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Why do dogs lick their paws (and balls)?

There are a few reasons why dogs lick their paws. One reason is that they are trying to clean them. Dogs have sweat glands in their paws, and when they sweat, the salt from the sweat can make their paws itch. Licking their paws helps to remove the salt and relieve the itch.

Another reason why dogs lick their paws is that they are anxious or stressed. Licking is a self-soothing behavior that can help dogs to calm down. If a dog is feeling anxious, he may lick his paws more frequently.

Dogs over-licking their paws can alert us that something is wrong.

Finally, and the most concerning reason for the behavior may be a result of their dog food. Dogs eat meat, they are carnivores. Most dog food (especially cheap food) has grains, fillers, artificial preservatives, flavoring and dyes that are unnatural to a wolf (your dog's) diet.  Inflammation caused from these fillers can impact the immune system. This imbalance affects the yeast in your dog's gut, licking her paws can provide some relief.

When your dog licks her paws (or his balls) more than usual, you need to examine your dog's diet and ask your veterinarian. Cut out those fillers, grains and dyes and get back to nature.

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