10 Best Dog Paw Balms in 2021 (Reviews)

hands smearing salve to the paw of dog

A dog’s paw pads are some of the softest parts of its body. As such, they are vulnerable to all sorts of problems. Thankfully, there are a lot of dog paw balms on the market that will allow you to keep this problem at bay. Still, there is the matter of choosing the right product, and that’s where we come into the picture. We have found ten particularly good products that we will now evaluate in greater detail.

Quick Picks: The 10 Top-Rated Dog Paw Balms

In a hurry? Then check out Burt’s Bees Paw and Nose Lotion as Our Best Pick, or keep reading for product reviews and buying guide!

10 Best Dog Paw Balm Reviews

Natural Dog Company Paw Soother

Best Handmade Dog Paw Soother

This is a very high-quality product, and that is (probably) because it is handmade in small batches only. This certainly must drive up the manufacturing cost because this is the most expensive paw balm on our list. Still, there are benefits that come with that slower, small-scale process. Quality over quantity seems to be the motto of this company.

Natural Dog Company Paw Soother, Heals Dry, Cracked, Irritated Dog Paw Pads, Organic, All Natural Ingredients, 1oz Tin, 1 Count

This 2-ounce container doesn’t contain all that much, so it isn’t very cost-effective. You can buy larger containers, but the price doesn’t go down very much. Thus, this is not a good choice for someone on a limited budget. It is entirely made from natural plant-derived substances. Ingredients include Calendula, Jojoba, Hemp, Coconut, and Cocoa, all of which are known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

The consistency of this stuff is just about right: It’s not too thick (like a gel), but it is thick enough to stay in place. It will quickly dry and be absorbed into your dog’s skin, although a little rubbing will help it along. Of course, it will take three applications per day to receive the full effects.

Pros:

  • Made entirely from plants and plant derivatives
  • No toxicity whatsoever
  • Consistency is just right
  • Soaks into the dog’s skin quickly

Cons:

  • Second-most expensive item on our list (per ounce basis)
  • Requires three applications per day

Bodhi Dog Certified Organic Paw Balm

Best All-Natural Dog Paw Balm

This product gets high marks because it seems to be one of the more trustworthy options. The company is very transparent about their ingredients and their manufacturing process, as is stated in the advertising. Like our previous choice, it is an all-natural product that is made primarily from herbal extracts. It includes Shea butter, Jojoba oil, Hemp, beeswax and Calendula (among other things).

Organic Paw Balm for Dogs & Cats | All Natural Soothing & Healing for Dry Cracking Rough Pet Skin | Protect & Restore Cracked and Chapped Dog Paws & Pads | Better Than Paw Wax 2oz

Unlike our previous choice, this company managed to make an all-herbal product without raising the price. This one is about half the cost (per ounce) and offers a very similar product. Apparently, some other people thought it to be superior because it won some kind of “family choice” award in 2020. The only consistent complaint we see relates to the consistency of this stuff.

A lot of people have said that this stuff is hard to use because it is a little thicker than average. It has a waxy consistency, and that means it is more likely to fall off your dog’s feet. If you warm it first (using your fingers or maybe a couple of seconds in the microwave), this problem will be reduced somewhat.

Pros:

  • A lot of transparency from the company
  • Made from all-natural ingredients
  • Has won at least one award
  • Pretty good value

Cons:

  • A little bit too thick
  • Doesn’t stick so well

Musher’s Secret Dog Paw Wax

Best Dog Paw Balm for Winter

As the name implies, this cracked paw protection wax is very popular among sled-dog enthusiasts. As you can imagine, running over the snow and ice can lead to a lot of capping and cracking, so this product is meant for extreme conditions. That might be why it has such a good reputation. Everyone seems to agree that this is a highly superior option.

Musher's Secret Dog Paw Wax (7 Oz): All Season Pet Paw Protection Against Heat, Hot Pavement, Sand, Dirt, Snow - Great for Dogs on Trails and Walks!

The consistency of this product is somewhere between that of wax and that of an ointment. That allows it to fulfill multiple purposes at once. Like an ointment, its natural ingredients soak into the skin of a dog’s paw pad and help it to maintain flexibility and hydration. Like wax, it can be used to form a hard, protective layer that protects against physical damage. The advertising describes it as “an invisible boot.” It can also be used on other sensitive canine areas like the snout and ears.

This one isn’t that expensive, but it can take a good amount to get the full effects. The protective qualities described in the advertising will require a big chunk of wax on every afflicted foot, making this product a little less cost-efficient. Some others have complained that it is too slick and causes dogs to slip and fall on hard floors.

Pros:

  • Very good reputation
  • Soaks in like an ointment
  • Shields from contamination like a wax
  • Can be used on other areas as well

Cons:

  • A little expensive if you want the full effects
  • Some danger of slip-and-fall accidents

4Legger Certified Organic Nose & Paw Pad Healing Balm

Best Nose and Paw Balm

This product is another all-natural formulation, and the ingredients list does indeed look very good. It does not include any weird additives, preservatives, etc. The only thing we see that looks even remotely unnatural would be the Tocopherol, but this is nothing more than a laboratory-grade source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is known to be very good for the skin (both in dogs and humans), so we do feel that this product is very safe. The money-back guarantee also adds a little safety to the price factor.

