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4 Reasons a German Shepherd is Licking or Biting Their Paws

Written by: Justin Palmer
Justin Palmer is a Certified Pet Food Nutrition Specialist and co-founder of Inspired by his rescued husky, Splash, he dedicated himself to learning about extending both the length and quality of her life. Splash lived and thrived until 18 years old, and now Justin is on a mission to share what he learned with other dog owners.Read more
| Published on December 30, 2022

German Shepherds are famously loyal and friendly, and are often seen as strong, intelligent and protective family pets. But have you ever seen your German Shepherd licking their paws? While it may seem strange, it’s actually a relatively common behavior in dogs. While it can be a sign of anxiety or boredom, there are some other reasons why a German Shepherd might be licking their paws. In this article, we’ll explore the four most common reasons why a German Shepherd might be licking their paws.

german shepherd bored licking biting paws

1. Allergies

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from allergies. If a German Shepherd is licking their paws, it could be because of an allergic reaction to something in the environment. This can include pollen, dust, or even certain food items. If your German Shepherd is licking their paws more than normal, it could be a sign that they’re dealing with some sort of allergy. Have them checked out by a vet so that you can get to the bottom of the problem.

Many German Shepherd owners see success after giving their dog a natural allergy supplement, such fish oil or quercetin, also known as “Nature’s Benadryl. One popular supplement is the iHeartDogs Allergy & Itch chews, available here or on Amazon Prime.

2. Skin Infections

It’s not unusual for a German Shepherd to develop a skin infection, especially if they’re outdoors a lot and exposed to a variety of different elements. Skin infections can be caused by a variety of different things, including bacteria, fungus, and parasites. If your German Shepherd is licking their paws, it could be because they’re trying to soothe an itchy or irritated area of skin. If this is the case, then it’s important to take them to the vet so that they can receive the appropriate treatment.


For minor paw irritations, a chlorhexidine wipe may offer relief. Always be sure to consult your veterinarian.


3. Anxiety or Stress

German Shepherds are highly sensitive to their environment, so it’s not unusual for them to develop anxiety or stress if something changes. If your German Shepherd is licking their paws, it could be a sign that they’re feeling anxious or stressed. This could be caused by a move to a new home, the introduction of a new pet, or even changes in the weather. In any case, it’s important to pay attention to your German Shepherd’s behavior and to try to alleviate any stress they may be feeling.

If you believe your German Shepherd is suffering from anxiety, its important to address the root cause of the stressor. However, tools such as broad spectrum Hemp oil or chews may be very helpful. There are also natural calming chews available as well.

4. Boredom

German Shepherds are highly active and need plenty of exercise in order to stay healthy and happy. If they’re not getting enough exercise, they can become bored and start to display behaviors such as licking their paws. This is why it’s important to make sure your German Shepherd is getting enough physical activity. Make sure to take them for plenty of walks, play with them, and give them some interactive toys such as a nose work mat (many available on Amazon as well)

german shepherd itchy skin allergy

Licking their paws is a common behavior in German Shepherds, and there can be a few different reasons for it. The most common are allergies, skin infections, anxiety or stress, and boredom. If you notice your German Shepherd licking their paws more than normal, it’s important to pay attention to their behavior and take them to the vet if necessary.

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