Socks, sandals, boots, slippers, we humans have a lot to protect the skin on our feet, but our dogs walk barefoot their entire life. Dogs can wear boots in winter, but more often than not, they don’t.
Constant contact with different terrain, hot pavements, chemicals, and cold climates can make their soft paws dry and cracked. You’ve felt it, that rough surface on the bottom of the pads, it can’t be nice for them, just like if your own hands and feet get dry, it’s pretty uncomfortable and can be painful.
Dry and cracked paws are not a problem, but prolonged dryness can cause swelling and bleeding feet, which is concerning. That’s why it is essential to moisturize because bleeding paws can take quite a lot of time to heal, and you will have to take extra care to keep them healthy.
So, home remedies to keep your dog’s paws moisturized are essential. Here are seven ways to keep the paw pads moist naturally.
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7 Ways to Naturally Moisturize Dry Dog Paws
I’ve never been one to neglect my dogs. I love them with all of my heart, and I want to make sure they’re always happy and healthy. That means taking care of their needs, including their paws.
Dogs’ paws are often neglected, but they need just as much attention as the rest of our furry friends! Here are my favorite natural remedies to restore the moisture and softness of your dog’s paws.
Coconut oil is a safe and natural remedy loaded with many health and wellness benefits. It efficiently moisturizes the paws and has antiviral and antibacterial properties that prevent the cracks from infecting.
Massage a small portion of coconut oil to soothe dry and cracked paws. We recommend applying when the dog is sleeping or putting on doggy boots after applying because your dog will lick their feet, and excessive licking can cause dryness. Moreover, it allows the coconut oil to work effectively.
Shea butter is one of the best natural moisturizers; it hydrates, heals, and softens the skin. The butter came from the extracts of the Shea tree. It’s completely non-toxic and can be applied the same way as coconut oil.
Along with moisturizing properties, it is enriched with beneficial vitamins and fatty acids that seep deeply into the skin, making a protective layer to stop itching and heal cracks. Moreover, the butter is also a sun protectant and can be used on dogs’ hair.
Beeswax is another exceptional natural moisturizer. Getting the pure one can be slightly tricky, but it locks in the moisture for a long time and deliver the best results. Beeswax has all the vital antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties of honey, making it an excellent choice for dog paws. Further, beeswax is also waterproof; it creates a protective layer to lock the moisture and prevent the growth of yeast infection.
To get the pure unprocessed beeswax, try to contact your local beekeeper. I’m sure they’d be happy to sell you some.
Calendula extract is an organic substance derived from the marigold flower. It has anti-inflammatory and healing properties that soothe and speed up the healing of dry, cracked dog paws.
You can easily find calendula extract at your local health food store or online. Dilute it with water before applying to your dog’s paws.
Petroleum jelly is a tried and true method for keeping the skin moisturized. It creates a barrier on the skin that locks in the moisture and prevents evaporation. It also has a small amount of antibacterial properties.
Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to each paw and massage gently into the pads and skin. Cover with socks overnight, and your dog will wake up with softer paws.
Vitamin E Cream and Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E is a nourishing product; it keeps the dog healthy from both inside and outside. It is present in many dog foods, and there are other products like salmon oil, rich in vitamin E and omega fatty acids (both are great moisturizing agents). Reduces dryness, fills cracks, heals blisters, and softens the skin.
Application is similar to coconut oil and shea butter, or you can add the oil to your paw wash.
All-natural paw balm
Dog paw balm is another excellent option to moisturize your dog paws naturally. It is made from natural ingredients and is immensely fruitful in healing dryness and cracks.
The applying method is not complex; take a small amount of balm and gently rub it on paw pads. But make sure to trim excess hair before applying.
In addition to all these remedies, you can also use Epsom Salt for spot treatments. If the condition of one foot is worsening, you can soak that paw in Epsom salt to heal and moisturize.
