cracked dog paws

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Cracked Dog Paws: Troubleshooting Frostbite, Burns, and Allergies

Lily Velez

By

Medically reviewed by

Ivana Crnec, DVM

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Cracked Dog Paws Treatment Summary

What are Cracked Dog Paws?

Cracked dog paws are very similar to the cracked heels of humans. Despite the strong keratin build of dog paws, they are not immune to cracks and lesions.

Dog paws can develop superficial cracks that progress and run deeper. Cracked paw pads are very painful. To relieve the pain, the dog will start licking or itching the paws, thus aggravating the issue.

Are Cracked Paws Bad for Dogs?

Yes, cracked paws can become dangerous for dogs. Cracked paws can lead to excessive pain and discomfort if not treated properly.

At times, cracked paws indicate underlying infections such as the canine distemper virus. Cracked paws can also signal skin conditions such as hyperkeratosis, which is a condition of thickened skin that leads to cracks in between.

If your dog is licking their paws excessively, this dogs licks can be a sign of acral lick dermatitis, which ultimately leads to cracked paws. Cracked paws are also a symptom of pemphigus foliaceus, an autoimmune disease.

What Causes Cracked Dog Paws?

Although cracked paws are related to skin conditions and diseases at times, the most common causes of cracked paws in dogs include:

  • Old Age. Cracked paws are a natural occurrence in senior dogs. This is because, with age, the dog’s pads are prone to natural wear and tear.
  • Weather Conditions. Hot and dry weather is a natural trigger for cracked paws. Such weather causes dry paws. The dryness is followed by itchiness and crusty lesions.
  • Hot Surfaces. Stepping on a hot pavement will dry the dog’s pads and prolonged exposure causes blisters and other severe injuries.
  • Uneven Terrain. Walking on rough surfaces and undulated terrains can result in cuts, cracks, and tears of the dog’s paw pads.
  • Chemical Damage. Walking on ice melt and grass treated with fertilizers can cause chemical damage to the dog’s pads. They can appear as blisters or abrasions.
  • Other Health Problems. Health issues such as liver disease, hot spots, and zinc deficiency can also lead to cracked paws. These conditions affect the dog’s health overall.

What are the Signs of Cracked Dog Paws?

If you see the following symptoms in the paws of your dog, they most certainly have cracked paws:

  • Discoloration: Brown discoloration of the fur around the dog’s feet
  • Limping: Discomfort in walking or signs of limping
  • Licking: Excessive licking or chewing of paws
  • Skin Peeling: Cracks or excessively dry and peeling skin on the paws
  • Bleeding: In some cases, there might be bleeding at the paws, but not profusely
  • Inflammation: Swelling and redness of the paws may develop before the cracks appear

How do I Treat My Dog’s Cracked Paws?

There are many lotions and treatment options for cracked dog paws. To help owners find the best supplement for their dogs’ damaged paws, we have reviewed some best-sellers.

Honest Paws Dog Paw Balm

Honest Paws Relief Paw Balm

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Summary: This is an all-natural balm formulated to treat cracked paws. This balm works best for dogs with cracked paws in dry and cold weather. This balm contains natural moisturizing ingredients such as cocoa butter, beeswax, vitamin E oil, and coconut oil that are highly soothing and have healing properties. This formulation is free from harsh chemicals, gluten, xylitol, and GMO ingredients. Safe for use and highly effective, this is our top choice for treating your dog’s cracked paws.

Pros

  • All-natural product in an easy-use balm form
  • Made with selected healing ingredients
  • Highly nourishing and soothing formula
  • Free from harsh chemicals
  • Suitable for all breeds and life stages

Cons

  • None reported

Review: Based on 262 global ratings, this cracked dog paws product has an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Dog owners state that this balm works great for their dog’s cracked paws and relieves them.

Vets Preferred Paw Pad Protection Balm for Dogs

Vets Preferred Paw Pad Protection Balm for Dogs

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Summary: A veterinarian recommended “paw-protection” formula. This balm is a mixture of several naturally healing waxes. The most beneficial ingredients include olive oil, natural beeswax, shea butter, sweet almond oil, and vitamin E oil. This balm can be reapplied as needed and works well for dry noses. This formula is tested and tried in laboratories and is GMP certified.

Pros

  • Natural blend of cold-pressed oils & waxes
  • Veterinarian recommended, and GMP certified
  • Contains healing and nourishing ingredients
  • Can be reapplied easily on the dog’s pads
  • Available at a budget-friendly price

Cons

  • The fragrance may be strong if your dog has a sensitive nose.

Review: Based on 3,389 global ratings, this cracked dog paws balm has an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Pet parents claim this balm makes a visible difference with the first use itself.

