Are you worried about your dog drooling excessively and licking its paws? While drooling in dogs is often associated with hunger and excitement, other triggers can also cause your dogs to drool excessively. This behavior can stem from many underlying issues in your dog, ranging from physical to psychological.
Likewise, while dogs lick their loved ones to show affection and bond, they often lick themselves to soothe or heal the area. While it is a dog’s natural instinct to lick wherever wounded, as their saliva offers protection to many pathogens, licking too much can further exacerbate the wound as it leads to more irritation and infections.
Therefore, a dog licking its paws often indicates a wound or irritation in its paws. Having said that, there are plenty of other reasons your dogs might be drooling and licking paws. In this post, we will discuss seven reasons why a dog drools excessively and licks paws and also look at six things you can do to fix the issue.
Why Might a Dog Excessively Drool and Lick Its Paws?
Many reasons cause allergies in dogs, contaminated food, pollen, or your pup could have eaten something harmful to their body. Excessively drooling occurs whenever your pooch has digestive problems. Food allergies also cause your dog to vomit, have diarrhea, and have nausea.
Pollen allergies could also be the culprit behind your pup drooling excessively and licking their paws, especially during the fall or spring season. Dogs tend to lick their feet and can salivate overly due to irritation on their skin.
Nausea is one of the significant causes of your pup’s excessively drooling behavior, and if your pooch’s stomach is sick, it will produce more saliva. Dogs often go irrational whenever they have an upset stomach as they will start chewing rugs or lick themselves for hours. Eating Worms and infectious pests while roaming outside, poisonous plants in the house, or eating the wrong food are some reasons for nausea.
Psychological issues can be tricky as many factors trigger your dog’s mental health separation anxiety, boredom, or stress are some of the prime examples. If your dog is caged in the house and is not allowed play in the park or outside frequently, they could be stressed. Your pup can be missing the kids cause they are in school. Could your dog have no one to play with?
These psychological issues can cause excessive drooling, and your pup could be licking their paw as a soothing mechanism for themselves. These kinds of psychological problems get intense over time, so don’t be too surprised to find some chewed toys, rugs, or shoes.
Objects stuck in the mouth
As they are often outside playing chase with sticks and whatnots, sometimes shrapnel of branches or toys might get stuck in their mouth. Often these objects could also cause lacerations or minor injuries inside your pup’s mouth, jaws, or tongue, and excessive drooling is imminent in these situations.
At first, they might want to take out the stick by themselves by putting their feet in their mouth. Your pup will want to force out the shrapnel from its mouth and will strive hard to do so using its paws. Dogs tend to go at it for hours because of the irritation and often hurt themselves, and licking is a form of self-soothing for dogs whenever they hurt themselves.
Wound or thorn
Dogs are very playful by nature, so they often play outside in the park or backyard. They might get hurt at times; there is a high chance of getting wounded or getting something stuck in their paws. Sometimes, extremely thin and sharp thorns might hurt your pup if they accidentally step on one while playing.
In such cases, your pup will probably try to ease the pain by licking the paw. They often chew or lick their feet in this manner to get rid of the thorn or to get some comfort. It is usual for dogs to salivate from both ends of their jaws in this process.
Heatstroke or too hot
Heat and over-exhaustion could also be why your dog might excessively drool during the summer. Excessive panting, lethargy, issues or discoloration of gums, and drooling are some of the symptoms of heatstroke, which require immediate medical attention.
Other health issues
Mouth or throat tumors or dental problems that cause discomfort to your pooch can also cause excessive drooling in your pooch. Lack of dental hygiene and tartar build-up can also cause discomfort in gums, causing more issues. If excessive drooling lasts for days and your dog is acting aggressive, and in pain, please take your doggo to a vet as soon as possible.
What Can I Do for My Dog if They Are Excessively Drooling and Licking Their Paws?
