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Cold weather, hot and dry weather, rough terrain, and sometimes genetics cause calluses and lesions on a dog's nose and paw pads. We have shoes to protect our feet, and we need to use the best paw balm for dogs to help to protect the paws of our pets.

Dogs paws are very utilitarian, but some weather conditions will make paw pads more sensitive and vulnerable. You should monitor your dog's pads daily, especially in hot and cold climates: Are the pads dry and cracked? Do you notice any lesions?

You want to prevent your dog's paws from going dry and cracking, but some dogs have a genetic condition known as hyperkeratosis. It's the thickening of the skin on a dog's nose or paw pads. It occurs when too much keratin is produced, leading to excessive skin buildup. The skin becomes thick, hard and dried out.

Whether your dog suffers from a genetic condition like hyperkeratosis or they're affected by dry skin in the winter, the best paw balm for dogs will be of huge help. These products are easy to apply and provide a protective coating that locks moisture into the pads of the feet. A no wax paw protection balms are considered the best option.

What's Paw Balm for Dogs, and How Does It Work?

During extreme weather, most often in cold winters or very hot summers, dogs get dry skin. This extends to their paws. Dry dog paws can be a small nuisance at first, but severe cases will lead to serious problems. If your pet is predisposed to hyperkeratosis, this will make their skin especially vulnerable for drying out.

Note: Dog paw balm is NOT the same as dog paw wax.

Even though the two are extremely similar, they serve slightly different purpose and are made differently.

While dog paw waxes are designed for paw protection and are always made using waxy substances, most paw balms for dogs are not necessarily made with wax (although some are). They are also more effective at soothing and moisture for dogs with hyperkeratosis or extremely dry skin on the paws and nose.

Who uses paw balms for dogs? Generally, vets advise to pick one of the best dog paw balms (not wax) if you know that your pet has hyperkeratosis, or you notice an unusually rough, dried out, flaky and chapped skin on their paws or nose.

What does it protect from? Just like wax, dog paw balms serve as an alternative to dog booties, and protect their paws from extremely hot surfaces in summer or extremely cold surfaces in winter. They also protect the paws from being affected by road salts, ice, sand and most toxins on sidewalks.

How to Choose the Best Dog Paw Balm?

Using just any type of recommended paw balm for dogs will not solve all of the problems, and you still need to take certain precautions. Vets advise that pet owners do their dogs' paw inspection as often as possible, especially after walks in winter. Salt and other toxins can eat away at your dog's paws, so monitor how effective the dog paw balm is.

“Check your dog’s paws for ice around the pads and for irritation from sidewalk and road salt, which can lead to cracked paws, discomfort, and possible infection. It’s a good idea to wash the paw pads with room temperature water and smooth petroleum jelly on pads.” – NC State University Vets

As with any dog health or dog grooming product, be sure you're selecting a paw protection balm that is going to be safe as well as effective, especially when dealing with hyperkeratosis in a dry environment, whether in a hot or cold weather. You can also try using dog shoes or socks for extra protection, and pet-safe ice melts in winter.

Natural/Organic vs Other Dog Paw BalmsHow to Choose the Best Dog Paw Balm

Ideally, you want something that's made with natural ingredients (preferably USDA certified organic), because it's likely your dog will lick it, and also to avoid further irritation to your dog's paws and nose.

However, not all natural products are very effective, because they may be “too gentle” and essentially useless.

We've gone through many different products and their ingredients, and picked out the five of our favorite paw balms for dogs that are generally safe and also effective.

How to Make Homemade DIY Paw Balm for Dogs

If you'd rather avoid commercial dog paw balm products, you can also make one yourself. It will be natural and you know that it won't contain any harmful chemicals. However, as soon as you start using a homemade dog paw balm, make sure to monitor your dog's paws – these homemade products will not work for every pet or every weather.

DIY paw balm recipe ingredients:

DIY dog paw balm recipeThe ingredients and supplies you'll need:

  • 2 tbsp olive, sunflower or sweet almond oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp shea butter
  • 4 tsp beeswax
  • a small pot
  • a container (lip balm tube or tin works)

Directions:

In your small pot, over low heat boil and melt all the four ingredients until they are all well mixed and liquid (generally a few minutes). Take this mixture and pour it into whatever container you chose to use. Let it all cool down to room temperature, which is when it'll become semi-hard. That's it.

Remember that this dog paw balm recipe is based on the “holistic” approach of what some pet owners and holistic vets consider to protect and work for dogs, but there's no way to tell other than to try and see if it's effective for your pooch. If homemade dog paw balm isn't for you, then try one of these five best paw balm for dogs options below.

