How to Moisturize Dog Paws?

How to Moisturize Dog Paws

Caring for Dry Dog Paws: How to Moisturize and Prevent Cracking

Your dog’s paws are tough but not indestructible. They can get dry and cracked, causing discomfort and potential health issues. Here’s how to moisturize your dog’s paws and keep them healthy:

Causes of Dry Paws

  • Weather: Hot pavement, snow, ice, and salt can all damage paw pads.
  • Allergies: Food or environmental allergies can cause itchy, irritated paws.
  • Medical Conditions: Diseases like hyperkeratosis or infections can lead to dry paws.
  • Mineral Deficiency: Lack of zinc can contribute to dry, cracked paw pads.

Signs of Dry, Cracked Paws

  • Chewing or licking paws
  • Limping or favoring paws
  • Visible cracks, redness, or bleeding
  • Foul odor

How to Moisturize Dog Paws

  1. Clean and Dry: Gently clean paws with warm water and a mild dog-safe soap, then dry thoroughly.
  2. Apply Moisturizer: Use a vet-approved paw balm or wax. Focus on the pads, avoiding the spaces between toes. Look for natural ingredients like:
    • Coconut oil
    • Shea butter
    • Olive oil
    • Vitamin E
    • Calendula extract

Products to Avoid

  • Human lotions (may contain harmful ingredients)
  • Essential oils (many are unsafe for dogs)
  • Petroleum-based products
  • Anything with artificial fragrances or cocoa

Preventing Dry Paws

  • Paw Protection: Use dog booties in extreme weather conditions.
  • Regular Trimming: Keep hair between toes trimmed to prevent irritation.
  • Paw Inspections: Check paws regularly for injuries or signs of dryness.
  • Watch for Chewing: Excessive paw chewing could indicate allergies or other issues. Consult a vet.

When to See a Vet

Consult a veterinarian if:

  • Home remedies don’t improve the condition.
  • There are signs of infection (swelling, redness, discharge).
  • Your dog is in significant pain or showing limping.

Important Note

While some people use Vaseline on dog paws in small amounts, it’s best to use specialized dog paw balms as Vaseline can be licked off and cause digestive upset.

Key Takeaways

  • Healthy paws are essential for happy dogs.
  • Regular moisturizing and preventative care are crucial.
  • Be aware of potential causes of dry paws to address the problem effectively.
  • Seek veterinary help for severe dryness or infections.

By following these simple steps, you can help your dog enjoy soft, comfortable paws all year round!

Causes of Dry Paws

Various external and internal factors cause dry and cracked paws in dogs. It is better to identify the cause and take preventive measures. Some of the internal and external reasons are:


Your dog may be allergic to a lot of factors. In that, food allergies are a matter of concern for your dogs.

Food allergies cause itching in areas like paws. Due to itching, your dog scratches and chews its paws. This will cause dryness and crack in dog paws.

Allergies should be identified and treated early. Otherwise, your dog will continue scratching and chewing its paws. This will make more cracks and lead to the rupturing of the capillaries, causing bleeding.

Surface Irritants

There are many chemicals on the surface that the dog’s bare paws come in contact with. These chemicals can cause irritation in the paws.

The constant scratching and chewing of the paws due to this irritation can cause ruptured paws and bleeding.


Diseases like hyperkeratosis and pemphigus can also cause cracked paws. These diseases cause the paw pads to dry and crack.

Fungal and Bacterial Infections

Various kinds of bacteria and fungi live on the dog’s paw. Their outgrowth can create infections. The signs of bacterial and fungal infections are chewing the paws, redness, swelling, and discharge.

If you find these symptoms in your dogs, you should consult the veterinarian as soon as possible. They can diagnose the infection and can prescribe treatments for your dogs. Some of the treatments are certain creams, wipes, and washes.

Mineral Deficiency

Zinc deficiency can also be a reason for dry paws. This can be due to a poor diet.

Breeds like Siberian Husky, German Shepherd, Samoyed, and Great Danes have more risk for Zinc deficiency, whereas breeds like Poodles and Beagles have less chance of Zinc deficiency.

Symptoms of Paw Cracks

Check for these signs to know if your dog has paw cracks:

  • Chewing and licking
  • Lameness
  • Inflammation
  • Lesions or discharge
  • Hair loss
  • Bleeding
  • Foul smell from the paws

How to Moisturize Dog Paws?

Your dog’s paws require regular maintenance and care so that their paws are healthy and soft. However, there are also natural and home remedies for moisturizing dog paws. These natural moisturizers are efficient in anti-inflammatory, healing, and soothing properties.

Shea Butter

Shea butter is an excellent moisturizer for soothing and hydrating skin. Used mainly by humans, it is also suitable for dogs. Since it is a non-toxic moisturizer without worrying, you can apply it to your dogs. Even if it licks the paws, it won’t be harmful to them.

