Goldendoodles spend a lot of time on their paws. Requiring roughly two hours of exercise per day, Goldendoodles like to run, swim, climb, and play as much as their daily energy allowance will permit. They would play all day if they could, but there’s a point when their paws start to ache and they need to relax.
During this chill-out time, you may notice your dog paying extra attention to their paws. Many Goldendoodles even take to licking their paws at the end of a particularly busy day. For the most part, a dog with a penchant for licking their paws is not a cause for concern. Most dog breeds succumb to the desire to lick their paws from time to time.
However, what if you notice your Goldendoodle licking its paws excessively? Don’t sweat – there’s probably a reasonable explanation as to why!
This handy guide will tell you everything you need to know about why your Goldendoodle is licking its paws.
Table of Contents
- 1 Common Reasons Why Goldendoodles Lick Their Paws
- 2 Goldendoodle Paw Licking: When Should You Be Concerned?
- 3 How to Get Your Goldendoodle to Stop Licking its Paws
- 4 FAQs
Common Reasons Why Goldendoodles Lick Their Paws
If you catch your Goldendoodle licking paws, it may be cleaning itself. This is a normal grooming technique in nearly all breeds. Cleaning is just one of many common reasons why your Goldendoodle is licking his paws.
Let’s look at some more common reasons for this action in more depth:
If your dog has dirt stuck in its paws, its tongue is the only tool it can use to clean its feet. You can’t expect your Goldendoodle to use one of its other paws! If your dog is licking its paws right after playing in the dirt, you can almost guarantee that dirt is the reason why it’s licking its paws.
Dogs also lick their paws after playing in the snow. While it’s fine for your dog to lick their paws occasionally, you should help them clean their paws if you catch them doing it. Licking dirt or even snow could be harmful to your pup. It could lead to them ingesting dirt or, in a worst-case scenario, it could cause them to ingest de-icing chemicals.
So, keep an eye on your Goldendoodle after they’ve been playing in the dirt or snow. Even before they start licking themselves, it would be a good idea to give their paws a quick clean.
Something stuck to their paw
Dogs lick their paws when something irritable is stuck to them. This could be chewing gum or bits of food they’ve picked up while walking around. Whenever you see your dog licking around its nails, you should inspect its paws for stuck debris.
Long nails may be affecting your dog’s paw pads. If you’ve forgotten to cut your dog’s nails, they can grow and cause your dog discomfort on its paws. To alleviate the pain, your dog may take to licking its feet. Sometimes, this can appear as though they are biting their nails. More often, they’re licking their paws.
If you notice your dog’s nails are too long, you need to give them a trim! Given how active Goldendoodles are, it’s unlikely that their nails will grow to a painful length. Walking around for two hours a day on hard surfaces will file your pup’s nails down. However, if your Goldendoodle mostly plays on grass, its nails can overgrow.
As a responsible pet owner, you should be checking on your Goldendoodle’s nails periodically. Ideally, check your dog’s nails weekly for length. If you notice their nails touching the ground, then you’ll have to cut them. The perfect length for a dog’s nails is around 1mm off the surface of the ground. Anything longer than this could cause them discomfort.
Excess fur between toes
When grooming your dog, it’s easy to overlook the areas between the pup’s toes. If left alone for a few months, this fur can grow, become irritable, and lead to excessive licking.
This area of your dog’s paws is particularly susceptible to debris build-up. It doesn’t help when there’s a lot of excess hair wedged in between each toe. Plus, a Goldendoodle’s fur is particularly thick, making it perfect for picking up dirt.
If you catch your dog licking its paws, check in between its toes. You may need to wash them and trim their fur.
As weird as it sounds, Goldendendoodles can lick their paw pads for no reason at all. Normally, this is a sign of boredom. If you’ve not taken your Goldendoodle out for its exercise yet, you could try that. Hopefully, exercise will cause them to stop licking their paws.
If your dog is feeling frustrated at the lack of exercise it’s getting, it may take to biting paws to vent. On the other hand, it may just be part of their normal grooming process.
Goldendoodle Paw Licking: When Should You Be Concerned?
The common reasons behind paw licking behavior listed above are all totally normal – there’s no reason to take your Goldendoodle to the vet over them. However, there are some instances where paw licking could be a cause for concern. In this case, your Goldendoodle may require a trip to the vet.
Unlike the common reasons, some of the serious reasons are difficult to diagnose. So, if you identify a common reason, book a vet appointment as soon as possible.
