Balms for dog paws

Dog paw in human hand

Why do dogs have paws?

A dog’s paws are the shock absorbers and brakes for our furry friends. They help protect the dog’s bones and joints in and around the foot while also helping with stability on slippery surfaces or steep slopes. Although tough, paws are made up of fatty tissue that can become irritated, cracked, and uncomfortable for your dog.

Dog balm helps protect and moisturize your dog’s paws so they can still enjoy walks, adventures, and playing.

What is dog paw balm?

Some dog owners outfit their dogs in footwear for preventative reasons, but this is not a permanent solution to mitigate paw problems for our furry friends. So paw balms may be a better, more permanent solution.

The brand Mushers uses oils and wax to protect their dog’s paws from snowy conditions. Musher’s Secret paw protection, the first dog paw balm, was brought to the United States and Canada in the 90s and is still used today.

Dog paw balm is a fat moisturizing and protecting the dog’s paws.

Dog balm comes in different forms, such as:


Balms usually have a firm consistency and can occasionally contain forms of wax. In addition, paw balms are often infused with healing vitamins and ingredients.

Paw Butter

Paw butter is similar to balms but has a slightly softer consistency. Both paw balms and paw butter contain base ingredients like shea butter.


Paw waxes are usually the most heavy-duty form of paw protection and are a great way to prepare your dog’s paw for extreme weather conditions.

Types of Balms and lotions in jars and bottles on a table surrounded by leaves

What does dog paw balm do?

Dog paw balm helps prevent damage to dogs’ paw pads and soothes, heals, and moisturizes when sore or cracked.

Use a dog balm that protects paws from road salts, ice, sand, or hot pavements. It can also help your dog from suffering from dry paws, flaky paws, or chapped paw pads. So dog balm is excellent for winter and summer, as it helps protect with all weather conditions.

Why should you use it?

Dog paw balm or wax might not be for all dogs, but it helps them to be more comfortable regularly.

Here are some reasons why you may want to consider using paw balms or waxes on your dog:


Some dogs suffer from hyperkeratosis, AKA hairy paws. A condition in which the outer layer of your dog’s skin becomes thickened. This condition may lead to irritated skin /paws and uneven paws that are more vulnerable to wear and tear. Dog paw balm can help soothe your dog’s paw and keep him protected from the elements.


Sidewalk salt can damage your dog’s paws if you are in a cold climate that experiences snow often. Salt-based ice melt doesn’t just cause dryness. They can also cause itchiness and redness to your pet’s paws. Using a dog paw balm before and after winter walks will help keep their paws moisturized and protected.

Dry Noses

Many paw balms can be used on paws or noses, making them a great option to treat cracked, chapped skin in both areas of your pup’s body.

Dog paw with hyperkeratosis held in human hand.

Dog paw balm benefits

There are a few different benefits to dog paw balm.

Dog paw balm is always a good idea for your pet’s paws to keep them protected and moisturized.

Here are a few benefits of dog paw balm:

Prevents damage

Paw balms can prevent damage to your dog’s paw pads in the long run. It can also help protect dogs that spend too much time outside on rough surfaces.

Moisturizing benefits

With its moisturizing properties, dog paw balm may help soothe and repair sore and cracked pads. In addition, hydrated paws is vital for keeping the pads soft and elastic.

General care

Paw balm can also be used for general care, preventative care, or to aid in healing/repairing. There are different types of paw balms on the market, each with unique benefits.

Paw balm also treats blisters, cracks, cuts, burns, and irritations due to allergies, as it is made with natural ingredients.

What to look for in dog paw balms

When using a product your dog could lick and accidentally ingest, always look at the ingredients to ensure it is safe for your dog. A lotion made for humans may not be safe for dogs, so always read labels and speak to your vet if you are unsure.

When should you use it?

There are various situations when you should use dog paw balm, especially if your dog goes out a lot to protect its paws.

Here are some of the times you should use paw balm:

Heat/cold protection

A paw balm can protect your furry friend’s paws in cold weather like ice or snow or protect their feet in hot weather and from the hot pavement. Paw balm is great to protect paws in these extreme weather situations. So if you live in a place that’s either cold, snowy, and icy, or hot and sunny, you should put paw balm on your dog to protect them.

Prevents contact with chemicals

Paw balm helps to protect paws against chemicals; it prevents the absorption of toxic chemicals to which the paws are exposed. If you think your dog could be exposed to toxic chemicals, always ensure they have paw balm on. We don’t want our dog’s feet harmed by chemicals.

Easy on the skin

Dog paw balms can help soothe irritated paws. This is particularly helpful for dogs prone to skin issues. Do not forget to put your dog’s paw balm on your dog if this happens to your dog.