Top 5 Best Paw Balm for Dogs

1Dermoscent Bio Balm Skin Repairing Care for Dogs
by Bayer

Your dog’s nose and paw pads need moisture to keep them from cracking and getting infected. Dermoscent Bio Balm was formulated to protect these areas and to treat already thickened and affected skin. It is made from organic and natural ingredients and contains no petroleum or mineral oil components.

This first rated paw balm for dogs moisturizes and heals, but is not oily or thick. It came in a 50-ml jar and goes a long way. A thinly-applied layer of this balm repaired a dog’s damaged skin. In most cases, dogs’ dry and hard noses will be back to moist, soft and healthy after several applications, and most pets won't mind the balm rubbed on their muzzle.

Hyperkeratotic pads, though not as simple as crusty dog noses, can also be healed after regular application of Dermoscent Bio Balm Skin Repairing Care for Dogs. Thick pads can be painful and may even cause abnormal growth of spurs and nails. If you have previously resorted to surgical removal of hyperkeratotic pad, this may be a preferred solution to try first, which is pain-free, economical, and effective.

Bayer Dermoscent Bio Balm Skin Repairing Care for...
163 Reviews
Bayer Dermoscent Bio Balm Skin Repairing Care for...
  • 100% natural products, organic...
  • Use on problem skin areas such...
  • Rapidly absorbed and...
  • Does not contain mineral oil...
  • For use with dogs

Dogs did not have any aversion to this product and therefore it was easy to apply on affected areas. Massaging also offers double benefit – it relaxes the dog while the balm works its way through the callused pads. The paw pad balm is made of certified organic ingredients, which is great since some dogs love to lick their paws after application.

PROS:

  • Made from certified organic and natural ingredients
  • Contains no petroleum or mineral oil components
  • Comes in a 50-ml jar
CONS:

  • There is a strong smell to this product

 

2Nose and Paw Balm for Dogs
by Burt's Bees

This dog paw pad lotion came in a 120-ml bottle and contains 97% natural ingredients featuring oils of rosemary and olive. It is made in the USA by Burt’s Bees and is specially formulated to maintain the suppleness and natural moistness of your dog’s nose and paws.

It is pH-balanced to ensure applicability to dogs, and it is free from parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). This could easily become your dog’s best friend, especially during frigid weather when dogs’ noses turn dry and cracked. A few drops of this oil quickly cured this condition, and a bottle actually lasted several winters.

This is a great-smelling product. Burt's Bees Paw and Nose Lotion is best applied after walking the dog, to keep paws warm, smooth and soft. We recommend applying the lotion on dogs that are about to go to sleep too. The massaging relaxes them, and the applied lotion is left undisturbed until your pet wakes up. This allows the lotion to work more effectively, and dogs wake up to soft paws.

Burt's Bees for Dogs All-Natural Paw & Nose Lotion...
807 Reviews
Burt's Bees for Dogs All-Natural Paw & Nose Lotion...
  • GENTLE AND EASY-TO-USE —...
  • MADE WITH THE HIGHEST QUALITY...
  • USE REGULARLY — Rub into...
  • SUITABLE FOR ALL DOGS AND...
  • 100% SAFE — Dog nose and paw...

While we expected a thicker lotion for easier application, some other pet owners found it to be just perfect for their dogs, so it depends. With the lotion’s thinner consistency and high-absorbability, dogs are less likely to spread messy paw prints on floors and furniture, too.

PROS:

  • Contains 97% natural ingredients featuring oils of rosemary and olive
  • Comes in a 120-ml bottle
  • Made in the USA
  • pH balanced
  • Free from parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
CONS:

  • We expected this lotion to be thicker, but it's more like an oil in texture, making it harder to rub on paw pads

 

3Oatmeal Natural Paw Butter
by Pet Head

Just rub and leave this butter from Pet Head on your dog’s dry nose and cracked paws to provide soothing relief. The rub works great whether it’s sweltering summer or frigid winter. It is made of oatmeal, shea butter, jojoba, aloe vera, coconut oil, olive oil, mango, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids. The Pet Head butter came in a 59.1-ml jar and it's made in the USA.

It is pH-balanced, free from petrolatum and cocamide DEA, and is produced in standards fit for humans. It has a fruity mild scent that you and your dog are likely to love. Roughened paws were instantly smoother on our pet, and softer after the very first application, and were definitely improved after sustained use.

A very little amount of Pet Head Oatmeal Natural Paw Butter sufficiently covers a paw. Our dogs love the attention and the massage that went with each application, too. While your pup may take a few curious sniffs at the sweet-smelling butter, they probably won't go any further or chew on their paws, which is a good thing.

