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Just like humans moisturize and hydrate cracked heels or dry hands, dogs need their paws taken care of too. Our furry friends don’t get to wear shoes and their paws are exposed to cold or hot surfaces according to the seasons. Paw wax first originated as a blend of natural waxes and fats to protect snow dogs' paws from the cold, especially when pulling a sled through snowy conditions. The blend would protect their paws from ice build-up and frostbite. Even if your pup isn’t pulling a sled, his paws still need care, especially in extreme temperatures. Paw wax has been developed to suitably nourish and hydrate both cat and dog paws safely, even if they lick their feet after application. Here are our picks of the finest dog paw wax in 2023.
The top dog paw wax or paw balms don’t only hydrate and moisturize dry and cracked paw pads but protect your pets paws from cold and hot surfaces, especially if they spend time outdoors. Imagine going for a run barefoot in the snow or on hot pavements. Even though your pet’s paw pads aren’t as sensitive as your skin, they’re still somewhat sensitive and therefore need extra care since they’re barefoot all day long.
Not only will caring sufficiently for your pup’s paws prevent painful dryness and cracking now, but it will help prevent ailments as they get older, which means fewer veterinary bills for you. Paw balms vary in composition where some are geared more towards moisturizing than protection and others are specifically designed for winter months as opposed to summers. This guide will help you choose the best care to keep those tails wagging.
The top dog paw balms are made from natural plant fats and waxes. Many manufacturers, however, add fillers in the form of unnatural wax (such as paraffin) and liquid oils. The fillers make the product cheaper to produce and also thin out or soften the thick waxy consistency. Although this may make it easier to apply and seem like it absorbs quickly, it is important to consider more important factors such as what that may do to the quality of protection for your dog’s paw pads and whether it is safe if they lick their paws after application.
Besides liquid oils possibly causing oily stains on carpets and couches if your pup walks around after application, these oils won’t offer any protection in the summer heat when walking on hot pavement or other surfaces.
When it comes to paraffin (sometimes referred to as part of a ‘blended wax’ in the ingredients lists) it is important to note that this is a by-product of petroleum production. Since it is an industrial waste product, it is cheap. Would you feed your dog paraffin? Of course not. So, if the product you purchase contains paraffin, you’re better off making sure your pup has socks on to prevent them from licking their paws and ingesting the wax solution.
If you consider that dog paw balms are meant to protect paw pads, it only makes sense that thicker wax consistencies will offer more protection, especially if they harden in snowy conditions. This creates a buffer and repels cold moisture. Essentially, it can prevent frostbite, cracking, dryness, ice build-up and help the dog retain body heat. It also protects against toxic substances found in road salt. To ensure sufficient protection in outdoor winter conditions you need to apply a generous layer of wax on the pads, between toes, and even some on the fur around the feet as this prevents ice crystals from forming and developing into canine frostbite.
A balm that doesn’t melt that easily will offer better protection in the summer heat. Although you should not be taking your pup out on hot surfaces or tar pavements in the heat, even with protection, it is still important to check which season the wax is intended for since most are geared towards winter. You wouldn’t run barefoot on black pavement in the heat, so don’t subject your best pal to that either.
When choosing summer protection and moisturizing hydration formulas, pure natural beeswax is an optimal ingredient to check for. As mentioned earlier paraffin and liquid oils have low melting points and will wear away quickly while beeswax has a much higher melting point giving it some staying power. Solid natural fats offer the best protection even though they’re a little harder and not quite as smooth to apply.
How much and when you apply paw balm will depend on what you are using it for. If you want to moisturize and hydrate paws to restore dry, cracked, or rough pads, regularly apply a thin coating. If your pooch is not turned off by a little foot massage (depending on the severity of their condition), that may really help to encourage good absorption. A great time to apply the wax is just before bedtime, prolonging the contact with skin and preventing it from being rubbed off when doing activities. As the pads improve, you can start decreasing the frequency of application for maintenance.
