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How to Soften a Dog’s Paws

Dappled colored dog with paw up on seafoam green background

Paw care is just as important for dogs as foot care is for humans. Paw pads give your dog traction and balance while also insulating their feet in a cold environment. However, dogs can injure and tear their paws (resulting in painful blisters and cuts) by walking on uneven surfaces. Read on to find out how you can soften a dog’s paw to prevent such injuries from happening.

Why Are My Dog Paws So Rough?

Dog paws are meant to be sturdy enough for providing protection. However, the dry skin of dog paws makes them vulnerable to damage. If your dog spends a lot of time outside and runs around on rough surfaces, the skin of his/her paws will become dry and cracked.

Likewise, cleaning chemicals can also irritate your dog’s paws and he/she will indulge in excessive licking to relieve the discomfort. This results in dry and inflamed skin which, in turn, can lead to paw infections.

Lack of moisturization can be another massive factor that must be addressed properly. If you have never moisturized your dog’s paws, there’s a high chance that his/her paws are rough. This can be quite uncomfortable for your dog and you should treat it with dog paw balms.

Are Dog Pads Supposed to Be Rough?

dog laying down with rough paws aimed at camera

No, they are not. It is completely normal for a dog to have rough paws, but you should never leave them that way. A healthy paw pad should be smooth and free of any abrasions. It’s true that dog paws develop higher tolerance over time, but that is no reason to leave them unattended. Therefore, you should use regularly moisturizers to soften your dog’s paws.

Just like humans, your canine companion can also feel uncomfortable while walking bare feet on hot pavements. Fortunately, most moisturizers can also soothe the burning sensation.

Can I Put Vaseline on My Dog’s Paws?

Jar of Vaseline sitting open on a wooden table

Vaseline can be a great option to soften a dog’s paw. It also has some healing properties that can help mend cracked paws. However, Vaseline is also toxic to some extent and it’s not good for your pup to ingest it. A small amount here and there does not affect your dog, but it can be dangerous in large amounts.

Vaseline acts as a laxative and can make your dog sick or uncomfortable. Therefore, if you decide to use Vaseline as a moisturizer, make sure you massage your dog’s paws properly. This is important to prevent any excess from lingering on the skin, especially if your dog licks his/her paws, excessively.

Can You Put Coconut Oil on Your Dog’s Paws?

Half a coconut, wooden spoon with coconut chunks, and 2 jars with coconut oil

Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer and is quite relaxing for your dog. It can help to relieve irritation and soreness from the paws and creates a protective layer around them. This keeps the irritants and other chemicals at bay from damaging the paw skin. Likewise, coconut oil works quickly to treat itchy, dry, and flaky paws.

If your dog tears its paw pad, coconut oil is also quite beneficial to prevent infections. This natural antibiotic (and antiseptic) also helps to soften your dog’s paw. Last but not least, coconut oil is completely safe for your dog even if he/she loves to lick their paws. After all, there is a reason why this commodity is easy to find around our homes.

What Is the Best Paw Balm for Dogs?

Paw Balm being applied to dog paw

Many paw balms are effective for dogs, but Musher’s Paw Protection is widely regarded as the best option.

Paw Protection Wax by Musher’s

This amazing product, found on Amazon, offers all-in-one protection that works well in all seasons and all conditions (icy or hot sidewalks and sandy beaches). It creates a dense yet breathable coating on your dog’s paw and protects it from all the damaging elements. Therefore, you can consider the wax to be like invisible boots for your dog.

The formula for this wax is non-toxic and contains vitamin E that soothes and protects cracked paw pads. After you apply the wax, it dries within seconds and does not leave any stains. It can also be used as a lotion because of its moisturizing properties (heals and protects your dog’s paws). On top of all that, this paw protection product is made from 100% pure and natural waxes.

Other Paw Balms

The following are some other useful alternatives that can be used to soften a dog’s paws.

Dog Paw Balm by Pawlife

pawlife 2 Oz Pad Rescue, Paw Protection and Nose Balm for Dogs

This balm (found on Amazon) can be used to treat as well as protect your dog’s paws from dryness. You only need to apply a thin layer of this product to your dog’s paws to shield them from irritation. All the ingredients used in Pawlife Balm are natural with a hint of coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter. If you love the smell of vanilla, you will love this balm.

Paw Balm Wax for Dogs by VetPro Complete

Being rich in oils, this paw wax (found on Amazon) keeps your dog’s feet hydrated throughout the day. You can also use this balm on your dog’s nose. It is made completely out of natural ingredients and is free from any chemical additives. The formula used in this paw balm creates a protective layer on the dogs’ paws to protect them from the sun, salt, and hot surfaces.

If you are looking to make a homemade dog paw balm, you can find a couple of amazing recipes here.

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