es.

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It needs to be examined and possibly xrayed by your vet. It could be due to a fracture, something stuck in the paw such as a grass seed or thorn or possibly and infection

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Dog Paw Allergies

Allergies are common and can be caused by the environment, food, or an irritant that comes into contact with your dog`s skin. Redness, dark pigmentation, or brown staining on the paws from constant licking may be signs of allergies.

“The most common cause of paw licking is generally environmental allergies, also called atopic dermatitis,” Dr. Flynn says. “Other causes of licking paws can include ectopic parasites such as fleas or mites, referred pain from arthritis — licking the feet or limbs since they can`t reach the painful joint.”
Dogs generally lick their paws due to itching which can be caused by allergies; infestation by parasites such as fleas and mites; or bacterial or yeast infections. It is important to identify the root cause as compulsive licking can damage the skin and allow infection to set in.
“If your dog has suddenly begun licking themselves a lot then you may want to talk to your vet and get them checked out. Repeatedly licking their paws can be a sign that they are stressed or anxious, or could suggest that they are in pain, feeling nauseous, uncomfortable or itchy.
This is called a lick granuloma — or acral lick dermatitis — and the exact cause is debated. Some believe it is a self-soothing behavior in response to anxiety or boredom. Other causes can be an injury or sore, or arthritis or joint pain, that then becomes somewhat of a chronic obsession.
Swollen paws are often caused by a foreign object getting trapped between the pads/toes of the dog`s foot. Insect or spider bites, puncture wounds, broken toes, fractured claws, and constant licking/chewing (as with allergies or other source of chronic irritation) are other common causes.
If you want to do a routine dog paw cleaning after a quick walk, just gently wipe the paws with a washcloth and water. As an even more convenient option, the American Kennel Club recommends using moist wipes that are safe for dogs.
If your dog is licking themselves, you, or objects excessively, to the point that it seems like a self-stimulatory behavior, this might be a sign of anxiety, boredom, or pain. Obsessive self-licking can also be a sign of allergies or other health problems.
Signs of an infection in the paws include licking and chewing the paws, redness, swelling, pain, itching, and drainage. Typically, the skin between the toes and other skin folds is affected with itching, redness, and greasy discharge. Sometimes, brown discoloration of the nails.
Frequent licking builds up moisture in a dog`s paws that can lead to a bacterial or yeast infection, according to the American Kennel Club. These issues only aggravate paw licking and may cause swelling or redness. Work with your veterinarian to diagnose and treat bacterial yeast infections.
Paw balm or petroleum jelly-based products keep your dog`s paws safe and moisturized. If boots don`t feel right for your best friend, try Vaseline or a paw balm such as Musher`s Secret.
A torn foot pad does not hold stitches well, so cuts and punctures take longer to heal. Walking on the injured foot often opens up the wound and further delays healing. And if infection sets in, your dog may end up with more than just foot problems.
No, it is not recommended that you use baby wipes on dogs, or any other pets. That`s because the pH level on human skin is different to dogs so baby wipes are unsafe because they may cause irritation or itching.
Mix equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar to get a potent and pet-friendly cleaning solution. You can use this homemade solution when you don`t want to use dog shampoo or if you don`t have one. Coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter, and vitamin E oil are natural products that moisturize the paws after cleaning them.
Alternative Methods for Cleaning Your Dog`s Paws

Baking soda: Mix a small amount of baking soda with warm water to create a cleaning solution. Use a clean cloth or towel to gently scrub puppy paws.

