Dog Licking Its Paws After Grooming? [5 SOLUTIONS]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Have you ever noticed your dog licking its paws after grooming?

It’s not uncommon, and it’s usually not a cause for concern—but if you notice that your pup is licking his paws more than usual, or if he keeps them in his mouth for a long time, it could be an indication of something more serious.

In this article, we’ll take a look at why your dog might be licking their paws after grooming, what to do about it, and how to prevent the problem from happening again.

Quick one: You might be interested to read about the most common dog grooming injuries too.

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Reasons Why Do Dogs Lick or Chew Their Paws After Grooming?

Why Do Dogs Lick or Chew Their Paws After Grooming? 

Your dog’s skin is thinner and more irritable than your own, and its natural response to skin irritations is to soothe the area by licking it.

This may cause redness, and swelling in regions that seem to have no visible wounds.

1. Reaction to mechanical devices 

The mechanical devices used by dog groomers may irritate your dog’s skin. If heating devices are used, there is a danger of burns.

These skin irritations can be avoided by using machinery that is best suited to your dog. 

2. Allergic reactions 

Some shampoos cause dogs to have allergic reactions.

Allergic reactions include itchiness, rashes, irritation, bald patches, face rubbing as well as obsessive licking, and paw biting.

There are hypoallergenic shampoos that can be used as an alternative.

3. Dry skin

Excessive grooming can result in dry skin.

Dry skin becomes irritable and itchy which results in dogs licking the affected area which is most often their paws.

4. Too much hair is being cut 

Too much hair being cut can cause discomfort, especially in areas in contact with the ground; such as your dog’s paws.

These areas require protection, which the long fur provides.

Cutting your dog’s hair too much can also cause ingrown hair and other painful skin irritations.

5. Sensitive skin 

Some dogs have more sensitive skin than others.

My girl Bella has particularly sensitive skin and often gets hot spots because of this.

In this case, there are many shampoos available for dogs with sensitive skin.

6. Aches and pain

If your dog already has aches and pain in his paws grooming may make it worse.

Aches and pains in the paws can be caused by wounds as a result of thorns and other objects they may walk over as well as various arthritic conditions.

Your groomer should be made aware if your dog has any injuries or adverse conditions.

7. Yeast infection

Another underlying cause of your dog obsessively licking his paws may be a yeast infection.

Your dog’s yeast infection can be treated with various shampoos and medications.

If this happens you should seek the advice of a professional.

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Doggy says, you might wanna read this too: Best Poodle Detangling Sprays

How Can I Soothe My Dog’s Irritated Skin After Grooming? 

How Can I Soothe My Dog’s Irritated Skin After Grooming? 

Keep the area clean and dry

By keeping the area clean and dry you reduce the risk of infection and further irritation.

This also prevents any potential bacteria from festering and turning into something nastier.

Apply an antibiotic cream or ointment

Anti-itch medications can be given to your dog in order to soothe his/her irritated skin this can be done via a bath, cream, or spray.

Use a warm compress or towel 

A warm compress or towel can be used to soothe irritated skin and reduce irritation.

Give your dog an anti-itch bath 

You can easily soothe your dog’s irritated skin at home can be by bathing him with oatmeal shampoo.

The bath shouldn’t be too hot. Aim for around room temperature to avoid discomfort. 

Use an Elizabethan Collar 

The Elizabethan collar is the name for dog cones and can be used to prevent your dog from licking or chewing his paws.

I recommend using this with other irritation relief remedies so that your dog isn’t left uncomfortable with an itch that he/ she is unable to scratch.

Check in with your vet

If you are unsure or the licking becomes excessive contact your vet.

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Tips to Get a Dog to Stop Licking/Chewing Its Paws After Grooming

Use medicated shampoos

You can buy medicated shampoos that will treat the irritated skin and therefore prevent your dog from obsessively licking and chewing his paws.

Thorough checks on its paws

Your dog may be licking his paws due to an aggravated skin injury.

Check your dog’s paws for cuts, white bumps, scratches, or any other injury that may have been aggravated during grooming. 

Apply paw balm

Paw balm can be applied to treat skin irritations, and reduce itchiness, therefore stopping your dog from chewing and licking his/ her paws.

A DIY remedy for itchy paws is baking soda.

Make a paste of baking soda and water, apply the paste to the affected area, and wash it off after 20 minutes.

Keep an eye on your dog once the paste is applied, to make sure he/she doesn’t lick the area.

Speak with your groomer about future visits

If you notice your dog chewing and licking his/ her paws after grooming, make sure to bring this up with your groomer in order to get to the root of the problem.

By establishing the cause of your dog’s discomfort you will be able to avoid it in future grooming sessions.

Check with a vet if all else fails 

If you are not successful with any of the above-mentioned remedies it is in your best interest to seek the advice of a trained professional. 

When Does Licking Paws Get Excessive? When to See a Vet?

After grooming, your dog may lick his paws for completely normal reasons.

When this behavior becomes excessive, it should be taken seriously.

You can tell that the paw licking has become excessive when your dog develops hotspots, hair loss, redness, swelling, and other skin irritations or infections on his/ her paws. 

When symptoms start to arise it is necessary to take your dog to the vet.

The vet will treat the current problem and advise you on how to avoid this problem in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do dogs act weird after grooming? 

Dogs may become fearful after a grooming session, especially if it’s their first time. Grooming can make some dogs feel submissive and powerless. Dogs don’t understand that it is for their own benefit and it may be a strange experience for them, which makes them act weird.

Does apple cider vinegar help with dogs’ itchy paws? 

Apple cider vinegar does help reduce skin irritations and itchiness in dogs. It can be administered by adding it to your dog’s food or water. You can also soak your dog’s paws in apple cider vinegar to help with his/ her itchy paws. 

Can I give my dog Benadryl for itchy paws?

Benadryl can be used to help with your dog’s itchy paws. It is mainly used to treat itchiness caused by allergic reactions among allergy symptoms. Contact your vet for further advice and a prescription before administering your dog Benadryl. 

In Conclusion: Why is My Dog Licking Its Paws After Grooming?

I hope this blog post has helped you understand why your dog might be licking his paws after grooming. It’s important to know these things so you can help your dog stay healthy and happy!

If you want to learn more about dog care tips, check out our other posts on the topic.

We’ve got plenty of them on our blog!

For now, consider checking these out too:

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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