Foot licking! Ugh! Slurping, biting, licking…at 2am!! Anyone of us, me included, that has a dog that licks their feet wants help! For me, foot licking is allergy till proven otherwise. Certainly, there are variations in the diagnosis if only 1 foot is involved, if swelling or crusting is involved, if a tumor is present, etc. But for this discussion of dogs that lick their feet especially after coming in from outside…we’re talkin’ allergy. Environmental allergies, contact allergy (grass/weed), or food allergy or a combination thereof are usually the underlying culprit. Washing the feet but not soaking (soaking for prolonged periods of time destroys the natural skin barrier making allergens absorbed more readily) may help somewhat but since allergies get worse as the dog gets older, checking for allergy and starting long term safe treatment is needed. I do not like topicals applied to the feet as I feel, for most dogs, this draws their attention even more to their feet. And remember…what is applied topically usually ends up in the stomach from the dog licking the material off! The best option is to see your veterinarian or veterinary dermatologist to determine which allergy or combo thereof is present and start treatment. Many options are available including a prescription hypoallergenic diet, allergy testing and immunotherapy injections/oral drops, Apoquel, Atopica, Cytopoint. Topical products are available including steroid creams, sprays, etc. but they are only a temporary “Band-Aid” to what is a lifelong problem. I’ll be allergy testing my 2-year-old Annie soon! Have a great day and kiss the pets for me!