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Licking one’s skin is normal canine behavior. When you see your adorable pooch running his tongue over any part of his body from time to time, you know he does that to groom himself.
He might have walked through mud, a patch of dirt, or simply dislikes dirty paws.
You should be worried if he doesn’t do that at all.
However, constant licking of the paws is anything but typical. It spells trouble somewhere.
Perhaps the doggie has:
- Food Allergies: Dog’s immune system overreacts to proteins in his food. Learn more here.
- Environmental Allergies: immune system reacting to things like dust mites, plant proteins, grass, mold pores etc
- Injuries: Torn nail, cuts, abnormal growth on one of the paws, or ice ball/thorn/stone stuck between the pads
- Dry Skin: causes a dog’s skin to be cracked, flaky and irritated. Learn more here.
- Skin Condition (Dermatitis): Often caused by food sensitivities, allergies or bacterial problems.
- Parasites: Mange and fleas can cause the paws to be itchy
- Behavioral Issues: Anxiety, boredom, change of environment (new people, pets, noise etc)
Watching him go through the agony is very unsettling.
If you have such a dog at home, consider using essential oil for dog licking paws.
Human beings have used essential oils for centuries to help with health issues ranging from preventing cardiovascular diseases to softening the skin.
Some essential oils can be beneficial to our canine friends too—especially relieving paw licking issues and other dog skin problems.
Some essential oils have potent antimicrobial properties, making them effective against infections that may be caused by paw licking.
Others also have amazing anti-inflammatory properties, which makes them effective for calming down irritated paws and alleviating skin conditions caused by food and environmental allergies.
Without further ado, here’s a rundown of 10 leading essential oils for a dog licking its paws.
Distilled from the famous Lavandula angustifolia plant, Lavender essential oil is a multipurpose product at home.
It is especially used in aromatherapy as it promotes relaxation and treats anxiety, depression, eczema, menstrual cramps, insomnia, nausea, and allergies among other things.
Lavender has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antispasmodic properties. For this reason, it is also a great remedy for a dog that won’t stop foot licking himself.
No matter the cause of the behavior, Lavender oil can help bring the behavior down. If your dog is stressed, the oil will help calm him down.
If he has an allergy of sorts, the oil will deliver its microbial and antiseptic properties to heal the infection.
While at it, lavender oil will soothe any redness or inflammation as a result of repeated licking of the paws.
Studies have also shown that this magic essential oil also promotes wound healing, which comes in handy if your pup already has a wound in their paws.
Second on the list, peppermint has been used for centuries to treat myriad ailments in both man and animals.
This great essential oil is a natural flea and tick repellent. Dogs with tick and flea infestations are notorious for licking their paws to get rid of the bugs.
These nasty critters don’t like the smell and taste of peppermint oil very much.
If you are looking to eliminate ticks and fleas while soothing irritation and itchiness caused by the bugs, peppermint oil fits the bill.
It also relieves allergies and acts as a powerful mental stimulant.
While using it, keep in mind that undiluted peppermint oil is harmful to pets. Be sure to dilute it before applying it to your dog’s skin.
Related Post: Is Diffusing Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs?
Lemongrass essential oil has several benefits for dogs and humans alike.
It contains plenty of minerals and electrolytes such as copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin C, zinc, iron, and antioxidants.
For the basic reason that it packs a punch with regards to nutrition, lemongrass does wonders when it comes to dog health.
It supports oral health, may treat cancer, lowers blood pressure, regulates sleep, and alleviates pain.
The oil also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, making it beneficial for a dog with infections on their paws.
Related Posts: Is Lemongrass Oil Safe For Dogs?
For a long time, the Roman Chamomile herb was used to offer strength and focus to troops on the battlefield.
Over time, oil derived from the leaves of the herb has been used in aromatherapy.
It alleviates allergy symptoms well, no wonder humans have grown fond of chamomile tea.
In dogs, the same benefits play out. The essential oil soothes skin allergies and irritations that cause your pooch to lick his paws endlessly.
The oil also has antimicrobial and inflammatory properties and treats inflammation in your pup’s paws.
Cedarwood is yet another fantastic essential oil for dogs licking their paws.
For one, it works great when it comes to repelling insects. If you are wondering why dog houses are built from cedar, the reason is that they keep bugs at bay.
From snakes to rodents to fleas and ticks, cedar is unattractive to these little creatures.
Dogs that lick their paws because they have an infestation can benefit from cedarwood greatly.
In addition to repelling bugs, cedarwood also soothes skin allergies, dryness, and irritation. Talk about a multipurpose essential oil for dog’s general dog health!
As long as you use a light carrier oil to blend the topical ointment, cedarwood will be safe around your pet.
6. Sweet Marjoram
Sweet Marjoram is a warming essential oil for pets that are sensitive and nervous.
It has calming abilities and can comfort a dog going through a tumultuous time for whatever reason.
The oil also decreases inflammation caused by excessive licking of the paws or any other cause.
It is another potent antifungal and antibacterial treatment on this list.
If your dog has an infection on his paws, the oil will reduce it to a great extent.
On the seventh spot, we have the powerful Helichrysum essential oil for dog licking paws.
It has all the amazing properties of most of the oils on this list. These include anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial.
If your dog cannot stop licking his paws because he has fungi or bacteria, the oil will eliminate them.
Also, in case he has an inflammation, the oil will take care of that as well.
Also called the Melaleuca viridiflora, the Niaouli is a large evergreen tree with roots in Australia.
The essential oil is extracted from the tree’s twigs and fresh leaves.
It is one of the most beneficial essential oils with a plethora of applications.
Health benefits for dogs and man can be attributed to the oil’s properties as an anti-rheumatic, insecticide, balsamic, antiseptic, stimulant, and febrifuge.
Its amazing antiseptic and disinfectant properties make it a great addition to creams, lotions, toothpaste, and soaps.
When applied to a dog’s paws, it will heal infections and soothe irritations and allergies.
A dog that licks their paws constantly inevitably ends up with dry, irritated skin. Myrrh is a strong antiseptic and astringent.
When applied to a dog’s irritated skin, it can clear up areas of irritations.
Some studies have shown that the oil can heal wounds as well.
If your doggie has wounds in his paws, feel free to apply the oil regularly.
It may just accelerate the healing process.
10. Carrot Seed
Carrot seed bears a sweet root-like, woody, and earthy fragrance that is unmistakable.
Derived from the Wild Carrot or commonly Bishop’s Lace, the essential oil blends well with other woody oils including Frankincense and cedarwood.
Carrot seed is a great antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
It has a chemical compound referred to as alpha-pinene that gives it antibacterial properties.
Additionally, the oil also has carotol, another chemical that reduces fungal activity.
All these properties make it a great essential oil for dogs licking their paws.
You know your canine friend better than anyone else.
If you suspect that he licks his paws a little more than usual, you are probably right.
In such a case, one or a combination of any of these essential oils can help alleviate the problem.
Just ensure that the oils are safe and blended right for your pup.
Sable McNeil is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.