toes.

In addition to puzzle toys and interactive games, you can also engage in physical activities with your dog to keep them occupied and distracted. Regular walks, play sessions, and training exercises can help channel their energy into healthier outlets.

Remember, if your dog's excessive paw licking persists or worsens despite trying these home remedies, it's essential to consult with a veterinarian. They can assess your dog's overall health and provide further guidance on addressing the underlying causes of this behavior.

By implementing these home remedies and ensuring your dog receives proper care and attention, you can help alleviate their discomfort and redirect their focus away from incessant paw licking. Remember to monitor their progress closely and seek professional advice when necessary to ensure your furry friend remains happy and healthy.

Best Dog Food Options for Dogs That Lick Their Paws

If your furry friend is constantly licking their paws, it could be a sign of allergies or food sensitivities. One way to address this issue is by finding the best dog food that caters to their specific needs. Here are some top options to consider:

Pupper Fuel offers a range of high-quality dog food options that prioritize your pup's health and well-being. Their formulas are carefully crafted with natural ingredients and essential nutrients to support overall paw health. With no artificial additives or fillers, Pupper Fuel ensures that your dog receives the nutrition they need without any potential allergens.

Ps for Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food

Ps for Dogs specializes in hypoallergenic dog food, making it an excellent choice for dogs with paw-licking issues caused by allergies. Their recipes are free from common allergens such as grains, soy, and dairy. By using limited ingredient formulas, Ps for Dogs minimizes the risk of triggering allergic reactions while still providing balanced nutrition.

Dr. Harvey’s ALLERGY Dog Food

Dr. Harvey's ALLERGY Dog Food is another great option if your dog suffers from paw licking due to allergies. This brand focuses on using only high-quality ingredients sourced from trusted suppliers. Their allergy-specific formula is designed to alleviate symptoms like itching and inflammation, promoting healthier skin and paws.

The Farmer’s Dog

For pet owners looking for personalized meal plans tailored to their dog's unique needs, The Farmer's Dog is an excellent choice. They offer fresh, human-grade meals made with real ingredients like meat and vegetables. By customizing each meal based on your pup's dietary requirements, The Farmer's Dog can help address any underlying issues causing excessive paw licking.

Yum Woof! Perfect Kibble

Yum Woof! Perfect Kibble is a dry dog food option that focuses on providing balanced nutrition while eliminating potential allergens. Their limited ingredient formulas are designed to support dogs with sensitivities and allergies, including those that manifest as paw-licking. By using high-quality ingredients and avoiding common allergens, Yum Woof! aims to improve your dog's overall well-being.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food

Natural Balance offers a range of limited-ingredient diets that cater to dogs with food sensitivities. Their dry dog food options are formulated with a minimal number of ingredients, making it easier to identify and avoid potential triggers for paw licking. With a focus on quality and nutrition, Natural Balance provides a reliable solution for pet owners seeking the best dog food for their furry friends.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Limited Ingredient Natural Dry Dog Food

Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 is another limited-ingredient dry dog food that prioritizes simplicity and quality. With only six main ingredients, this formula minimizes the risk of triggering allergic reactions in dogs prone to excessive paw licking. Rachael Ray Nutrish ensures that each ingredient is carefully selected to provide essential nutrients without compromising taste or nutritional value.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Hypoallergenic Potato & Duck Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet offers specialized hypoallergenic dry dog food options for canines struggling with allergies and sensitivities. Their potato and duck formula is designed to minimize the risk of adverse reactions while still providing necessary nutrients. This veterinary-recommended brand can be an effective solution for dogs experiencing paw licking due to dietary issues.

Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild stands out as a grain-free natural dry dog food option suitable for dogs with sensitive paws. Their formulas prioritize real meat as the primary protein source while incorporating fruits, vegetables, and other wholesome ingredients.

Additional Solutions: Calming Shampoo and Topical Yeast Treatments

Calming shampoos can be a great solution for dogs that lick their paws due to skin allergies or other skin issues. These shampoos often contain ingredients like oatmeal or chamomile, which have soothing properties that can help alleviate itching and irritation. By using a calming shampoo regularly, you can provide relief to your furry friend and reduce their urge to lick their paws.

Another effective option for addressing paw licking caused by yeast overgrowth is the use of topical treatments specifically targeting yeast infections. Yeast overgrowth can lead to persistent itching and discomfort, making it crucial to tackle the root cause. These topical treatments are designed to combat yeast infections directly, providing much-needed relief for your dog.

When choosing a calming shampoo or topical treatment, it's essential to consult with a veterinarian. They will be able to assess your dog's specific needs and recommend the most suitable options. Veterinarians have extensive knowledge about various products on the market and can guide you toward finding the best solution for your dog's unique situation.

In addition to using calming shampoos and topical treatments, there are other steps you can take to address paw licking in dogs with sensitive skin or allergy issues:

  1. Identify potential allergens: Pay attention to any changes in your dog's environment or diet that could be triggering allergic reactions. Common allergens include certain foods, pollen, dust mites, or even certain fabrics.

  2. Maintain good hygiene: Regularly clean your dog's paws with mild soap and water to remove any irritants that may be causing them discomfort.

