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Why Do Maltese Dogs Lick Their Paws? (Explained!)

Licking paws is a common trait of all fur babies so Maltese pup is no exception. However, you might not be familiar with such a trait like many other owners.

Especially if you are a new pup parent. So seeing your Maltese furball licking often you would be wanting to know why do they lick their paws. 

Why Do Maltese Dogs Lick Their Paws?

Normally, Maltese dogs lick their paws out of boredom, to cool down their paws in summer, and if it has become a habit. Otherwise, irritation, discomfort, itching caused by allergies, stress, insect sting, infection or fungus, and chronic illness are prime reasons behind Maltese licking their paws.

Licking paws a few times a day is normal for Maltese puppies. Because maybe they are just bored by not getting any exciting toys or activities to keep them busy and amused. So they are licking paws to time pass. 

Or if licking paws have turned into a habit, Maltese will lick paws. Also, note that during summer walking on a hot floor makes their paws feel hot so that time they lick their paws to cool down them. 

But excessive paw licking is not normal. If a Maltese obsessively licks paws that means he is under some kind of pain or discomfort.

Possible reasons behind excessive licking can be allergies that cause itchiness, irritation, and discomfort. So licking that area makes them feel better.

Stress is another reason, licking paws alleviates their stress. Insect bites and paw burn in summer are other reasons that make Maltese lick paws. If a Maltese has an infection or fungus in its paws it will lick paws to cure the infection naturally with its saliva. 

Reasons That Cause Maltese To Lick Their Paws 

The most obvious reasons are listed below for you to go through it if your Maltese pup is licking its paw at a concerning level. 


Boredom is a common reason behind your Maltese pup licking paws. If he doesn’t get satisfactory mental stimulation or exciting activities or toys to play with, sometime a day he will lick paws. 

Paw Burning In Summer 

Hot weather in summer makes the ground hot. So walking on such hot ground causes paw burn. And that time Maltese puppies lick paws to cool down the burnt areas. 


Maltese can suffer from allergies due to having wrong food and contact with certain flowers, grass, or other things that cause allergy.

Allergies make their paws itchy also cause irritation and discomfort. Therefore, Maltese dogs lick their paws obsessively to get relief from itchiness and irritation. 


Just like humans, Maltese puppies can go through stress due to separation anxiety, socialism anxiety, or a changed environment. So to calm them down mentally Maltese can lick paws excessively when they are triggered by stress. 

Infection Or Fungus 

If a Maltese’s paws are infected with infection or fungus, it will lick paws extremely to relieve the pain and irritation naturally by their saliva. 

Insect Bites 

Insect bites or stings also cause extreme paw licking. As the affected area swells causing inflammation, so Maltese dogs lick insanely to heal the area. 

What My Dog Is Trying Warn About When They Lick Their Paws? 

If you see your dog licking paws, don’t always take it normally. He/she might be trying to warn you about a few severe issues. And here are the conceivable issues that you should pay attention to when your fur baby licks paws. 


When your dog is licking paws extremely, it can be trying to convey that its paws are in pain. Maybe because of any kind of injury like leg sprain, insect stings or bite. So look at his paw pads carefully if it has inflamed or not and if you can feel an insect stinger or not. 

Also, pay attention if your beloved pup is limping or resting too much than usual. 


If your dog is suffering from irritation and discomfort caused by environmental or food allergy, it will lick paws obsessively to draw your attention. So, pay attention after mealtime and regular walkout time if he licks his paws too much or not. 


Your dog will lick paws extensively if he is going through anxiety or fear due to separation, socialism, or environmental change.

So if you see your pup has become reserved and licks paws too much if you leave him alone for a long time or after you’ve moved to a new place. Know that he is in depression. 

Skin Burns

In hot summer days, your dog’s paws can face burns, tenderness, soreness, peeling of the skin, blisters due to hot weather. Excessive licking during summer means he is warning about his sufferings in summer and asking you to keep him in a cool place or near water. 