How and when to apply products to your dog’s feet
Products like coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax, calendula extract, petroleum jelly, vitamin E cream and oil can be applied as needed. Usually, this means applying them after a bath or when at bedtime when your dog is relaxed and calm. Shea butter and beeswax can also be applied before going outside in cold weather to help prevent frostbite.
Preventing dry paws
There are a few things you can do to prevent dry paws in the winter. Make sure your dog has plenty of water and is eating a diet that is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. You can also apply a coat of petroleum jelly before going outside, and consider using booties or dog shoes to protect the paws from the cold, snow, and ice.
Common Causes of Dry Dog Paws
Dog’s paws face quite the battering as they spend a lot of time running, jumping, and fetching indoors and outdoors. Although plenty of skin, bone, and tendons protects paws, but many external and environmental factors can dry out even the toughest pads.
Here are some common causes of dry dog paws.
- Hot Weather, Hot Pavements: Paws are actually really sensitive, and hot surfaces can burn and dry them out quite quickly. The extreme heat that we get at the height of summer is not good for little doggy paws.
- Central Heating: If you have heated floors then these can also dry out your dog’s paws.
- The Beach: Sandy beaches are fun to frolick on, but sand is abrasive and can be really harsh on sensitive paws. So can clambering over the rocks whilst exploring rock pools. The rough surface and sea salt can dry and crack paw pads.
- Dry Cold Weather: Like humans, the dog skin gets dry and cracked in winter. Moreover, in snowy weather, roads are covered with salt and de-icing products often contain chemicals. Walking on these irritants amplify the drying out process and in some cases can even burn paw pads.
- Allergic Reaction: When walking and playing, dogs come in connection with a variety of things, and many of them can cause allergies which can lead to redness and itch that can cause dryness. Seasonal allergies are quite common in dogs and it’s not just sensitive skin that can react, paws can too.
- Excessive licking: Dogs who are stressed or bored tend to lick their paws to soothe themselves. Unfortunately this habit can dry out the pads and leave moisture between the toes giving them two issues: dry pads and bacteria infections.
- Paw pad hyperkeratosis: Is a condition where the keratin on the paw pads increase significantly, often as a result of excessive licking. The condition can cause pain and discomfort, and the thickened skin can make the paws more susceptible to drying out.
If you are noticing that your dog’s paws are constantly dry, there are a variety of things that you can do to help. From using natural moisturizers to changing up their diet, there are plenty of options that can help to keep those pads healthy and hydrated. In some cases, it might be necessary to see a veterinarian if the dryness is persistent or causes your dog discomfort. By being proactive and treating dry paws as soon as they are noticed, you can keep your dog’s feet healthy and free from pain.
- The Secret to Surviving Winter Walks with Your Dog
- Why Do My Dog’s Paws Smell Bad? [Stinky Paw Care Tips]
- 7 Fun Ways to Tell If Your Dog is a Left or Right Pawed
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Moisturizing Dog Paws FAQs
How can I tell if my dog’s paws are dry?
If your dog’s paws are dry, they will often have a rough, scaly texture and may be red, inflamed or bleeding. They may also seem to itch a lot.
What should I do if my dog’s paws are dry?
There are a number of things you can do to moisturize and heal dry dog paws. You can try using a paw balm, soaking them in Epsom salt, or applying a natural oil or cream. Avoid hot pavements and heated floors.
How to make dog paws softer?
There are many ways the dog paws can be made softer; you can use any of the above-mentioned methods, or soak the dog’s feet in Epsom Salt and warm water. Other than that, you can create and use dog paw balm.
How long should I soak my dog’s paw in Epsom salts?
Epsom salt is a great spot treatment remedy. Keep the ratio of 1 tablespoon in 4 cups of water, allow the salt to dissolve and soak the dog feet for 10 to 15 minutes.
Does dog paw wax work to help with slipping?
Yes, dog paw wax works and provides extra traction to prevent slipping.
What can I put on my dog’s raw pads?
You can put boots on their paws, or put some Vaseline or paw balm if the dog is not comfortable in boots.
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