Is your dog keeping you up throughout the night with the sounds of constant itching and licking of their paws? While Spring is the time pets’ allergies can act up, there are also a number of other reasons your dog may be itching. Before busting out the socks or the cone of shame for your pooch, our team at Erlanger Veterinary Hospital wants to help you discover the underlying cause, so you can treat and completely cure the problem.

#1: Allergies

Pets with allergies can be itchy and pink all over, but seasonal allergies typically cause reddened, inflamed skin that is easily noticeable through the thinner fur on your pet’s abdomen, armpits, and groin, as well as between the toes and in the ears. When your pet is outdoors lying on or walking through the grass, they’ll pick up pollen and other plant-based seasonal allergens on their paws and belly.

#2: Parasites

Spring is prime time for many parasites as they emerge from their winter hibernation, and they’ll be in hot pursuit of their first warm meal. Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and intestinal parasites are all lying in wait to infect your pet with a multitude of preventable illnesses. Before heading to the woods or hiking trails, ensure your pet is protected with full-spectrum parasite prevention.

#3: Your dog has a behavior disorder

Boredom, anxiety, and stress can cause your pup to lick their paws obsessively. They may have a favorite paw but will often lick at both front paws, and sometimes their back feet, for entertainment or to help them relax. Paw licking associated with anxiety is typically seen at night when the family is unwinding for the day. You’ll notice your nervous pooch licking their paws while you watch TV or read in bed.

#4: Ear infections

The moist, dark environment provides the perfect breeding ground for yeast and bacteria, and the irritated skin is not strong enough to fight off infections. Without treating the underlying allergy cause, pets will continue to have chronic ear infections.

#5: Anal gland issues

Anal gland inflammation is another common issue that can lead to them scooting and licking at their hind. Ideally, your pet should never have a problem expressing their anal glands naturally when they defecate, but many pets develop issues. Diet seems to be the most common cause of anal gland impactions—when pets become too heavy, their natural anatomy is impeded—or allergies, which can create inflammation and swelling.

If you have recently noticed your pet has turned into an itchy mess, make an appointment with our team, so we can help them get them the relief they need.