4Legger Certified Organic Nose & Paw Pad Healing Balm Unscented for Dry Chapped and Cracked Paw Pads, Elbows, Snout, Dry Skin with Hemp Oil, Vegan Wax, Calendula & Shea Butter - Made in USA - 1.9 oz

This one includes St. John’s Wort as an ingredient, which most of our other options do not. Extracts of this plant are known to be very effective in the suppression of inflammatory responses, so this is a very helpful feature. However, we can also see that this is the most expensive item on this list. Again, this is figured on a cost-per-ounce basis, so this is not the product to buy in bulk.

Some people have also complained that the consistency of this stuff is too dependent on the temperature. This often forces users to heat it up or chill it in the fridge before use. That’s a little bit of an inconvenience, which was a serious mark against this product. Still, it seems very good apart from that.

Pros:

  • Nothing unnatural at all
  • Includes St. Johns Wort
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Good for canine skin in general

Cons:

  • Consistency changes a lot with temperature
  • Most expensive item on our list (cost-per-ounce basis)

Vets Preferred Advanced Pad Protection Paw Balm

Best Breathable Paw Protection

This is supposed to be a veterinary-grade product, which means it is intended for serious use by serious people. That speaks well for it, but we also don’t know how many veterinarians are actually using this stuff. Like some of the other options we have seen, it is meant to form a waxy, protective coating around the dog’s paw. Of course, these waxy concoctions have a harder time staying in place, but there’s no need to restate that which we already know.

Vets Preferred Advanced Pad Protection | VETERINARIAN-GRADE Dog Paw Balm | Heals, Repairs, and Moisturizes Dry Noses and Paws | Effective  | Ideal for Extreme Weather Conditions

Although this product forms a hard layer, it is also a breathable layer. That keeps it from trapping contaminants against your dog’s skin. The wide-mouthed tin in which it comes is also kind of convenient because it is large enough to dip the dog’s entire paws into the can.

We do, however, see one big problem. It is recommended by the manufacturer that you avoid letting your dog lick their paws until this stuff has dried. Thus, we are led to believe that there is a small toxicity hazard here. It might only be present until the substance dries, but that is still kind of concerning. If it weren’t for that, we would have rated this one a lot higher.

Pros:

  • Meant for veterinary use
  • Mostly made from breathable waxes
  • Meant for hand application
  • Very soothing against itchiness
  • Protects in most extreme weather conditions

Cons:

  • Possible small toxicity

Dermapaw Skin & Paw Treatment for Dogs

Best Moisturizer for Itchy Paws

This is a medicated ointment that is meant to be both moisturizer and medicine. Thankfully, all of its ingredients are natural, but it does have one little catch: This one is made to be less appealing in terms of taste. That is good because it discourages the dog from licking away the medicine. That also helps to defray the higher cost of this item.

Dermapaw Skin & Paw Treatment for Dogs 4.7 oz

There are some unique ingredients here, like emu oil. Emu oil is made from the fat of the emu, a flightless Australian bird that is somewhat like a miniature ostrich. Since their feathers are naturally oily, this ingredient does make sense, but we aren’t sure how effective it might be on dogs. There are also several rice-based ingredients. Most people seem to agree that this product does a good job of relieving itchy paws, but there is a higher percentage of bad reviews here than that which we have seen for most others.

Pros:

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Contains some unique ingredients
  • Great for itchy paws
  • Discourages licking

Cons:

  • Larger percentage of bad reviews
  • A little on the expensive side

Pet Head Oatmeal Natural Paw Butter

Best Holistic Dog Paw Moisturizer

This is one of the more holistic products that we have seen in this category, and it includes a huge number of plant-derived ingredients. This does present a slightly higher danger of allergic reaction, but it’s not a big risk. Just test it on a small patch of exposed skin and wait 24 hours to see the effects. Anyway, this product is pretty cheap and is obviously intended for small-scale use. That’s part of the problem, though. They don’t offer it in larger sizes.

Pet Head Oatmeal Natural Paw Butter 2oz

This product is pretty thin, which makes it easier to work into the skin. It is more of a pure moisturizer than most, as it isn’t meant to leave a waxy coating. That oatmeal scent is not very strong, but pleasant nonetheless. Overall, we can’t find too many problems with this one.

Pros:

  • Includes both vitamins and herb extracts
  • Pretty affordable
  • Easy to work into the skin
  • Very pleasant smell

Cons:

  • Not available in larger sizes

Paw Nectar Dog Paw Balm

Best Organic Paw Wax Balm

This paw protection wax is a very simple and straightforward product and has a good reputation overall. We saw mostly good review for this product, and very few complaints were made. That might be why this product has a 100% satisfaction guarantee attached. This is also another one of those big cans that can fit an entire paw. You will end up using a little more product that way, but it’s much easier.

Paw Nectar Heals Dog Paws

This stuff is kind of expensive overall, though not as bad as some others. It’s definitely worth the money if you need serious results, but it might not be appropriate for those with limited needs.

