Dog keeps licking his paws and everything else!

I have a 5yr old shih tzu that will not stop licking his paws. He does it all day and night. I have lost sleep over his licking habits. If he's not licking his paws, it's a pillow, blanket, coffee table, or anything he can lick. I have taken him to the vet and they put him on some steroids which did nothing. They also suggested getting his hair cut, which also did nothing. He eats Halo food which is all natural.
I will also mention that he is scratching a lot more than normal. He doesn't have any fleas, so I don't know what else it could be. I bathe him often mainly because of his licking. His face and paws get stinky quickly from the constant flow of saliva.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Asked by Dominic on Dec 3rd 2008 Tagged pawlicking, scratching in Allergies
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Have you considered allergy testing? Steroids only mask an allergy (at best, if at all), but they do nothing to cure it. Since your dog is having skin and "butt" problems (from your previous question posted), this would be my first suggestion.

Allergy testing will cost you on the order of $150-350 +/-, but it will give you an idea as to what exactly is causing such reactions; diet, environment, etc. From there, you can either make a diet change (if the allergy is limited to dietary allergens), and/or start your dog on a desensitization treatment ("allergy shots" to boost the body's natural response to deter allergens - allergen immunity, per se).

If this isn't something you'd be interested in doing, then at least seek advice from a veterinary dermatologist.

Best of luck,

Member 300693 answered on 12/3/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


daisy did this too for awhile. i looked at her skin and it had lots of dandruff on it. so i started giving her omega 3 fish oil in her food and stopped bathing her asmuch (it only makes dry skin worse) and she's stopped licking. but you'll want to check on allergies also. good luck!

Daisy answered on 12/4/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Licking the paws is is a sign of a food allergy. Even if you are feeding a high quality food, they can still be allergic to the ingredients. I have read that the most frequent food allergens for dogs are wheat, corn, soy, beef and chicken. But it could be anything. My mom just found out that her shih tzu is highly allergic to beef, chicken, liver, buffalo and milk (through an allergy test).

~Sophie~ answered on 12/4/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer