Just as humans can develop skin problems, your dog can suffer from them too. The areas around the paws are especially sensitive. Many of the skin problems, such as dryness, irritations, or allergies, don’t require a visit to the vet. You can solve the problem with a product that is environmentally friendly and free of chemicals: a DIY dog paw balm.
Dogs walk, run, and fetch on their paws. The paws are the most exposed parts of your dog—and thus, the most vulnerable. If you notice signs of developing skin problems on yourself, you will take a shower and apply some cream or balm. In your dog’s case, you should do pretty much the same.
However, don’t apply the same cream you use to your dog’s paws. Their skin is different from ours, and they need—well, a balm, but a different type. And here we will show you how to fabricate it in at home.
Here we will give you information on some common dog paw problems and how to make your own DIY dog paw balm, free of hazardous chemicals and environmentally friendly, in order to relieve the skin problems that your dog is experiencing. These paw balms can be helpful for rashes or itchiness on other parts of your dog’s body too.
Common Dog Paw Problems
If your canine companion presents any of the following symptoms, it’s really likely they are suffering from paw issues and injuries: Licking and chewing, limping, red or inflamed paws, blisters, cracked and torn nails, hair loss, dry paws, refusal to walk, bleeding, or emitting a weird smell.
The most common visits a vet receives per day are, in fact, due to skin problems. There are many reasons and causes why your dog may develop skin problems. Here we will tell you five of the more common dog paw problems before we tell you how to treat them:
#1: Yeast Infection
Yeast is a natural chemical that is always on your dog’s paws. The problem comes when they get unbalanced, and the normal yeast turns into fungal infections.
Usually, if your dog is suffering from yeast infection, they will start licking their paws, which makes the situation worse: they make the paws warm and wet, and the fungi reproduce faster!
See Also: Yeast Infection in Dog Paws
#2: Itchy Paws
Does your dog bite their paws? It can cause secondary skin conditions and infections. You can avoid itchy paws by having good cleaning habits and by applying a natural balm on the affected place (keep reading, we will teach you how).
Paw allergies are one of the most common dog’s skin problems. If you have a good eye, you can probably trace the origin of the problem, and you can keep your dog from getting into contact with the allergen.
Some dogs have allergies to grass, salt water, etc. Keep an eye open and trace the origin of the allergy, so you can avoid it. To relieve the symptoms, you can apply the balm we will teach you how to make down below!
Besides allergies caused by external factors, there are other types of allergies caused by food and drugs. The ones caused by food can be determined by the process of elimination of certain food ingredients. In this case, try to change the food your dog consumes.
Drugs allergies can be singled out in a similar way; if your dog started taking medicine and they have an adverse reaction, stop the intake and bring them right away to the vet.
#4: Hair Loss
The area around your dog’s feet and paws may start to exhibit signs of hair loss. This condition usually requires a visit to the vet, because it can be caused by parasites, diseases, or adrenal disorders.
Usually, dermatitis is caused by external factors such as plant, water, dust, or insects. However, there are types of dermatitis that are caused by bad nutrition.
Even though some pet food might sound and look like it has everything your dog needs, it might not be true; make sure that the food you buy contains meat as a principal ingredient.
Maintain good cleaning habits and take notice if your dog keeps licking and scratching.
#6: Nail Issues
Ingrown, torn, or really long nails that are not trimmed properly can cause not only pain but also severe paw problems. If after a great day of playing outside your dog comes back limping, inspect it. If the situation looks odd or difficult for you to handle, please visit the vet.
Frostbite is exactly what you are imagining: a burn caused by cold. It appears often in winter (so if you live in a warm place this is probably not an issue) and when dogs spend too much time outside when the temperature is low.
How to Make Your Own Paw Balm
We have four DIY dog paw balm recipes you can try:
#1: Homemade Moisturizing Paw Balm with Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of the best ingredients to soothe burns, allergies, and itchiness among others. Additionally, it’s cheap and natural. It is a win-win-win product.
This is a balm that’s perfect to help with paw irritation, but it will also serve to soothe the irritated skin of the body and help to heal wounds. If you are looking for home remedies for your dog’s dry paws, don’t stop reading and take note of this simple recipe made with natural ingredients.
We will use aloe vera, oats, and rosehip oil. These three ingredients are very powerful natural moisturizers. Both aloe vera and rosehip are very effective regenerators for the skin. Win-win-win.
2 aloe vera leaves
3 tablespoons of ground oats*
1 tablespoon of rosehip oil
*If you don’t have ground oats, but you do have the flakes, you will first have to grind them. Make them as thin as possible.
