Goldendoodles are an amazing Poodle cross breed. Their zany, energetic approach to life has them as one of the most popular dog breeds for families. Not to mention you can train Goldendoodles to get along with kids really well.
With all that running around, jumping, playing, bounding, swimming, and even scrambling – the Goldendoodle paws take a belting throughout the day.
Your own feet would get tired and sore after a day of running around barefoot. Even though Goldendoodle paws are much tougher than human feet – they still need care and attention.
Problems with Goldendoodle paws can present in obvious visual ways, or by modifying the behavior of your Goldendoodle.
Owners often wonder
- Why is my Goldendoodle licking its paws?
- What makes a Goldendoodle bite paws?
- Why would a Goldendoodle chew paws?
The licking, chewing and biting of paws are signs that there is trouble in Paw-radise.
In this article we discuss the causes of the problematic Goldendoodle paw licking or biting, and list common causes and cures for Goldendoodle paw issues. I also asked the experts what specific tips they have to look after Goldendoodle paws.
So What causes Goldendoodle licking paws?
Not all paw licking is a problem! In fact, some paw licking is part of a normal grooming process. Also some dogs are just fascinated by their paws – and will lick them every now and then.
Excessive Goldendoodle paw licking is a problem though, and the cause must be identified and remedied as soon as possible.
How to know how much paw licking is too much? If your Goldendoodle is licking its paws more than normal, over a multi day period – then you may have trouble. If they spend more than 10 minutes licking their paws every day – then again you may have an issue.
Any sign of aggressive licking (more on that below in the biting and chewing of paws section) is a clear sign of trouble.
Essentially we are looking for abnormal amounts of Goldendoodle paw licking time, or behavior that has modified from usual.
Normal Reasons for Goldendoodle to Paw Lick
Some dogs are self groomers and will lick their paws often. This commonly occurs after walking or exercise, after a meal, or even after a brushing and grooming.
It is one of the reasons you should always pick a natural option when figuring out the best shampoo for your Goldendoodle. Even though we wash away as much shampoo as possible, some traces will remain. If your dog is a paw licker – select natural and safe Goldendoodle shampoo options.
We covered and tested the 6 Best Goldendoodle Shampoos here (we had a favorite for puppies, and also tested natural anti-allergy shampoo that was a winner too).
Some owners have even reported that their Goldendoodle mimics the behavior of a family cat and licks its paws! This is would be very amusing to see.
As a general approach a bit of mild occasional paw licking is normal for a Goldendoodle.
When the Goldendoodle Paw Licking Is Abnormal
Abnormal paw licking be caused by several causes
- Physical damage to the Goldendoodle paw
- Irritation due to allergies
- Parasites, Ticks, or Bacteria
- Boredom or a behavioral issue
- Dry skin
Physical Damage to the Goldendoodle Paw
Physical ailments that can damage a Goldendoodle Paw include burns from hot sidewalks, splinters, or cuts. These will result in discomfort and inflammation. There is a chance of swelling (minor) as well. If the integrity of the skin on the paw is compromised can become infected.
Identify the physical cause, and deal with it as soon as possible. For minor ailments you can deal with them in a straight forward manner. Your Vet is only a phone call away if you think something serious is going on. Dogs need to walk comfortably on their paw pads!
Another physical reason for Goldendoodle paw licking is debris caught in between the paw pads. Introduce your Goldendoodle to paw touching from an early age. Not only does this make grooming easier, it also allows you to more easily check the paws for debris. Grass seeds, prickles, sand, and even small rocks can get caught or wedged.
It is not unheard of in busier areas like towns and cities for chewing gum or sticky substances to get caught in dog feet. Gross! Do your Goldendoodle a favor and check their paws after walks.
Allergy Irritation Causing Paw Licking
Goldendoodles have no particular predisposition to allergies – but some dogs will develop them. If you Goldendoodle has clean and healthy paws – but skin irritation all the same – there is a chance it is an allergy.
The most common causes of allergy for Goldendoodles include dietary allergies. Food allergies are commonly associated with itchy or annoying paws.
Consider modifying your Goldendoodles food if you suspect allergy. There are plenty of allergy specific Goldendoodle appropriate dog food brands around that eliminate common food allergens.
Your Vet is only a phone call away if you suspect allergies and want hands on guidance about diet or lifestyle modification.
Parasites Ticks and Bacteria Causing Goldendoodle Paw Licking
These critters of the smaller variety love to give your Goldendoodles paws irritation, inflammation and pain.
Parasites and Ticks can in many cases be prevented by medications or treatments. Your pet store or Vet will advise you on the most efficient ways to prevent the pests most prevalent in your area.
Unique Local Situations: in some parts of Northern Australia, paralysis ticks (really bad ones) are super common. Some seasons of ticks are so bad that dogs need extra protection in the form of a tick collar in addition to their normal treatment. It is so region specific you should consult your pet store or vet (or local fog group as a starting point if you are impatient) and see what others are doing in your area.
Bacteria you won’t be able to see as they are incredibly small – but you will be able to see inflammation, smell odor, or see the distress it can cause your Goldendoodle. Clean dog paws after exercise or exposure to high bacteria environments.
You can get paw washers that are a budget friendly, easy as anything way to clean your Goldendoodle paws without making a mess.
Once bacteria take hold, the solution often lies with reducing the amount of bacteria present to allow the irritation to go away. The best antibacterial shampoo for dogs is reviewed and tested here.