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Pet Head Oatmeal Natural Paw Butter 2oz
1,456 Reviews
Pet Head Oatmeal Natural Paw Butter 2oz
  • WHOLESOME AND ECO-FRIENDLY:...
  • PAW HEALTH: Pet Head Paw...
  • SOFT NOSES: Pet Head Paw...
  • QUALITY INGREDIENTS: Pet Head...
  • Natural Oatmeal Paw Butter -...

Unlike creams and oil formulations we've reviewed above, the Pet Head butter-like dog paw balm is actually firm. Because it is not runny or loose like the above one, a thin swipe off the top of the butter is all that’s needed to rub on a paw.

PROS:

  • Made of oatmeal, shea butter, jojoba, aloe vera, coconut oil, olive oil, mango, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids
  • Comes in a 59.1-ml jar
  • Made in the USA
  • pH balanced
  • Free from petrolatum and cocamide DEA
CONS:

  • Its fruity smell may be too enticing for dogs, encouraging to lick it

 

4Dog Paw Healing Balm
by Particular Paws

Get the same effectiveness whether you use the balm from the 2-oz jar or the handy 0.5-oz stick. Made in the USA, this dog paw balm from Particular Paws uses all-natural ingredients proven to moisturize and heal damaged skin, such as aloe vera, bees wax, cocoa butter, coconut oil, sunflower oil and tea tree oil. While it repairs dry skin and protects against future skin damage, it also works as anti-fungal and anti-itch treatment.

This vet recommended paw balms for dogs is safe for frequent use, not messy or greasy, and has a cooling effect on skin. The product is widely used not only by individual pet owners, but also by vets and other professionals who regularly deal with a number of dogs suffering from various conditions. It's mostly recommended for treating dry and roughened skin in dogs, especially on their nose and paws.

Particular Paws Dog Healing Balm has also been found to aid recovery of the skin treated for mange, since the active ingredients augur well for skin healing and hair regrowth. The smell is a little bit strong and medicinal, but this should work great for dogs that are not so scent-sensitive.

Dog Healing Balm for Paws and Snout - All Natural...
199 Reviews
Dog Healing Balm for Paws and Snout - All Natural...
  • HEALS: No more cracked and...
  • SOOTHES: Cracked, dry paws can...
  • ALL NATURAL: Our Healing Balm...
  • INSTANT RESULTS: Provides...
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The balm stick is also convenient to bring along during walks or camping trips. We enjoyed the product, and it's also difficult to find a negative review of this balm from other pet owners. However, as with many other best paw balm for dogs choices, there are a few dog owners that told us this healing balm didn't work to moisturize their pup's feet.

PROS:

  • Comes in a 2-oz jar with a handy 0.5-oz stick
  • Made with all-natural ingredients
  • Made in the USA
  • Also works as an anti-fungal and anti-itch treatment
  • Safe for frequent use, not messy or greasy, and has a cooling effect on skin
CONS:

  • Has a strong medicinal odor that did not go over well with our dogs
  • Doesn't moisturize enough

 

5Organic Paw Soother for Dog Pads
by Natural Dog Company

Paw Soother from Natural Dog Company came in an easy-to-use and easier-to-carry 2-oz stick. It is made from all-natural, vegan and organic ingredients, such as calendula, candelilla wax, chamomile, coconut oil, cupuacu butter, hempseed oil, jojoba oil, rosemary and tea tree oil. It treats and soothes rough, crusty, or cracked skin, especially around the paws and pads of dogs.

Natural Dog Company - Paw Soother | Heals Dry,...
227 Reviews
Natural Dog Company - Paw Soother | Heals Dry,...
  • SAFE AND EFFECTIVE - Natural...
  • ALL NATURAL & ORGANIC...
  • EASY TO APPLY - For no-mess...
  • HANDMADE IN SMALL TOWN USA -...
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE -...

It is made in the USA and Natural Dog Company offers a 90-day return warranty. Previously roughened paws were noticeably softer and smoother after the very first application. We recommend applying this before bedtime to allow longer time for the product to work undisturbed and to reduce licking.

The drawback is that Paw Soother is quite pricey due to its popularity, but the stick lasts relatively longer than other products, so we would still consider this to be economical.

PROS:

  • Comes in an easy-to-use and easier-to-carry 2-oz stick
  • Made from all-natural, vegan and organic ingredients
  • Made in the USA
  • Offers a 90-day return warranty
CONS:

  • More expensive than many other paw balms for dogs
  • Will not work for all dogs and some specific cases; won't moisturize a dog's paw pads enough

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The Best Paw Balm for Dogs Paw with Hyperkeratosis and Other Conditions

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