An allergic reaction could cause your dog to react unusually, which could involve paw licking. If you’ve recently switched your dog to a new dog food, it may be reacting negatively to the ingredients. Double-check that this new dog food doesn’t include any ingredient that your Goldendoodle is allergic to.
Alternatively, your Goldendoodle may have eaten something they shouldn’t have. Make sure you’ve not left a cupboard open anywhere and check the garden for any food waste.
Despite all the walking your pup does on dry surfaces, their paws should be moist – just like their nose. If your dog’s paws feel dry and cracked, you need to hydrate your pup. You could do this by giving them extra water to drink, or by rubbing coconut oil onto their skin. You may also be able to find cream for irritable skin at a pet store.
However, before applying any form of moisturizer, make sure that the product is free from harsh chemicals. It may also be worth checking with your vet to see if it’s safe for your pup.
With all that walking and playing they do, your Goldendoodle is likely to injure its paw from time to time. Many things from the outside world could damage your dog’s paws.
If you live in a particularly hot part of the country, your dog’s paws may have gotten burned on the sidewalk while walking. In this instance, they’ll be licking their paws to cool them down. Conversely, if you live in a cold part of the county, your dog may be feeling pain from a cold sore after walking in the snow.
Alternatively, your pup may have scratched, cut, or grazed its paw on the ground. They may have also accidentally stood on a sharp object like glass or stone. Your dog may even have a splinter in its paw that it’s trying to get out. Whichever it is, paw-licking is an understandable reaction from your Goldendoodle.
If you notice a cut on your dog’s paw, clean the injury and bandage the wound. If there’s an excessive amount of bleeding or if you notice your dog’s paw starting to swell, contact your vet immediately.
When a dog licks its paw excessively, it can be a sign of fleas or ticks. Your Goldendoodle may be licking his paws to control the irritation of parasites. Fleas and ticks don’t only irritate, but they can also cause your dog serious pain and discomfort.
If you notice frantic licking/biting paws behavior, then they may have fleas or ticks. If you notice any on closer inspection, you should contact your vet immediately. They’ll be able to recommend the correct solution to the problem. Under no circumstances should you attempt to pull the parasites out from your dog’s skin yourself. This can lead to tick fever.
Some parasites are too small to be seen. However, if you notice swelling and smell an unusual odor, your dog may have a parasite problem.
This is highly unlikely, but it’s still worth mentioning. Benign cysts can develop in dogs’ paws as a result of abnormal growth. These cysts will likely cause discomfort, which can lead your dog to lick its paws for pain relief. It’s difficult to diagnose this problem yourself, so it’s best to consult with your vet.
How to Get Your Goldendoodle to Stop Licking its Paws
Should you let your Goldendoodle lick its paws? If you can’t identify a serious reason behind it and if your dog doesn’t appear to be in pain, there’s no harm in the occasional licking. However, if you’d rather your pup didn’t lick its paws, use the following tips:
- Clean your Goldendoodle’s paws after every walk – Or, after they’ve been in the garden. Although this will take a lot of effort, most dogs will avoid licking their paws if their feet are clean.
- Invest in a paw washer – You’ll be able to find a paw washer at your local pet store. It’s a small cup that your dog puts its paw in. Inside, there are several bristles that help to deep clean your dog’s feet. They’re really handy if your dog’s got some tough mud stuck to its paws.
- Cover their paws – You can buy shoes made for dog paws to stop your dog from licking its paws. If your dog doesn’t enjoy wearing dog booties, you could slip small socks onto their paws.
- Get an e-collar – If your dog’s paws are infected, then you should get your pup an Elizabethan collar (e-collar) from your vet. These cones will prevent dog licks from happening completely.
- Change their diet/exercise plan – As aforementioned, dogs licking their paws could be a sign of boredom or food allergies. Consider changing your dog’s food and exercise plan and see if that cuts down their paw licking somewhat.
Check BarksInThePark‘s other guides for more tips for dog owners!
Why do Goldendoodles chew their legs?
If you catch your Goldendoodle chewing its legs, they’re most likely have allergies. This could be caused by anything from dog food to pollen. Consult your vet to find out why your Goldendoodle is chewing its legs.
Do anxious Goldendoodles lick a lot?
Separation anxiety, stress, and boredom could cause your Goldendoodle to excessively lick. This licking could be targeted at you, or on their bodies – particularly their legs and paws.