Just like you, your dog enjoys a little pedicure every now and then. After all, she spends all day on her paws, and if they become dry, cracked, or brittle, it can leave her in constant pain and agony.
That’s where paw balms come in. They can leave your pooch’s feet feeling supple, healthy, and fantastic, just like she deserves. However, knowing that you should put balm on your dog’s feet is only half the battle — you also need to know what kind of balm to use, and trust us when we say there are a lot of options out there.
Fortunately, the reviews below will help you cut through all the confusion, as we’ve looked at some of the top options on the market to find which one does the best job of keeping your pup feeling and looking her best. Who knows — you might even be tempted to use a little on yourself.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Value||Pet Head TPHO2||
|Premium Choice||Pawstruck Organic||
The 10 Best Dog Paw Balms
1. PetSupply Dog Paw Balm – Best Overall
The ingredients in PetSupply Dog Balm are purely organic and natural, so you know you’ll be giving her the best of what Mother Nature has to offer.
It was formulated to deter pups from licking it off and it soaks in quickly, so you can be confident that the majority of what you apply will actually go to good use instead of being wasted. This also allows you to go longer between applications, and its fast-drying action prevents it from getting goop all over your house and furniture.
While it can quickly soothe aching, cracked paws, it’s also excellent for use on noses, making it as versatile as it is beneficial. However, it is a little difficult to get out of the jar and onto your pooch’s paws, so expect to have to struggle a bit at first. Still, we feel that’s a small price to pay for the kind of nourishment and protection this balm provides, which is why we believe PetSupply is the best dog paw moisturizer available today.
2. Pet Head Oatmeal Paw Butter – Best Value
Pet Head TPHO2 Oatmeal Natural is a rich, creamy balm that’s filled with healthy and nourishing ingredients like mango, coconut oil, aloe vera, and vitamins E and F. It’s not something you necessarily want your dog to eat, but she may just get a little nutrient boost if she does.
The star ingredient is oatmeal, though. It helps to soothe dry, cracked paws, and works equally well in extremely hot or cold weather. Plus, it gives the stuff a nice oatmeal smell, so you’ll be forgiven for sniffing your dog’s paws at every opportunity (not that we would ever do that, of course…). Some may find the smell overpowering, though, so apply it in small doses.
Pet Head offers all these great ingredients at a very budget-friendly price, which is why we feel it’s the best dog paw balm for the money. As we alluded to above, though, the biggest problem with it is that your dog might slurp it off before it has a chance to soak in, so you’ll need to observe her for a few minutes after applying it to make sure she doesn’t lick it all off.
3. Pawstruck Organic Paw Wax Balm – Premium Choice
You may balk at spending more on your dog’s grooming habits than you do on your own, but if you’re willing to go to any expense for your pup, PawStruck Organic Paw Wax is hard to beat. It’s made with purely USDA-certified organic ingredients, and as you might expect, they get a little pricey.
One of the big selling points for this balm is that it’s hypoallergenic, so dogs with sensitive skin should be able to tolerate it with ease. It may even help with some conditions like dermatitis, rashes, or hyperkeratosis, and it’s fantastic at soothing dry elbows. Applying it can be a bit tricky, though, as the balm is thin and runny.
Each tin of Pawstruck is very small, though, so expect to buy a new one every couple of weeks or so if you’re using it daily. That can add up quickly, and while we believe the results are well worth it, you may be able to get similar results for less money by using one of the options listed above.
4. Paw Nectar Organic Paw Wax Balm
Billing itself as something more than just a balm, Paw Nectar is certainly filled with a wide array of high-end ingredients, like avocado, cocoa butter, and lavender oil. All of these ingredients can make short work of paw problems once they penetrate your mutt’s pads, so expect to see results quickly, even if you only apply it once a week or so.
It’s not just for pooches who have to venture out in extreme weather, either. It’s excellent for everyday use, and animals with grass allergies or other common ailments will likely bepnefit from a layer or two of the stuff. You can even use it on your cat—if she’ll let you (good luck with that).
That said, putting it on is a bit of a chore. Paw Nectar doesn’t break up easily, so you’ll likely have to spend a few seconds working it into a consistency that’s easy to apply. Also, the tins usually aren’t completely full, which is frustrating, and getting the lid unscrewed takes a lot more effort (and four-letter words) than it should.
5. Bodhi Dog Organic Paw Balm
Tree-hugging types should love Bodhi Dog Organic, as it’s created using purely plant-based materials. That means there are no chemicals, parabens, or other artificial ingredients inside to potentially irritate your dog’s skin.
It’s available in multiple sizes, so you can treat your pooch every day (or tend to a whole flock of dogs, if you have one) without going bankrupt. There are no artificial fragrances or dyes inside, either, so you won’t have to put up with noxious smells or discolored carpet.
It’s a good thing Bodhi Dog is natural and organic, though, because it’s extremely thick and slow to absorb, which gives your pooch plenty of time to slurp it off. All that licking could potentially leave his paws even drier than they were originally, so be sure to monitor your pup after each application.