Check your pooch’s paws
As we’ve discussed above, licking helps your dog soothe the pain. Therefore, in case of sudden excessive drooling in dogs, you should first check for any paw injuries from which your pooch is suffering. Even if there is no bleeding, minor scratches, rashes, or irritation might be why your dog is in discomfort.
Remedy for injuries
Now, if you see any wound or irritation in your dog’s paws, assess the severity of the injury and offer a remedy accordingly. Remove any thorns or stuck materials and apply first aid to the wound. In case of allergic reactions or rashes, consult with a vet for the appropriate ointment or medication to help your pooch cope with the discomfort better.
Moreover, if anything is stuck in your pooch’s mouth or teeth, wipe the drool using a soft and comfortable dog droll rag towel and inspect the oral cavity closely.
Suppose your pooch has been tensed lately, showing more destructing mannerisms such as digging, chewing whatever they find, or being overwhelmed in front of guests or other pets. In that case, it indicates psychological issues in your dog.
Such behaviors can stem from stress, separation anxiety, or boredom; a dog behaviorist can help with such conditions. It would be best if you also tried to give more attention to your dog and be present during their playtime to help the situation.
Don’t overwork the dog
When the temperatures outside are above 104 degrees Farenheight, all dog parents must be extra alert as the chances of heatstrokes are higher during these temperatures. If your dog’s saliva has thickened as you notice drooling and discomfort, it can signify that it’s time for them to relax in a cool area.
Be aware not to overwork or overexercise your dog if it is extremely hot. In fact, it is better to walk your dog indoors for a while and allow your pooch to use potty pads during such urgencies.
Cool down your doggo
If it’s too hot outside and your dog is showing symptoms of heatstroke, you should find ways to cool down your dog. Make sure your pooch is resting in the shade and provided enough cool water to drink. If the issue seems severe, make sure you pour cool water over your dog (avoiding the head).
While it is normal for us to gravitate towards ice-cold water, thinking it will help control the heat exhaustion soon, doing so can shock your pooch instead. Therefore, feel free to use cool water but not extremely cold water when trying to calm your dog with heatstroke. Also, it is necessary to take your dog to the nearest vet as soon as possible despite these remedies.
Visit a vet at least once or twice a year
It is recommended you take your pet for a vet visit at least once or twice a year. If your doggo is weak and prone to illnesses, the visit should be more frequent. Likewise, your doggo’s dental hygiene should also be prioritized, and a veterinary dentist checkup annually or every six months is recommended.
If the drooling is because of a hygiene problem, dental cleaning can help subside the issue. Likewise, the dentist will also be able to find out if any warning signs in your doggo’s mouth put them at a higher risk of developing tumors in the near future. Moreover, a vet consultation will be beneficial in case of chronic food or environmental allergies.
Is a Dog Drooling and Licking Its Paws an Emergency?
While excessive drooling and licking of the paws often hint toward an injury or physical or psychological issues, not every case is an emergency. That being said, such behaviors still call for attention, and you should assess the situation, determine the severity, and take action accordingly. And, if you aren’t able to pinpoint the root cause, we recommend you take your pooch to a vet to ensure that no major or even minor health issues are overlooked.
Most of the time, a simple first-aid at home should be able to heal the paw injury. If dental build-ups are the reason behind drooling, brushing your doggo’s teeth twice a day should solve the issue. Likewise, in case of psychological issues, being patient with your doggo and interacting with them with love and prudence will ease their stress a lot.
However, if the issues are more severe than what we’ve mentioned above, they can demand urgent medical attention. For instance, dental injuries, oral tumors, severe allergies, or heatstrokes can be medical emergencies, and one shouldn’t totally rely on at-home remedies in case of such conditions.
We hope to have provided all the information on why dogs excessive drool and lick paws. There are several underlying reasons why a dog does so, and we’ve also discussed a few ways to control it for your convenience. If you aren’t sure what might be causing the issue, you should definitely get in touch with an expert instead of completely ignoring the behavior. Also, noticing other recent behavioral changes in your dog will also help you or the vet make a better diagnosis.