Cut and open the aloe vera leaves and extract the gel (you can do it with your hands or with a spoon). Pour it into a large container.
Add the oatmeal powder to the aloe vera gel and stir well until the two ingredients are fully integrated.
Add the tablespoon of rosehip oil and mix again.
There you have it! A moisturizing balm for your friend. As it is natural, you can apply it as many times as necessary. We recommend applying it 2 or 3 times per day in the beginning. When the symptoms diminish, you can reduce it and apply only 1 to 3 times a week.
#2: Homemade Moisturizing Paw Balm with Oils and Vitamin E
Another simple but more complete recipe than the previous one is this. This one makes use of different vegetable oils; it has a high concentration of vitamin E. Vitamin E is a very powerful antioxidant.
The different vegetable oils that we use will hydrate the dog’s paw in depth, nourish, and heal it. Beeswax is also moisturizing, nourishing, and regenerating.
85 g of beeswax
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons of avocado oil
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
4 capsules of vitamin E oil
15 drops of lavender essential oil
Melt the beeswax. When it is completely melted, remove it from the fire and pour it into a large glass bowl.
Add the tablespoons of the olive, avocado, and coconut oils to the beeswax and stir well. Create a uniform cream.
Open the capsules and pour the vitamin E oil into the mixture. Stir well again.
Add drops of lavender essential oil and mix again to obtain a homogeneous cream.
Before the wax cools down completely, pour the cream into a container. As the wax cools down, a more similar texture to a balm will appear.
Apply it on the paw as many times as necessary, both to treat and to prevent issues.
#3: Homemade Moisturizing Paw Balm with Olive Oil and Vaseline
This recipe is one of the easiest ones to make. It has only two ingredients. However, if you want, you can always add vegetable oils and make it even better!
We will use olive oil. Olive oil is one of the best moisturizing agents for both a dog’s paw and human skin, and we will use neutral petroleum jelly (usually called “Vaseline”), which also hydrates in depth, regenerates, and protects the dermis.
1 jar of neutral Vaseline
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Pour all the neutral petroleum jelly into a larger container.
Add 3 spoons of olive oil.
Mix well the ingredients well. You want to create a uniform balm.
Apply it as much as needed. 2 or 3 times per day is a fair amount at the beginning. When you start noticing an improvement, apply it 2 or 3 times a week.
Petroleum jelly (or Vaseline) is a very good pad protector, so you can apply it on your dog when you go for a walk on difficult terrain or to a place with snow.
#4: Homemade Moisturizing Paw Balm with Shea Butter
This recipe for paw balm is made with shea butter. Shea butter is a natural product with great moisturizing and regenerating properties.
You can add all the vegetable and essential oils you want, but in order to create a great balm, we recommend adding coconut oil, olive oil, and lavender essentials oil or calendula essentials oil.
1 jar of shea butter
2 tablespoons of each type of vegetable oil you’d like to add
10 drops of each type of vegetable oil you’d like to add
Pour the shea butter in a large container. You can mix and store in the same container.
Add vegetable and essential oils.
Mix well. Create a uniform balm.
Apply a layer one or twice a day until you start noticing a recovery. Thereafter, you can apply it 2 or 3 times per week.
Because they are made with natural ingredients, all these creams and balms should be kept refrigerated. Take them out only when you are going to use them. Check them each time before use. I
f you notice something weird, like a different appearance or a strong and bitter smell, it is better if you throw them away instead of applying them. You might cause more harm than help! Therefore, we recommend making small quantities instead of large quantities; that way they will remain fresh.
You shouldn’t use your own creams on your dog’s paws. Humans and dogs have different skin pH, and commercial creams—the ones that you buy in stores—are full of chemicals and ingredients that might change the pH of the skin. They could even be toxic, especially if your dog licks a big amount of them.
The recipes we just showed you are dog safe, even if they lick their paws. We also don’t recommend that you use them on yourself, but if you do, it isn’t a big deal; they are made with natural ingredients and are safe.
Don’t share creams with your dogs, though, even if they are naturally made. There are some allergies that might be infectious.
As always, prevention is better than cure. Firstly, keep good cleaning habits at all times. Secondly, as said, maintain a good diet. It doesn’t matter if the new food looks great—the most important thing is to be certain that the food has all the nutrients your dog needs, especially meat.
Paw problems are very common, but the good news is, you can make natural remedies at home to help soothe away the problem. Natural ingredients are cheap, environmentally friendly, and a great way to heal, nourish, and alleviate your dog’s paw problems.
Did you try your hand at any of the recipes mentioned above? How does your dog feel now? Don’t forget to share and comment! Plus, check out our article on why do dogs lick their paws if you’re not sure what the problem is.