6. pawlife Dog Paw Balm
pawlife relies on a cocktail of cocoa butter, shea butter, and coconut oil to nourish dry and cracked feet. It’s especially good for use in frigid climates, thanks to its underlying layer of paraffin wax, which may even allow you to forego the use of booties for wintertime walks.
It’s also manufactured in the United States, so you don’t have to worry about the possible addition of suspect chemicals or additives. Unfortunately, those natural ingredients are difficult to work into a rich lather, and applying it may take a bit of time.
Also, once you get it on, the pawlife can cause your mutt’s paws to become extremely slippery, making it difficult for him to find footing on icy sidewalks (or even hardwood floors). This may make it dangerous for older dogs or those suffering from mobility issues, so be cautious when things get slippery.
7. Max and Neo Paw Balm
While it contains many of the usual suspects found in other balms (like coconut oil and shea butter), the secret ingredient in Max and Neo is Calendula oil. Made from marigolds, it can help heal cuts and scrapes, while also boasting anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
Even better, the company makes a donation to a dog rescue with every tin sold, so you can feel like you’re making the world a better place for other dogs even while you’re making things more comfortable for your own pooch.
Our biggest issue with Max and Neo is the fact that it’s very messy. It’s slick out of the jar, and it tends to get all over everything once it’s on your dog’s paws. They may also struggle to find footing, much like with the pawlife balm listed above. We’d love to see the manufacturer improve the consistency because we’re otherwise big fans of the Calendula oil and rescue donations.
8. Dr. Joseph’s Natural Paw Balm
As the name suggests, Dr. Joseph’s Natural was originally formulated by a practicing veterinarian, so you can expect it’s packed with beneficial ingredients. While the base is made of a variety of waxes, including beeswax and carnauba wax, there’s also some aloe vera and vitamin E tossed in for good measure.
All that wax makes a nice, protective layer, which can help keep irritants from penetrating into your dog’s feet while keeping their natural oils locked in.
Unfortunately, the wax will come off one way or another, so expect to see little pawprints in your carpet after applying it. Speaking of which, getting it onto your mutt’s paws is an adventure, and you’ll likely have to stick their feet directly into the tin to apply it.
All in all, it’s a lot of work for what’s a fairly basic balm, so while we appreciate Dr. Joseph’s efforts, we feel there are better options higher up on this list.
9. Fancymay Organic Paw Balm
Fancymay Organic definitely gives you quite a bit for your money, as you get a large container at a very budget-friendly price. Unfortunately, it’s not quite able to deliver enough value in other areas to warrant a higher ranking here.
Its primary active ingredient is kukui nut oil, or candlenut oil. This sets it apart from much of the competition, as it’s one of the few we’ve found to use this particular oil, but it seems there might be a reason for that: some dogs react poorly to it, and it could potentially stain fabric.
Also, the kukui nut oil gives the balm a strong odor, which many people find unpleasant. The smell might be overpowering for your pup, too, so you might want to think twice before slathering his nose in it.
If your dog can tolerate it, Fancymay Organic is certainly a good value pick. It’s just hard to justify putting up with the odor (and potential reactions) to save a few bucks, which is why it’s relegated to this spot on the list.
10. Penny’s Paw Rescue Dog Paw Balm
Designed for use in cold climates, Penny’s Paw Rescue relies on hemp and jojoba oils to protect fuzzy feet from the rigors of snow, ice, and salt. Of course, that may not be of much use to users in warmer locations.
The hemp oil is the primary attraction, as it can help combat inflammation and act as an antiseptic if any cuts occur. However, some owners may balk at the idea of rubbing hemp oil into their dog’s feet. Luckily, dogs don’t seem to care for the flavor, so it will reduce licking — but that can make it challenging to apply to noses.
The can says to wait five minutes for full absorption, and keeping your pup off his feet for that long can be a challenge. Also, Penny’s Paw Rescue is medium-weight, which puts it in a kind of no-man’s-land, as it’s not quite thick enough to handle severe conditions, yet not so light that you don’t have to worry about messes.
Penny’s Paw Rescue is certainly better than nothing, but we don’t recommend starting with it. Instead, work through some of the other options above first, as we feel they’re more likely to provide the desired results.
If you want to treat your dog’s tired, aching feet or cracked nose, we feel the best dog paw balm currently on the market is PetSupply Dog Paw Balm. It uses high-quality natural ingredients and soaks into your pup’s skin quickly and thoroughly, so your dog will get the benefit of the balm instead of your carpet.
However, if funds are limited, you can get similar results from Pet Head TPHO2 Oatmeal Natural. It doesn’t work quite as quickly or thoroughly as the PetSupply does, but it’s still an effective solution at a great price (and it smells really good, too).
We hope that we were able to demystify the dog balm-buying process a bit with these reviews, and hopefully, they’ll help your furry friend enjoy a long, comfortable winter.
If you neglect his paws and refuse to rub any balm on them, though, don’t be surprised if he comes home one day with a one-way ticket to Bermuda in his mouth.