Why Do Staffies Lick Their Paws (+ How to Stop It)?

It’s typical behavior for Staffies to lick their paws,  and if you’re anything like me, you must have asked yourself why do Staffies lick their paws so often?

The thing is, it’s pretty standard for most dog owners to comment about dogs constantly licking their paws; it doesn’t matter what the dog breed.

Are Staffies grooming themselves? Maybe it was raining outside, and they’re licking their paws because their paws are wet. But could there be something a bit more serious than casual grooming going on here? This behavior is especially worrying if your Staffy is gnawing and licking at only one paw.

There could be some underlying reasons for them licking their paws, and I think we should investigate. Even if you don’t find anything wrong, excessive paw licking isn’t a behavior you should condone becoming a habit because eventually, it will cause a problem. For example, constant paw licking will irritate the paw skin, and if there weren’t a skin infection before, there soon would be.

Why Does My Staffy Keep Licking His Paws?

There are several reasons why Staffies lick their paws. But we can narrow down the eight most common reasons:

  • An allergy 
  • They’re in pain
  • There’s anxiety
  • Dry skin (Dermatitis)
  • Hormone Imbalance
  • They’re bored 
  • Fleas & Ticks
  • Grooming

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Paw Problems

Allergy problem

Staffies can pick up an allergy from the environment, for example, grass, or pesticides and certain plants can cause allergies. However, if your Staffy is paw licking and there’s no other behavior to suggest the environment, then it’s highly probable it’s food allergies.

Some Staffies can be allergic to grains, beef, chicken, and some dairy products like cheese. Your Staffy might have eaten these products with no issues for years, which makes it more challenging to figure out what’s going on with the dog.

Staffy In Pain

It’s so easy for your staffy to walk on something sharp while out without you noticing anything. It happens to the best of us, and when we find the source of pain is a thorn or a tiny sharp thorn or whatever, we feel tremendous guilt. But it’s surprising how often this happens.

It’s a good idea to check your Staffy’s paws after each walk, especially if the dog ventured into some rough grassy area.

Anxious Staffy

A Staffy feeling anxious could cause them to lick their paws as a way of releasing their stress. Of course, it won’t solve whatever is on their mind, so as the owner, you need to get to the bottom of where the anxiety is originating.

Dry Skin (Dermatitis)

Staffies do suffer from itchy and flaky skin; vets call it “atopy.” It can affect the feet, belly, ears, and any skin folds. You might start seeing this once the Staffy reaches 12 months to three years old; the condition can worsen as the dog gets older.

Staffy Hormone Imbalance

If a Staffy has hypothyroidism, you can see the Staffy’s hair begin to thin in patches, with additional shedding. A Staffy is highly likely to lick these areas of exposed skin. Continuous licking can cause lick granulomas, eventually turning into open wounds.

A Bored Staffy

A bored Staffy is a stressed and anxious Staffy. Ensure your Staffy is getting the amount of outdoor exercise and mental stimulation they need. Staffies require more exercise than you might think.

Fleas And Ticks

Any dog can pick up fleas and ticks, including your Staffy, especially if you both enjoy walking through woodland areas. If your Staffy gets bitten by a tick or fleas, there will be localised itching around the bite area. It’s always a good idea to check your Staffy’s paws for anything untoward. Ticks like warm, dark, and moist body areas, but they’re difficult to find, and they will latch on in between the Staffy’s toes.

Your Staffy Is Grooming

Often you’ll see your Staffy licking and nibbling at their paws. It’s not only one paw; when they do this, they get around to all four. There might be something on their paw after a walk or something such as a tiny stone they want to remove. This is pretty typical behavior for a Staffy.

Should I stop My Staffy From Licking Their Paws?

As I have mentioned, there are several reasons why your Staffy might be licking his paws. It would be best if you established any underlying cause for your Staffy to lick their paws obsessively.

How Do I Get My Staffy Dog To Stop Licking His Paws?

The essential thing to do first of all is to ensure there are no underlying causes, such as the above common reasons why Staffies lick their paws.

If you’ve established, there’s no particular reason for your Staffy to be paw licking, then you can try to distract them when it’s happening.

Take them for longer, more frequent walks, play with them more often, and buy them some new toys. There’s no point in getting angry; they haven’t a clue what they’re doing wrong.

If you try all these solutions and get nowhere, you might need to make an appointment with a dog behaviorist for professional help.

Brad Davenport

Brad has spent his entire life surrounded by dogs and has owned all sorts of breeds, including Dachshunds, Great Danes, French Bulldogs and he currently has a little Hasanese called Biscuit. Brad is an experienced dog writer who is obsessed by canine health, care and psychology and has completed several courses on dog care and training.

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