Musher’s Secret Paw Protection Natural Dog Wax

Musher's Secret Dog Paw Wax

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Summary: A lightweight paw soother that acts as a shield for your dog’s sensitive paws. This is an all-natural formula with 100% pure ingredients. The main ingredients include white and yellow beeswax and Vitamin E oil which moisturize and heal cracked paws. It is recommended to apply this wax on your dog’s paws before they go out for walks. This balm will act as an invisible boot for your dog, whether it’s a hot pavement or an icy road. This wax can also be applied to dried noses, elbows, and ears.

Pros

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Contains white and yellow beeswax
  • Promotes healing of the dog’s paw pads
  • Lightweight and can be used during walks
  • Suitable for all seasons

Cons

  • May cause an allergic reaction due to its high beeswax content

Review: Based on 24,678 global ratings, this cracked dog paws product has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Dog owners are raving about its multipurpose use and season-round efficacy.

Natural Dog Company Paw Soother Stick

natural dog company Skin Soothing Balm

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Summary: A travel-friendly healing cream that is formulated with vegan ingredients to soothe your pup’s paws. This balm comes in an easy-to-use stick form. The all-organic vegan ingredients guarantee no unforeseen allergic reactions for your dog. Blended with mango butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and chamomile, this balm nourishes, heals, and soothes your dog’s troubled paws.

Pros

  • With mango butter and jojoba oil
  • Allergy-proof formulation
  • Travel friendly and easy to apply
  • Moisturizes & soothes the pet’s paws
  • Enriched with vitamin E

Cons

  • There is a risk of slipping if not dried properly after application.

Review: Based on 38,295 global ratings, this cracked dog paws product has an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. Pet parents state that this is a “worth the money” product.

Dexas MudBuster Portable Dog Paw Washer

Dexas MudBuster Portable Dog Paw Washer

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Summary: This is a portable paw washer. Paw washers can be a great way of protecting your dog’s paws from developing cracks. This is an easy-to-use product available in three sizes for different paws. You can easily insert your dog’s paw into the washer filled with water, twist the paw, and dab it dry. This washer is made from BPA-free plastic and is a patented product.

Pros

  • Gentle, silicone blisters
  • Easy-to-grip tumbler
  • Easy to use and portable
  • Comes in a BPA-free plastic material
  • Available in different sizes

Cons

  • Sizing might not be ideal for all breeds.

Review: Based on 38,295 global ratings, this cracked dog paws product has an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Dog owners claim this product “works like a charm” to protect their dog’s paws.

Raw Paws Organic Coconut Oil for Dogs

raw paws pet food coconut oil

 

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Summary: A single ingredient healing oil for cracked paws. The coconut oil is organic and 100% natural. The limited ingredient list makes this product safe and suitable for most dogs. In addition to healing cracked paws, this oil can be used to treat cuts and scars on your dog’s skin.

Pros

  • All-natural product
  • With organic ingredients
  • Multipurpose use
  • Portable package
  • Affordable price tag

Cons

  • Often out of stock

Review: Based on 2,288 global ratings, this cracked dog paws product has an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Pet parents state that this oil makes their dog’s paws “smooth and shiny”!

Dog Boots Waterproof Shoes

Dog Boots Waterproof Shoes

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Summary: Protective shoes are a good way of ensuring the health of your dog’s paws. This pair of waterproof shoes are available in eight different sizes. The shoes are easy to put on and have adjustable straps for a custom fit. The soles of the shoes are rugged to provide a firm grip while walking. The shoes are designed with reflective stripes to enhance visibility in the darkness.

Pros

  • Easy to use pet shoes
  • Made of waterproof materials
  • With adjustable straps
  • Reflective stripes for night visibility
  • Come in various colors and sizes

Cons

  • Some dogs dislike wearing booties

Review: Based on 19,823 global ratings, these protective dog boots have an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Dog owners claim that the booties are well made and are of good quality.

Can I put Vaseline on my Dog’s Paws?

Yes, you can use Vaseline on cracked dog paws.

Vaseline is safe when applied topically. However, we must note that the ingestion of Vaseline can cause stomach upset and diarrhea in dogs. Since dogs naturally have a habit of licking their paws, applying Vaseline for paw care must be monitored.

Therefore, it is much better to use a dog-appropriate product such as the Honest Paws Dog Paw Balm. This balm gets easily absorbed into the skin and hence poses no risk.

Best Seller
Honest Paws Relief Paw Balm
10/10Our Score
  • This antibiotic topical balm is made of 100% natural ingredients
  • It will help relieve skin irritations, rashes, minor cuts, and dry itchy skin. 
  • Simply apply to your dog’s paw pads and snout and massage into the skin. Reapply as needed!