Why is my German Shepherd Licking His Feet and Paws?

Why is my German Shepherd Licking His Feet and Paws?

If your German Shepherd is licking his paws, you might be wondering the causes and what to do about it.

German shepherds can lick their paws due to boredom, injury, stress, allergies, hormonal imbalance, or separation. If your GSD is licking his paws and feet too frequently, you should attempt to find the cause immediately.

This article will help you understand some of the reasons why your dog is licking his paws and how to stop the habit before it gets out of hand.


9 Reasons Why Your German Shepherd is Licking His Feet and Paws (& Possible Solutions)


German shepherds are known to be active dogs; they should exercise at least an hour per day. If they don’t get enough exercise, they will get bored hence lick their paws or feet to be busy.

2. Allergy

Allergies can make your dog lick his paws; it can be as a result of household chemicals, a new bathing shampoo, or a new diet. You should also check for other allergy signs like rashes or irritation.

3. Fleas

Your dog can be invaded by fleas; this can make him lick his paws. Visit a vet for advice on the best fleas’ eradication methods.

4. Injury

Your dog’s paws can be injured while playing or exercising, this can make him lick his paws. You might note some changes from his normal walking style in style.

5. Separation

Some dogs get anxious when they are about to be left alone; they can show anxiety by licking their paws. This can be either when you are going to bed or leaving for work.

6. Compulsive behavior

Your dog might be licking his paws as a compulsive behavior. This might be as a result of mistreatment or separation where he developed the habit but it didn’t end.

7. An object is stuck in the paws

Your dog may also lick his paws because he has a foreign object in his paws that is causing him discomfort. Licking his paws could be a way of trying to get rid of the object. You should check his paws especially when he is only licking one paw

8. Dry Skin

Your dog’s skin can be dry on the paws which will cause irritation and itchiness. He might lick to reduce the itchiness. Licking will only make the skin drier causing more pain.

9. Grooming Himself

Your dog can lick his paws and feet when grooming himself. If he does it in rare cases, this shouldn’t trouble you, but if he makes a habit out of it, take him for a checkup.

How to Stop Your German Shepherd from Stop Licking His Feet and Paws


If your dog is licking his paws out of boredom, you should engage him in routine exercises. German shepherd dogs require exercise at least one hour per day. He also needs your presence most of the time. Do not live your dog alone for more than six hours. Buy him a lot of toys to keep him entertained.

Alleviate Dry Skin

You can alleviate dry skin by washing your GSD frequently. German shepherds should be washed twice a year to avoid removing oils from their skin making it dry. You should give your dog a balanced diet to avoid dry skin or other diseases.

Pest Control

Regularly check your dog for fleas and other pests. You can eradicate fleas and pests by washing your dog’s beddings regularly with soapy water, spraying your compound with non-toxic pesticides, or vacuuming carpets.

Address any separation anxiety problem

If your dog gets anxious from separation, you should find the best way to handle the problem. Separation anxiety can make your dog aggressive, growl, or bark. Take him to a dog behaviorist for assistance.

Put Bitter Spray-On Their Paws

If your dog is licking his feet and paws due to behavioral issues, you can apply bitter spray on their paws. The spray should be bitter and smelly to prevent him from licking them. You should also check your dogs’ paws to ensure that there is nothing stuck in them like a piece of wood or stones.

Change Their Diet

Change your dog’s diet if you notice any allergy reactions. This can make him relieve the itching sensation and improve his health.

Give Him Treats

Encourage your dog not to lick his paws by keeping an eye on him for some time. If he doesn’t lick his paws, give him a treat.

Take Him to a Vet

If you have tried out all the above solutions and nothing is working, take him to a vet for a checkup. The vet might diagnose an illness that your dog is suffering from at an early stage before it blows up into a bigger problem. He can also recommend better methods for breaking the habit.


Now that you are aware of some causes and remedies to your German Shepherd licking his paws and feet, you should out the cause of this behavior and find a remedy. If the issue persists, you should talk to a vet.


Carol is a paw parent, and her love for dogs started when she was just 5. She adores her two German Shepherds and a Bengal cat, who she says, "life would be incomplete without"

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