Good for the nose

The paw balm can also be used for your dog’s dry nose and helps prevent cracking during extreme temperatures. If your little furry friend suffers from this, pet parents always remember to put paw balm on your dog’s nose.

Helps to heal

A paw balm may help to speed up the process of healing a cut, scrapes, or cracks and helps soothe the skin in that area.

If any of these apply to your dog, then that is when you should use paw balm; ask your vet if it is correct for your dog first before putting it on them; always better to make sure about these things.

Dry and irritated dog nose

How do I use dog paw balms

Most paw balms are made with room temperature solid fats or oil, so they need a little warmth for a smooth application.

Rub your finger into the balm, and the heat from your hand should be enough to glide the balm straight onto your dog’s paws.

Ensure the paw and the paw pads are wiped clean and patted dry, then apply a thin layer all over and around the paws.

If you are using the balm indoors, then try slipping some slippers over your dog’s paws after applying the balm, or if your dog licks, then it is advised to wear a sock over their paws or vet wrap reaching above their ankles to prevent them from licking the balm off.

If your dog does not like getting its feet touched, then you might want to start giving your dog a regular foot massage to get it used to you touching its feet. Then, hopefully, the next time you apply the balm, your dog won’t make a fuss.

If your dog has a minor wound like irritated paws or small cuts and scrapes, it is usually okay to use dog paw balm unless the product instructs not to put it on broken or injured skin. If you are in doubt, ask your veterinarian about the ingredients and contact your vet if the cut does not start to heal after a few days.

Can I use Vaseline for my dog’s paws?

Vaseline can be applied to your dog’s paws. However, Vaseline is not the best option; there are better options for paw protection than Vaseline.

Even though Vaseline is not toxic for dogs, it can still cause problems if ingested. This could be an upset stomach which could lead to vomiting or diarrhea.

Using natural balms in place of petroleum-based Vaseline is highly recommended.

Can I use olive oil?

You can also use olive oil on your dog’s paws. Olive oil is great for moisturizing and nourishing your dog’s skin as it is rich in healthy nutrients.

Olive oil can also help lubricate a dog’s digestive system. This ensures healthy digestion after meals and proper nutritional intake.

Can I put human lotion on my dog’s paws?

No, you should never put human lotion on your dog. Many human lotions and balms are toxic to dogs and do more harm than good.

It doesn’t matter if the lotions are dog friendly. The PH balance will irritate your dog’s skin. Also, unlike dog balm, a human lotion can be harmful if licked or ingested.

No symbol over bottles of lotion

Ingredients in some of the best dog paw balms

Unrefined bee wax

What is it?

The difference between refined and unrefined bee wax is unrefined is a beautiful golden color and will usually come in big chunks or bricks (often molded with a honeycomb texture). The refined variety is white and comes in pellets.

How is it made?

Unrefined beeswax is strained, not filtered.

They will separate into their distinctive strata, so the water goes to the bottom, with all the water-soluble components, and then the wax will solidify and harden at the top.


Beeswax is known to help heal chapped skin, making it a perfect ingredient for paw balm.

Shea butter

What Is it?

Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. It is ivory in color when raw and dyed yellow with borututu or palm oil. Shea butter is mainly used in cosmetics as a moisturizer, salve, or lotion. However, it is also used in African food dishes. Shea butter has a high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids, combined with its easy-to-spread consistency, making it an excellent product for soothing, smoothing, and conditioning skin. In addition, Shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties.

How is it made?

The shea butter comes from two oily kernels within the shea tree seed. The kernel, removed from the seed pod, is ground into a powder and then boiled in water. The butter then rises to the top and becomes solid.

Why is it in dog paw balm?

Shea butter is known to smooth, hydrate, and soften the skin. Humans use shea butter for dry, cracked skin, which works just as well on dry skin. Use shea butter for dry paws, nose, elbows, and other dry places.

Is regular shea butter and organic shea butter the same?

Organic shea butter is produced using natural West African methods that add no chemicals or heat. Regular shea butter may be processed with the addition of heat and chemicals.

Coconut oil

What is it?

Coconut oil is an edible oil delivered from the wick, meat, and milk of coconut palm fruit. Coconut oil is a solid white fat; in warmer summer months, it is a clear thin oil, melting at warmer room temperatures around 75 degrees.

How is it made?

Coconut oil is made by pressing fresh coconut meat or dried coconut meat called copra. Virgin coconut oil uses fresh meat, while refined coconut oil typically uses copra.

Producing it from coconut milk involves grating the coconut, mixing it with water, and squeezing the oil. The milk can also be fermented for 36-48 hours, the oils are removed, and the cream heated to remove any remaining oil. Another option involves using a centrifuge to separate the oil from other liquids.