Pros:

  • Penetrating formula works quickly
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Lots of good reviews
  • Can is big enough to fit a whole paw

Cons:

  • Pretty expensive (cost-per-ounce basis)

ResQ Organics Pet Skin Treatment

Best Dog Skin Treatment Balm

This one is meant to be a highly medicated option, and it does a good job at dealing with many problems. It has antifungal, antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory ingredients, so it offers may different kinds of protection in a single package. That is good, because it is one of the more expensive products on this list as well. However, unlike a lot of other expensive products, this one offers a lot of added benefits. Thus, it may cost more, but you will get your money’s worth.

ResQ Organics Pet Skin Treatment 2oz - Nourish and Repair Skin - with Organic Aloe Vera, Manuka Honey, Coconut Oil - For Dry, Irritated and Damaged Skin

This is a thinner concoction that is meant to absorb quickly into the skin. This allows it to work from within rather than from without, and that is always more effective. It even treats cuts, burns, and abrasions, making it a universal skin curative. If it weren’t for the high price, this one would be nearly perfect.

Pros:

  • Offers many kinds of protection
  • Also good for treating burns and abrasions
  • Absorbs into the skin quickly
  • Money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Pretty expensive

Burt’s Bees Paw and Nose Lotion

Best Dog Paw Lotion for General Use

This is a simple product that uses olive oil, vitamin E, honey, beeswax, and other basic ingredients. There are no bells and whistles here, but this product will definitely get the job done.

Burt's Bees for Pets for Dogs All-Natural Paw & Nose Lotion with Rosemary & Olive Oil | For All Dogs and Puppies, 4oz | Best Treatment for All Dogs and Puppies With Dry Nose and Paws

A lot of people swear by this stuff, and it has a lot of versatility. Apart from its use as a paw moisturizer, it is good for just about any canine skin affliction. It isn’t really a cure for anything but it treats quite a few problems. It’s Ph-balanced for any sort of canine skin, making it a great choice for dogs of all ages.

Pros:

  • Excellent reputation/reviews
  • Good for any kind of canine skin
  • Completely safe and non-toxic
  • Simple and effective
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • No significant side benefits

Best Dog Paw Balm Buying Guide

Having read this far, you already know a little bit about the subject. You already know that dog paw pads can become dry and irritated and that the use of a paw moisturizer can help with that problem. There isn’t really a whole lot more to say on that subject, but there is a lot to be said about canine paw care in general.

Why Do Dogs Have Paw Pads?

Your dog’s paw pads are just little pockets of fatty tissue, and they have several purposes. For one thing, they function like little shock absorbers, making it easier for your dog to handle running on rough terrain. This also helps them to keep their balance, although the claws work In tandem with the paw pads on that one. These pads also serve as insulation against the cold ground. Finally, the roughened surface of a well-calloused paw pad gives protection against foot injury and gives a little traction for faster running.

Why Do I Need To Moisturize My Dog’s Paw Pads?

Veterinarian showing the paw of a german shepherd

A lot of dog owners are in the habit of regularly trimming their dog’s nails. Even with breeds whose nails cannot be cut, you can trim them and round them off to some degree. Anyway, that’s not important. The important thing is that you should expand that regular trimming habit into a full foot-care routine.

This doesn’t mean that you will have to spend hours and hours grooming your dog’s feet. It just means that, after clipping their nails, you should always inspect their paws and paw pads for any signs of irritation. Redness isn’t really a good indicator because many paw pads are red anyway. Sometimes, dogs will develop chafing between their toes, and this should also be checked.

Anyway, as for the paw pads themselves, the texture will tell you a lot. When a paw pad is too dry, it starts to harden. This process is called cornification or hyperkeratinization, and it results in a harder, drier, and rougher paw pad. Obviously, this is not very comfortable for the dog. As the skin dries, it will tend to crack and bleed, causing the dog pain with every step. That is why you need to moisturize that sensitive paw pad skin from time to time.

Should I Consider Shoes Or Boots For My Dog?

In an attempt to avoid all of these paw pad issues, some people like to put shoes or boots on their dog. This is not really a bad practice, but it isn’t usually necessary. For instance, a dog that spends most of its time in the house will surely not require shoes. Likewise, an outside dog should not be expected to wear shoes all the time. It feels unnatural to them, and they are likely to remove the footwear and tear it to pieces. On that note, you should probably know that most dogs will require a little training before they will tolerate footwear.

This is one of those things that is handy but only for certain times. For instance, if you are taking your dog on a hike, that is a very good time to bust out those doggy shoes. Or, alternately, if you are forced to walk your dog through an area that is littered with broken glass, rusty metal, or other such hazards, those boots will be worth their weight in gold. We would characterize this as a special-purpose piece of gear, but a very handy one nevertheless.

Final Thoughts

So, which is the best dog paw balm? When it comes down to it, all of these are good products. However, we would probably recommend the Burt’s Bees ointment as the best dog paw balm for general use. It simply seems to be the most reliable option, and that is very good. We want to make sure that you do not get bad advice from us, so that seems to be the safest choice. If you have enjoyed this article, please come back and see us again.

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