By licking paws, your dog might be trying to say that he is too bored and wants to play some exciting new games or wants some human interactions for his mental stimulation. 

How Much Is Too Much Paw Licking For A Maltese Dog?

When you will see your Maltese fur baby being obsessed over his/her all four paws and licks extremely almost all the time in a day. Also, making toe-slurping noise and chewing toes until they turn red is really too much for a Maltese dog.

Moreover, if you notice it spending most time licking paws and being reserved/uninterested in playing that also means the paw licking is too much.

Because such excessive amount of licking can make him/her lose hair in a high level. And can cause even skin infections. Besides, some Maltese can turn their paw pads red and inflamed by licking and chewing them way too much than usual., 

Can Excessive Paw Licking Be Harmful To My Dog?

Excessive paw licking can cause severe health issues for any dog breed. Skin problems are the main. As excessive lickings can soak up the natural moisture from paw pads leaving them dry and red. Also can cause extreme hair loss from that area. 

Besides, “hot spot or acute moist dermatitis” can occur if your dog is licking, rubbing, chewing its paws too much. Such a condition will create redness, wet and irritated skin in the paw pads. 

Should I Stop My Maltese From Licking His Paws? 

If you see your Maltese licking paws extremely, immediately you should take steps to stop him from licking paws. Because paw licking obviously is a natural trait but a healthy and happy Maltese will never excessively lick his paws. 

Also, extreme and continuous paw lick can be a red flag warning you that it can cause severe skin problems to your pup, like dryness, hair loss, hot spot or acute moist dermatitis. 

How To Stop My Maltese Licking Paws Constantly?

It’s normal to be worried about seeing your little companion licking too much to get relief from his sufferings. Therefore, here is some effective solution for you to attempt to stop your Maltese furball from licking paws. 

But you are always suggested to see your vet first before trying on any remedy if you are confused about his paw licking reasons. 

Treat With A Healing Cream

If your Maltese dog’s paw pads have dried out because of excessive licking, treat those areas with a healing balm. It’s a great solution to heal dried-out paws.

Also, works amazingly on itchy paws affected by allergies(environmental) and paw pad hyperkeratosis. ResQ Organics Pet Skin Treatment is a recommendation for you. 

Anti-Itch Spray 

If you want a quick solution to stop your Maltese from licking his itchy paws then spray an anti-itch spray on his paws. It will give him instant relief from itchiness. Bodhi Dig’s Anti-Itch Oatmeal Spray is an effective one. 

Paw Wax 

Paw wax is a highly recommended solution to stop your Maltese from excessive paw licking. A good quality paw wax will protect his precious paws from cold, heat, snowballing, and dry-rough surface.

So, he will stop licking paws by himself. Musher’s Secret Paw Mix is a suggestion for you to use on your dog’s paws every 7 days. 

Eliminate Allergens 

If paw licking is caused by allergies the cut off all those toxic foods from his daily diet list. Feed only the vet-recommended dog food or 100% natural foods without any extra flavor, sugar, caffeine, and chemical preservatives. 

Also, keep the home dust-free and clean his paws with hypo-allergenic wipes after coming home from outside.

Provide proper mental stimulation 

Maltese dealing with anxiety and stress needs mental stimulation to stop licking paws. So you can occupy their mind with exercise, new games, companion toys, spending time with him, and making him feel loved and secure. 

Cold Compress 

If your Maltese’s paws have burnt then to stop licking run cold water over his paws then gently dab the cold compress over burnt paws. 

What To Put On Dog’s Skin To Stop Licking?

A natural or doctor-recommended healing/soothing cream or balm and bitter spray can be put on dog’s skin primarily to prevent him from licking his paws. Coat the paws with cream or spray and if he is causing an irritation you can cover the area with a bandage then. 

As natural characteristics, a few times Maltese can lick paws, however, other serious reasons also trigger paw licking. So you should always do research and take a vet’s suggestion if you notice excessive paw licking. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

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How big do Maltese get?

Do Maltese have hair or fur?

Do Maltese have curly hair?

Does Maltese hair stop growing?

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