Why is it in dog paw balm?

It can stop their paws from getting sore and irritated. It not only moisturizes the pup’s skin on their paws but can also be used as a protective balm and create a barrier between your dog’s paws and other irritants.

Jojoba oil

What is it?

Jojoba oil is the liquid produced in the Simmondsia Chinensis plant’s seed, a shrub native to Southern California and northwestern Mexico. The oil is made up approximately 50% of the jojoba seed by weight.

How is it made?

Jojoba oil is a liquid obtained naturally by cold pressing jojoba seeds from the jojoba tree Simmondsia Chinensis, which provides an oil used mainly in cosmetics. It is less sticky and greasy than other oils.

Why is it in paw balm?

It is renowned for its moisturizing and skin-healing properties in humans and dogs. It can soothe your dog’s skin, unclog hair follicles and leave his skin as soft as a young pup.

Emu oil

What is it?

Emu oil is an oil from body fat harvested from specific species of the emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae, a flightless bird indigenous to Australia.

How is it made?

Emu oil is derived from fat deposits just beneath the bird’s skin. Once harvested, it is processed, filtered, and refined to various standards to obtain the prized, bright yellow oil.

Why is it in paw balm?

Increase the blood flow in the application area, promoting skin cells to soften and exfoliate, allowing oxygen to penetrate deeper into the skin.

Vitamin E

What is it?

Vitamin E consists of eight fat-soluble compounds, four tocopherols, and four tocotrienols.

How is it made?

Natural vitamin e oil comes from a single ingredient extracted from the sunflower called D-alpha-tocopheryl acetate.

Why is it in dog paw balm?

Vitamin e soothes and softens your dog’s dry paws and nose and keeps them hydrated throughout the day.

Types of oils in jars laid out on table with sunflower and coconut

Hemp seed oil

What is it, and how is it made?

Hemp seed oil is oil made by pressing hemp seeds. Cold pressed, the unrefined hemp seed oil is dark to clear light green, with a nutty flavor; the darker color, the grassier the flavor.

Why is it in dog paw balm?

It is a powerful natural moisturizer and can alleviate irritation with added aloe vera, which helps to heal and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Sweet almond oil

What is it?

It is referred to as sweet because it is bitter and commonly used for scent.

How is it made?

Like olive oil, sweet almond oil is produced by pressing the nuts or the fruit to acquire the oil.

Why is it in dog paw balm?

Sweet almond can help if they have dry skin, flaky or itchy parts, a dry nose, or cracked paws.

Cocoa butter

What is it?

Cocoa butter, also known as theobroma oil, is a yellow, edible fat extracted from the cocoa bean. With many uses, the most popular is to make chocolate, ointments, toiletries, and pharmaceuticals. Cocoa butter has a cocoa flavor and aroma.

How is it made?

Cocoa butter seeds are removed from the larger cocoa plants, then roasted, stripped, and pressed to separate the fat.

Why is it in dog paw balm?

Cocoa butter provides deep hydration and healing.

Lavender oil

What is it?

Lavender oil is obtained by distillation from the flower spikes of lavender.

How is it made?

It is created by steeping dry lavender flowers in a carrier oil of choice for a minimum of a week, sometimes up to several weeks. As the dry flowers infuse in the oil, the natural essential oils in the lavender are drawn out into the carrier oil.

Why is it in dog paw balm?

Lavender has been shown to have antibacterial, anti-fungal, and nerve-calming properties. Excellent for chapped paws, irritated paws, or as a daily moisturizer.

Lavender plant with a bottle of essential oil

Can you make dog paw balm at home?

Yes, you can make your dog paw balm.

Here is a simple recipe:

  • 2 parts organic coconut oil
  • 1 shea butter
  • 4 parts beeswax
  • 2 parts organic olive oil or almond oil
  • A couple of drops of your preferred essential oil
  • Containers for the balm (empty lip balm container)


  • In a saucepan over low heat, mix all the ingredients
  • Stirring until the mix is well blended
  • Pour the mixture directly into plastic containers
  • Please wait until it cools down and solidifies before you apply dog paw balm.

All the best dog paw balms are made of all-natural ingredients. If any of this applies to your dog, then dog paw balm may be a good idea for your dog.

Always check with your vet before using the paw balm to be safe.

Our dog’s paws are vital to them, so we need to keep them perfect for them.

We are big fans of paw balms, so much so that we made our own. Casper’s Oil Paw Balm is naturally safe, effective, and infused with CBD for both pets and people, too ( We use it on our hands, feet, and even our lips). It comes in a 2.2-ounce twist-up container for easy application. Try some today.

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