Shea butter is rich in vitamins and fatty acids. It penetrates deeply into the skin and helps in creating a protective layer. This will help in stopping itching and healing cracks.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that is available in all houses. Its antibacterial and antiviral properties soothe dry and rough paws.

You should not let your dog lick the applied oil so it will penetrate the paws and work well. To avoid your dog licking its paws, make it wear doggy booties.

Olive Oil

This helps in reducing the irritation and pain of your dog’s paws.

Vitamin E Oil or Cream

The nutrients in vitamin E are efficient in repairing cracks and softening dry skin. You can apply the vitamin E oil directly to the paws or use it in the water to bathe your dog.


Like honey, beeswax has antibacterial, antifungal, and nourishing properties. This is one of the best moisturizers for your dog, softening the skin and reducing infection.

Calendula Extract

Extracted from marigold, this has anti-inflammatory properties which heal the cracked paws. You can use it on dog paws by diluting it with water.

Products that are Harmful to Your Dog

There are certain products that have ingredients that are harmful to your dogs. You should not use this for your dogs at any cost. These include:

  • Essential oils are not pet-friendly. Products with essential oils cannot be used.
  • Products that have cocoa content should not be used. Theobromine, the chemical in cocoa, is highly toxic for dogs. This can create a condition called chocolate poisoning in dogs.
  • Petroleum-based oils can be toxic to your dogs. Avoid products containing it.
  • Though fragrances might seem a good option, it is not. Artificial fragrances cause irritation in your dogs. It shouldn’t be used.

Regular Inspection of Dog Paws

It is necessary that you regularly check your dog’s paws. Make it a routine. Sometimes give a massage too. This can be done before you take them for a shower.

How to Check Cracked Paws at Home?

Your dog may show signs that you can quickly identify as cracked paws. You can lift the paw and check for the symptoms such as:

  • Fissures on the paw pads
  • Check for bleeding and see if the cracks are ruptured.
  • Infection is too common. So check for it often.
  • Check if there are any protruding lesions.
  • Your dog may exhibit discomfort when walking. If you identify such afflictions, check the paws to see if it is cracked.

Tips for Keeping Healthy Paws

There are many reasons for making a dog’s paw dry and crack. Identifying those reasons and taking precautions are best advised.

You should also be alert for sure signs like excessive licking, which may indicate some severe medical conditions.

Groom Hair Between Dog Toes

Regularly trim the hair between the pads. If left untrimmed, it causes pain and itching.

Paw Chewing

Paw chewing is very common in dogs. It can be due to various reasons like itching, allergies, skin conditions, and even anxiety—excessive chewing causes rupturing of paws and bleeding.

Consult your vet if your dog chews their paws too much and ensure there are no severe conditions.

Can Human Moisturizers be Used?

Most of us doubt that, can I use my moisturizer or lotion to heal my dog’s paws? The answer is, no, you shouldn’t. Human creams and moisturizers can over soften dog paws and worsen the condition.

There are moisturizers made specifically for dogs. These are available online also. You can buy it and use it for your dog’s health. There are also natural remedies that can be done at home. Since these are easy remedies, you can use them at any time.

Can You Use Vaseline for Your Dog’s Paws?

You may use Vaseline on and around your pets since it is not poisonous to dogs. Even though it’s a product of the oil business and is created by refining oil (petroleum), it’s still safe to use on dogs’ skin.

Vaseline is most frequently used to keep dogs’ chapped noses and paws warm in cold weather. It may also be useful for wound healing.

Avoid glopping Vaseline on your dog’s soft paws since they could spread it everywhere in your home. If you’re using it before going outside in bad weather, stay right by the door and take your stroll as soon as you’re finished.

Clean any remaining Vaseline from your dog’s paws after bringing them inside from the weather. For this reason, you might wish to put a towel or some doggie tissues at the entrance.

Vaseline could work in a hurry, but there are superior solutions available, such as paw or nose balms for dogs, which can help relieve your pup’s rough, chapped skin. Large-licking dogs should also avoid Vaseline since consuming too much of it might result in stomach problems including vomiting and diarrhoea.

When to Meet Your Vet?

If left unchecked, dry and cracked paws can become a serious condition. It can lead to pain, lameness, and infection. Before it becomes critical, you should take your dog to a vet for treatment.

Cracked and dry paws sometimes indicate serious health conditions like autoimmune disorders or skin diseases. So, it is better to consult a veterinarian so that if there is any medical complication, your vet can diagnose it.

Excessive licking is also a sign of a serious condition. In such cases, proper diagnosis and treatment are required.

A soft and healthy dog paw indicates a healthy dog. Dog’s paws are highly vulnerable to hot and dry weather. It dehydrates the paws and creates cracks. So it is essential to pamper and care for their paws and know how to moisturize dog paws.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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