Snowdogs usually get a thick layer applied that forms a type of shoe around their paws and this may last one or two days in the snow. Your pal probably doesn’t need this type of extensive protection but winter outdoor activities will require a thicker layer for protective purposes than a purely hydrating application. You don’t want it to come off quickly with surface friction as there won’t be much left to offer protection.
Musher’s Secret non-staining, non-allergenic, and fast-drying paw balm absorbs quickly, which means no paw prints on the floor or stains on your carpets. Ideal to keep your puppy’s paws healthy throughout the seasons, the all-natural dog paw wax blend offers breathable protection against hot pavements, sand, snow, and salt. Beeswax, carnauba, and candelilla protect and hydrate while the added vitamin E soothes. Apply the wax to paw pads and in between toes two to three times per week or as needed.
Primens dog paw balm creates an invisible protective layer on your pet’s paw pads. Providing both protection and hydration, this dog paw wax offers relief to cracked and dry areas. Don’t worry if your fur-baby loves licking his paws, the all-natural product is safe, even for pets with allergies. Ingredients including coconut oil, Vitamin E, shea butter, and aloe vera safeguard the paws gently from cold, heat, and ground irritants.
With only organic, chemical-free ingredients, the Natural Dog Company makes sure your furry friend’s paws stay protected and hydrated the natural way. The blend of coconut oil, cocoa butter, and chamomile is suitable for application not only on paws but also to treat scars, irritated elbows, dryness, and hyperkeratosis. Soothe, moisturize, and soften skin and paw pads with this dog paw wax so your pet can remain comfortable and happy year-round without irritation and itching.
Vets Preferred is a fast-absorbing formula and a great option to test how your pet will tolerate paw balms. The nourishing ingredients including vitamin E, hydrate and soothe paw pads. The formula blends cold-pressed natural oils, beeswax, cocoa seed, shea, and cocoa butter with a light and clean aromatic scent. Since it is absorbed quickly and has a subtle patchouli aroma, your dog is more likely to lick your toes than his own after application. This tub of dog paw wax is small and easy to pack if you’re traveling so your pet’s paws can stay healthy no matter where you are.
Bodhi Dog is committed to making products that are good for your pet and the planet. The balm is completely natural making it suitable for any size or age dog. Bodhi Dog paw wax is plant-based without any additional fillers which also makes it safe if your pet loves licking his paws. The organic shea butter, beeswax, jojoba, and hemp seed oil blend moisturizes and hydrates paw pads and combats scaly, scabbed, and rough skin conditions, including hyperkeratosis. With recyclable packaging and locally sourced, sustainable ingredients, this pet-loving family-owned business has excelled in creating a truly environmentally and socially responsible product.
A: Pure natural beeswax is a good option for paw protection since it has healing as well as protective properties. It is thick and may be harder to apply. It is always best to opt for a product specifically designed and tested to be dog friendly. So, don’t apply your human beeswax chapstick to your dog's paws.
A: Natural coconut oil is moisturizing and great for the skin. Two things to keep in mind with coconut oil or fat is that it melts very easily. Simply applying it with your warm hands will probably cause it to melt. Secondly, if your dog ingests too much coconut oil it can cause an upset stomach. For this reason, a small amount massaged into paws for hydrating dry pads and even patches of skin can work.
A: Yes, carnauba wax is considered non-toxic and hypoallergenic. It is nearly insoluble in water which makes it a good option for protection in the snow.
A: Yes, this is another great reason to use paw wax. When dogs' paw pads become dry or cracked it causes them to start slipping. Nourished and moisturized paws have a better grip so a solid balm will definitely help especially if it’s snowing and the streets are icy.
A: Aloe vera is highly beneficial for human skin conditions and can also soothe and help your pet's dermatitis. Although there are varying opinions about how safe it is for ingestion, it is probably best to keep this to topical use only. So yes, feel free to apply this to dry patches, but be careful not to let your pup ingest any of it.
Jarett and his vapor wake dog, Toxi, help keep the students and public safe on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. Jarett knows what equipment, food and toys to keep Toxi safe, productive and still able to have fun.