If the situation seems dire, the same advice as always. Call your Vet. Paws are SO important, and exercise and being irritation free and vital to have a happy and well behaved dog.
Skin irritation of the paws can be so annoying it can lead to your Goldendoodle acting up, or barking excessively. In fact having a physical ailment is one of the most common causes of problematic Goldendoodle barking. Find out how to fix excessive Goldendoodle barking in our free guide.
Excessive Paw Licking Caused By Boredom
Keeping a Goldendoodle busy is no small task. They have a zest for life that is renowned! Their energy levels are one of the reasons that Goldendoodles are family friendly and can be trained to be the perfect kids companion.
Your Goldendoodle will live for a long time, and from puppyhood right through to adulthood will have a high energy demand. In fact, many Goldendoodles require up to an hour of exercise or active play.
[alert-warning]WARNING Failure to keep a Goldendoodle exercised can give rise to problematic behaviours like excessive barking, chewing up soft furnishings, or extra paw licking.[/alert-warning]
An active dog like a Goldendoodle can be compared with a dog that has a slightly lower energy requirement (on average) – like the Labradoodle. See our Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle breed comparison here. Giant dogs like the Bernedoodle also tend to have a slightly lower energy requirement than a Goldendoodle – see more in our Goldendoodle Vs Bernedoodle breed breakdown.
Dogs require more than just physical exercise. Smart dogs like the Goldendoodle need to be mentally enriched. This can come in many forms. Toys, frozen Kongs, activities and DIY dog games are a great way to keep your Goldendoodle mentally stimulated. A tired dog has no time for problem behaviors like excessive paw licking. See 35 indoor dog games and activities for inspiration.
Dry skin causing Goldendoodle to lick or bite paws
Dry paw skin is one of the most common causes of Godlendoodle paw inflammation – and one of the easiest to resolve! The resilient and soft Goldendoodle paw skin can get cracked or dry in certain conditions.
The solution is moisture! There are dog friendly products that are budget conscious and highly effective available.
Just like dog sunscreen, you do need to buy specific products or make natural DIY products that are dog friendly. Humans don’t tend to lick sunscreen or moisturizer once it is applied (well we hope not). Dogs are different, they will lick or eat pretty much ANYTHING.
Choosing a dog specific formulated moisturizing agent or making it yourself are essential to avoid nasty reactions.
Luckily even the best topical dog moisturizers are budget conscious. Even the premium products are awesome because for dog paws, a little goes a long way. The best easy to apply paw moisturizer for dogs is a balm like the natural Dog Company Paw Balm.
What to do if your if you find your Goldendoodle biting paws
The more extreme level of paw irritation that Goldendoodle can experience is paw biting. If your Goldendoodle is biting at its paws – there is trouble.
Think of how much it could hurt if the strong jaws and teeth of your Goldendoodle bit you? Goldendoodles rarely do ballistic with the chewing on their paws in terms or strong bites – but the constant sharp gnawing can really exacerbate and inflame problems further.
If you find your Goldendoodle chewing paws, you need to find out the problem as soon as possible. The causes range from intrigue and boredom, right through to dangerous health problems.
Paws are delicate, and a Goldendoodle biting paws or a Goldendoodle chewing paws means trouble.
- Bacterial infection requiring treatment
- Seriously inflamed tick bites
- Bad allergies causing dermatitis
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals (like on snow during winter, or pool chemicals)
You need to seek advice from your Vet as soon as possible.
In the mean time, you can warp your dog’s paws in gauze of a bandage – but you will need to monitor this closely. It will prevent your Goldendoodle from causing any more immediate harm. You don’t want them to eat the bandages though.
Even if you suspect it is just parasites, the topical home ointments or tablets will unlikely to sufficient to resolve the issue. Time to call your Vet.
Expert Advice Round Up to Prevent Goldendoodle Paw Licking
When I out the call out to experienced dog experts for their tips to prevent Goldendoodle paw licking, Lazhar Ichir responded with these 3 great tips. He founded Breeding Business, a website for breeders to learn how to ethically breed dogs.
Expert Tip 1 – Do a little, often
Dog paws get dirty minutes after you clean them so there is really no need to deep clean every week. Instead, wipe them clean after each outing, or once a day.
Expert Tip 2 – Avoid abrasive and chemicals –DIY your paw cleaning solution
Better than pet cleaning wipes is to simply use a saline solution (i.e. add baking soda and salt to lukewarm water). This is a much gentler, yet as effective, cleaner for a dog’s paws and pads.
Lazhar says that using a DIY paw cleaning solution is a great way to avoid the risk of chemical exposure for your Goldendoodle. As simple as Baking soda, salt and water! The tip about lukewarm water is correct – as getting baking soda to dissolve otherwise is tricky. Make up a litre or gallon in advance, store it in a reusable plastic container.
Expert Tip 3 – Use a dog paw washer for really muddy paws
These muddy paw washers come generally is the shape of a mug or glove, with bristles. They allow for a deeper cleaning especially when your dog’s feet are very dirty (i.e. long play sessions in a muddy area). They are budget friendly and speed the cleaning process safely!
This type of product is what Lazhar is referring to, an effective way to clean your dogs paws at home without the mess. We do not regret getting one for our dog!
Goldendoodle Licking Paws Conclusion
Caring for the feet and paws of your Goldendoodle is really important. They rely on all four limbs to be functioning comfortably to live their best life. Anyone who has met a Goldendoodle knows that they love life and a have an energetic personality. Don’t let pesky paw problems get in the way of a good Goldendoodle day.