  3. Consider dietary adjustments: Some dogs may benefit from a change in diet if they have sensitive stomachs or food allergies. Look for high-quality dog food options that are specifically formulated for sensitive skin or stomach issues.

  4. Add supplements: Certain supplements like salmon oil or vitamins can help improve your dog's skin health and reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions. These supplements can provide essential nutrients that support a healthy coat and skin.

  5. Avoid preservatives: Opt for dog food brands that prioritize natural ingredients and avoid artificial preservatives, as these can sometimes trigger allergies or exacerbate existing skin issues.

Remember, finding the best dog food for dogs that lick their paws involves considering various factors such as their specific skin issues, allergens, and overall health. By combining the use of calming shampoos or topical treatments with other preventive measures, you can help your furry companion find relief from paw licking and enjoy a healthier, happier life.

Our Criteria for Ranking the Best Dog Food

Choosing the right dog food is essential for your pet's health and well-being. With the plethora of options available in the market, it can be challenging to determine which dog food is best for your furry friend. To simplify this process and help you make an informed decision, we have established a set of criteria for ranking the best dog food products. These criteria are based on scientific research, expert opinions, and the specific nutritional needs of dogs.

  • Nutritional Balance:

    • Complete and Balanced: The dog food must meet the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines for a complete and balanced diet, ensuring it provides all essential nutrients in the right proportions.

  • Ingredients Quality:

    • High-Quality Protein: The primary ingredient should be a high-quality animal protein source, such as chicken, beef, or fish, to support your dog's muscle development and overall health.

    • Whole Grains and Vegetables: Whole grains and vegetables should be included to provide essential carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

  • Absence of Fillers and Artificial Additives:

    • No Fillers: The best dog food should not contain fillers like corn, soy, or wheat, which offer limited nutritional value and may cause allergies.

    • No Artificial Additives: It should be free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, which can harm your dog's health over time.

  • Meat Meal vs. Whole Meat:

    • Preference for Whole Meat: Whole meat sources are preferred over meat meals or by-products, as they are less processed and retain more nutritional value.

  • Digestibility and Allergen Consideration:

    • Hypoallergenic Options: For dogs with allergies or sensitivities, hypoallergenic options that avoid common allergens like poultry or grains should be available.

    • High Digestibility: The dog food should be highly digestible to ensure your pet absorbs the maximum nutrients from each meal.

  • Life Stage Appropriateness:

    • Age and Size-Specific Formulations: The best dog food should offer formulations tailored to your dog's life stage (puppy, adult, senior) and size (small, medium, large).

  • Transparency and Sourcing:

    • Transparent Labeling: Brands should provide transparent information about ingredient sourcing and processing methods.

    • Sustainable and Ethical Sourcing: A commitment to sustainable and ethical sourcing of ingredients reflects a brand's responsibility toward animal welfare and the environment.

  • Health Benefits and Special Considerations:

    • Support for Special Health Needs: The best dog food may offer formulations to address specific health concerns, such as joint health, dental care, or weight management.

  • Customer Feedback and Reviews:

    • Positive User Experiences: Customer feedback and reviews are valuable indicators of a product's performance, safety, and palatability.

  • Price and Value:

    • Affordability: The cost of the dog food should be reasonable and commensurate with its quality and ingredients, offering good value for pet owners.

  • Recall History and Safety:

    • Safety Record: Brands with a history of recalls or safety issues should be viewed with caution, as the safety of your pet is paramount.

Conclusion: Finding the Perfect Dog Food for Your Paw-Licking Dog

In conclusion, finding the best dog food for dogs that lick their paws requires understanding the causes, addressing potential health risks, and exploring suitable remedies. By prioritizing nutrition and considering complementary solutions, you can help improve your dog's comfort and overall well-being.


Can changing my dog's diet really stop them from licking their paws?

Changing your dog's diet can make a significant difference in reducing paw-licking behavior. Many dogs have sensitivities or allergies to certain ingredients commonly found in commercial dog foods. Switching to high-quality options that exclude these allergens can help alleviate the issue.

How long does it take for dietary changes to show an effect on paw licking?

The time it takes for dietary changes to impact paw licking varies from dog to dog. Some dogs may show improvement within a few weeks, while others may require several months of consistent diet adjustments before noticeable changes occur. Patience and consistency are key.

Are there any specific ingredients I should avoid when selecting dog food for my paw-licking dog?

Yes, it is advisable to avoid common allergens such as grains (wheat, corn) or artificial additives (preservatives, colors) when selecting dog food for your paw-licking dog. These ingredients often trigger allergic reactions or contribute to skin irritations.

Can natural remedies like coconut oil truly help with paw licking?

Coconut oil has soothing properties that can help alleviate irritated skin caused by excessive paw licking. Applying coconut oil topically acts as a natural moisturizer and may provide relief. However, it is essential to address the underlying cause of the behavior alongside using natural remedies.

Should I consult my veterinarian before making any dietary changes for my paw-licking dog?

Absolutely! Consulting with a veterinarian is crucial before making any dietary changes for your paw-licking dog. They can provide professional guidance, conduct tests if necessary, and recommend suitable options based on your dog's specific needs and health condition.

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