While some dogs lick things out of boredom, for other dogs, licking can be compulsive, providing a calming and soothing sensation. When licking is a self-stimulating activity, it could also be a sign of anxiousness or discomfort. Other dogs can lick to the point of causing secondary problems.
It is instinctive for them to feel safe when in close proximity to their pack. Once you bring a dog into your home, you become part of their pack. They enjoy sleeping with you because it makes them feel safe and comfortable. Sleeping together gives dogs an emotional connection to their owners.
Give Your Dog Yogurt or speak with your vet about Probiotic Supplements. Some research has shown that the good, active bacteria found in yogurt and probiotics can help with stinky breath by killing odor-causing bacteria found in the mouth. Good bacteria can also help with digestive and other health issues!
They Show Affection

That is, it`s affectionate when combined with butt wiggles and other signals of happiness. For example, when you come home after a long day at work, your dog wants to say “Hi Mom! I`m so excited you`re home!” Then, the doggie kisses are a natural show of affection.

Infectious. The feet and paws are often red (inflamed) and swollen. There may be nodules (bumps) or fungal lesions (kerions), ulcers, or discharge (pus) from the lesions. There is often hair loss and the dog may lick the feet constantly.
It`s especially useful to minimize itchy feet and ears. Thoroughly soak the dog`s paws in a vinegar-water mix. Use cotton swab or gauze pads soaked in the mixture to clean ears. A massage with a diluted ACV mix will go a long way toward relieving strained muscles from overactivity.
The pads of dog feet have specialized skin that does not heal in the same way as normal skin and that may require veterinary evaluation and treatment for moderate to severe injuries and conditions.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My Poodle mix is licking her paw constantly. When I checked her paw I noticed that her paw is red and slightly swollen on just one of her toes.
ANSWER : A. It needs to be examined and possibly xrayed by your vet. It could be due to a fracture, something stuck in the paw such as a grass seed or thorn or possibly and infection

Q. My dog keeps licking himself in the same area, what does this mean?
ANSWER : A. Excessive licking in one area often leads to a condition called Acral Lick Dermatitis or Lick Granuloma. By constantly nibbling on one spot, which is usually on one of front legs, dogs can cause skin irritation and inflammation and not uncommonly skin infection.

There is a long list of possible causes of this problem. In many dogs this is purely a behavioral issue related to anxiety, boredom or stress. Dogs with joint pain like to lick over the painful area to alleviate pain. Skin allergy or infections, skin foreign bodies predispose dogs to Acral Lick Granuloma as well. Finally, low thyroid hormone level is believed to play a role in developing Lick Granuloma.

Treatment is often long, and close cooperation between the owner and the vet is required. The effort should ultimately be directed to identify and treat the underlying cause.

Read Full Q/A … : Excessive Dog Licking

Q. Red paws. Biting nails/ toes constantly. 6 yr border collie/ aussie mix. Diet brown rice/ lamb nutro balance changed 3 mo ago. Problem x 1 yr s
ANSWER : A. It is possible that your collie may have a yeast infection or other skin infection between the toes caused by her chewing at the area. You may also see that the paws are wet or have a “corn chip” smell to them (indicating yeast). It is best to prevent her from chewing or licking her feet as this can introduce more bacteria into the area and make symptoms worse. An Elizabethan (cone) collar is best for this. If you see signs of infection, it is best to bring her into your vet, who may recommend antibiotics or antifungals to treat any underlying infections. An allergy medication may also be helpful to stop the original cause of her attempting to lick or chew at the spot. Some dogs may also get into a repetitive behavior of licking even when the infection is cleared up, so breaking the habit with the use of an Elizabethan collar to prevent the behavior may help stop the cycle.

Read Full Q/A … : Vetinfo

Q. Why does a dogs pads on his paws turn such a pink color?
ANSWER : A. I’m confused here. Are your dogs paw pads typically black, but they turn a reddish pink? You may want to see your veterinarian about this to make sure there isn’t anything wrong with his paw pads. I’ve met dogs who have extremely fragile paw pads due to some bad genetics.. they end up getting injured on their paws very easily. I’ve met dogs who are unable to even walk on cement without wearing little doggy booties. It could be that your dog is dealing with some serious discomfort, and you want to get that checked out immediately.

