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Our dog (Pekingese/Poodle) has really turned the heat up on paw licking. When we rescued her a year ago she was licking her back paws a little bit. Not much of a concern. We thought it was anxiety or diet. We've done elimination diets already and have settled on grain free turkey for right now...

What I have noticed though is that she has been licking a lot more.....when it rains. Here in Portland it has been raining like crazy. More rain, more paw licking. Every time I catch her I tell her to stop or give her a chew toy. Luckily, she stops when I tell her to....but I don't know what she does when I am not around. Sometimes I wake up at night and hear her licking a paw and I tell her to stop.

We have already tried Zyrtec and Claritin. No dice. Currently I am giving her salmon oil and Benadryl. Today is only the second day of Benadryl. I still see paw licking.

We keep a clean house. I have a nifty Miele with a HEPA filter. Dog hates it that I vacuum so much. Detergent is also scent free and I use natural dryer sheets from Method.....white vinegar is our fabric softener.

Dunno. Dog gets a bath with special shampoo at least once a month with her grooming that we do and we do take care to trim the fur between her pads and keep her nails short. She doesn't itch anywhere else. Just the usual chin scratching and occasional ear scratching that most dogs seem to do. Her ears are fine since being on the turkey (yay!!) and her eye discharge isn't bad for a white dog. We keep her eyes clean. Teeth are good and we brush every day.

Should I use antibacterial wipes after our walks or when she comes back in from being outside? Do bitter apple sprays help or cortisone spray for dogs?

An allergy test will cost us $330 if we decide to go that route. Ouch. But, I don't want the dog to lick her paws into an infection. The vet checked her paws and they are ok for now...just discolored fur.

If the dog is bored then I am nuts. Dog gets lots of attention, playtime, loooong walks and backyard time when I'm home.

Any advice? Did I miss anything else I should check for?
 

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Have you tried boots for her? Maybe its environmental, and if you had boots on her paws while outside it may help? Seeing as you've tried to change her diet..
 

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Wow, you sure are taking good care of her. I like the boots idea for outside and even inside until she stops licking. Is it all of her paws? With all that you've done, I'd be inclined to make paws inaccesible for licking with boots until she gets out of the habit.
 

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My two Schnauzer/Poodles did this for quite some time. In fact they had to have some antibiotics from getting their skin infected from all the licking. I took chicken, wheat, corn, and soy out of their diets first. Still only a mild difference. I then put them on Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream dog food which is grain free. They stopped.

Just a thought. :)

I also used to wash their feet after being outside in the bathtub with just a tad of shampoo as to not irritate the skin more ... and rinsed very very well ... and blow dried their feet on the cool setting.
 

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Thanks guys! I will be looking into the boots. Not sure if she'll appreciate that...esp. since I know she doesn't like her raincoat! heh-heh....her tail always droops down after I put it on.

We're on Nature's Variety Instinct Grain-free Turkey. We needed to avoid potatoes.....which seems to be in everything...as well as chicken. Not a lot to choose from. I think the elimination of potatoes has done wonders for her ears. Too much yeast. Even her eyes are better.

Mostly it is her two back paws that she works on. The front two get a little bit of action...one more than the other. Could I make something up to apply between her back paws? I'm thinking tea-tree oil, jojoba oil and aloe mixed together. Is that safe? I've used tea-tree oil on scarves I make her wear during flea season and that seems ok....but it isn't like she licks the fabric.

I never realized owning a dog today was so much work. It wasn't like this back in the 70s and 80s when I had a dog. Wasn't it just Alpo and Kal-Kan and dogs never had allergies or other ailments? :doh:
 

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Do you dry her feet well when you come in? Like really dry in between the pads? The excess moisture between the pads can cause irritation.

Our pup had the same issue. It started this winter when they were putting salt on the sidewalk. It got a little irritated from stepping on the salt so he started licking it. Then it became a habit and the area between the paw pads became raw and infected. With a bit of anti-inflammatory/anti-fungal/anti-bacterial wash we got from the vets it cleared up in about 2 weeks. He still tries to lick at his paw once in a while because I think it has become a habit now but he stops right away if we tell him to leave it alone. We just wash it out if he gets too intense with licking and dry it well when we come in from the rain to prevent any new irritation.
 

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Thanks guys! I will be looking into the boots. Not sure if she'll appreciate that...esp. since I know she doesn't like her raincoat! heh-heh....her tail always droops down after I put it on.

We're on Nature's Variety Instinct Grain-free Turkey. We needed to avoid potatoes.....which seems to be in everything...as well as chicken. Not a lot to choose from. I think the elimination of potatoes has done wonders for her ears. Too much yeast. Even her eyes are better.

Mostly it is her two back paws that she works on. The front two get a little bit of action...one more than the other. Could I make something up to apply between her back paws? I'm thinking tea-tree oil, jojoba oil and aloe mixed together. Is that safe? I've used tea-tree oil on scarves I make her wear during flea season and that seems ok....but it isn't like she licks the fabric.

I never realized owning a dog today was so much work. It wasn't like this back in the 70s and 80s when I had a dog. Wasn't it just Alpo and Kal-Kan and dogs never had allergies or other ailments? :doh:
Boy oh boy did you ever read my mind with this post!!!! ^ ... ^ ... ^ I can not for the life of me remember this much disease and dispair with owning a dog(s) back then.I remember gravy train, purina, alpo, and milk bones. :) My dog ... and many more of them rescues that I took and fixed up and re-homed "thrived" on purina products. Never got ill. Makes you wonder doesn't it?
 

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Dogs will often lick if their toenails are long..or the hair between their pads is matted.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The rain aspect makes me think of arthritis or mold spore allergy. Have you ruled out arthritis?
Hmm...I've never heard of that. How would I figure that out? I hope I don't walk my dog to much. The other day I walked her for an hour and a half because a friend wanted to walk with me. But, it has been dry lately so there hasn't been as much paw licking-- actually, hardly any. Or, the Benadryl has finally kicked in. Of course, now my husband is sneezing. Always something.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Your dog should be a Meteorologist ...

HA-ha! Seriously, I feel bad for our dog. I really think she would enjoy living somewhere drier. She has white fur and short legs and just gets so wet and messy when we walk in the rain. She is so happy when it is sunny, like today. I sometimes feel blue like her when it rains so much and the gray clouds just won't go away. I didn't see her lick her paws once today.
 
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