If your dogs paw pads just seem a little bit irritated, you may want to try something like “Musher’s Secret” on them. This is an ointment that you rub on your dogs paw pads to keep them healthy, and smooth. I use this in the winter when there is rock salt all over the ground.. it keeps her paw pads from getting irritated and tearing open. It’s like lotioning your skin to keep it from getting dry and cracked. If you think your dog is dealing with something that is a little more extreme than just some dry irritated paw pads, then see your vet immediately instead of purchasing the Musher’s Secret.

Read Full Q/A … : Discolored Pads in Dogs

Q. My dog has no fleas, but is scratching and licking continually. He has been through a round of prednisone and it hasn’t helped. What can I do?
ANSWER : A. Itching can be caused by more than just external parasites, and if your dog is already on a flea medication, then it is possibly not the case. Itching can indicate anything from allergies to even minor skin infections causing problems. If your dog has been treated with prednisone (a steroid that inhibits the immune system) and it did not help, then looking at other options may help.

Food allergies are very common in dogs and can present with itching and licking all over the body rather than on just one spot. Common food allergens include ingredients such as wheat, corn and soy products, however dogs can be allergic to almost anything! Starting a food trial of an allergen-friendly diet from your vet or pet store that avoids these common ingredients may help. The food should be switched over a period of 7-9 days and then given about a month to decide if it is helping.

Small skin infections or yeast in the skin can also cause itching, however this itching is often more specific to a certain area of the body (such as the toes, or base of the tail). Your vet can perform a skin scraping of the area to be cultured at a lab to look for any yeast or bacteria. If they are present, a medication given either orally or placed on the affected area can clear up the infection.

In some cases, licking and chewing can actually be due to a boredom or anxiety behavior. Dogs may lick one spot obsessively to the point of creating sores or wounds in the area. Stopping your dog from licking and chewing either through the use of dog booties, no lick strips, T-shirts or even Elizabethan collars can break the habit and give the area time to heal. Licking and chewing can also cause the spread of bacterial infections so should be deterred even if not behaviorally caused.

Q. My dog licks his feet and legs and they are turning brown. He is a white dog. Can you help?
ANSWER : A. Licking the feet and legs can be caused by a number of things in dogs including allergies, illness or even stress behaviors. Allergies are the most common in dogs, with yeast infections coming in second. Allergies can cause the area to become red and itching, making your dog want to lick and chew on them. Over time, the area may become stained from saliva, especially in lighter or white-coated dogs. Yeast infections are also common between the toes, and may cause a smelly “corn chip” smell to appear near your dog’s feet. Again, dogs will attempt to lick and chew to relieve the itch. Keeping the feet clean and dry can help relieve both allergies and infections and pet wipes or a baby wipe of all paws when your dog comes in from outdoors may also help. Keeping your dog from licking the space with either dog booties or an Elizabethan collar is also good as it will prevent secondary infection and staining of the paws and legs. If your dog is determined to keep licking and keeping the feet clean and dry do not help, then your vet can help by providing a medication to treat any infection or provide relief of allergies.

Q. Why does my pup lick everything?
ANSWER : A. Puppies are very much like babies and young toddlers, and will explore the world with their mouths. This may include chewing objects, or licking them. Puppies and other more submissive dogs may also lick people as a way to “appease” them and try to gain favor. If your dog is licking objects, then using something such as a no-lick spray and providing appropriate other toys to explore can help curb the behavior. If you are the one being licked, then ignoring your dog or getting up and moving away when the licking begins can help stop the behavior. Be sure, however, to still give your pup lots of praise when NOT licking!

Q. Why does my dog lick his paws? There is no obvious injury, or skin irritation.thanks
ANSWER : A. One other thing to consider as the possible cause of licking is pain. Older dogs can have arthritic changes to the toes and this can cause them to lick constantly. As pointed out below allergies are the most common cause of licking the feet, as dogs frequently have allergies to the plants that they walk on (like grass).

If you want to talk more specifically about which paws are affected, how often he does it, etc. We can consult about his problem.