5 Best Natural Dog Paw Balms · The Wildest

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5 Natural Paw Balms That Will Keep Your Pup Safe From Summer Heat

The best paw balms, based on vets recommendations

by Avery Felman | expert review by Dr John Iovino, DVM
31 October 2023
A woman sitting in a chair holding a dogs paw in her hand and holding the dogs face in the other hand.
Photo: Pexels

Summer in an era of climate change means more heat waves and more extreme weather in general. It also means more things for dog parents to worry about. While it’s essential to be armed with water and a travel water bottle when venturing out with your pup, another summer prerequisite that can just as easily fit in your tote is a proper dog paw balm. If you’re asking yourself, ‘What’s a paw balm and why does my dog need one?’ read on. When temperatures really start to rise in the summer months, these balms are paramount to your pet’s health. 

Is dog paw balm necessary? Yep – the thick ointment in paw balms heal and protect the dry, cracked skin on your pup’s paw pads. Although they may have a thick appearance and a sturdy constitution, dog paws are actually really sensitive and when damaged are subject to infection, which could mean an expensive trip to the vet. We’ve always been in the camp that preventative medicine is just as essential as any other type of treatment, which is why we’ve rounded up some of the best natural dog paw balms that will keep your pup protected in this and every season.

Best dog paw balms

Below, vet and The Wildest Collective member Dr John Iovino, and rescue vet Dr Rachel Warnes highlight what to look for in a dog paw balm.

Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)

paw balm in white tube with purple lettering

This high-quality balm is the perfect protective layer for your pet’s most valuable assets. The soothing all-natural botanicals of myrrh, comfrey and sunflower oil give your dog the extra moisture and protection their paws, nose and coat need to maintain a healthy barrier. Formulated with organic ingredients and without added fragrance or essential oils, including the balm in your pup’s grooming kit is a no-brainer. Plus, it’s packaged in a recyclable aluminum tube, so it gets points for sustainability, too. To apply the balm, spread a thin, even layer across their paws for extra protection and to lock in moisture for a shinier, smoother and softer coat.

paw soother balm for dogs

Natural Dog Company’s Paw Soother balm promises to smooth rough and dry paw pads. Dr Warnes has one stipulation to that claim: “It’s OK for dog’s pads to be rough or coarse. Most dogs do not need balms or creams for their paw pads.”

However, for the minority of pups who live in environments where moisture and barrier protection are crucial, this organic, plant-based healing balm is an excellent option. Plus, its twist-stick applicator makes it easy to dab on your pup’s paw pads. This company has even shared their best pet-parent tips, including placing baby socks over your pup’s feet at night to encourage the balm to absorb into their pads.

In terms of application, Dr Iovino suggests “dabbing it on lightly in a reasonable way – that way they aren’t eating it. I wouldn’t lather paw pads with all this waxy stuff.” Even if your pup is prone to licking, all Natural Dog Company products are 100 percent natural, safe and edible. It’s important to note that the Paw Soother works to treat paws, while the company’s PawTection helps prevent damage.

the paw balm with dog logo

Skout’s Honor’s prebiotic pet balm is ideal for soothing, healing and protecting the paws and noses of both cats and dogs. Formulated with 100 percent natural ingredients that are safe for felines and pups alike, the balm, which is made with mānuka honey, provides instant relief and ongoing protection for noses and paws. Prebiotics support and feed the good bacteria that serve as a natural defence against environmental damage and inflammation, which is particularly important when the paw pad is worn down. When this happens, “eventually you’ll get to raw tissue”, says Dr Iovino. “With the balms, the idea is to keep those situations from happening and support the paw pad.” 

While an excellent option for a multi-pet household, Skout’s Honor does have more ingredients than some of the other natural balms. Dr Warnes recommends looking for “natural ingredients (wax, vitamin E, cocoa butter, etc)”, and reiterates the age-old adage: “The fewer the ingredients, the better.”

musher's secret paw balm in blue

There’s a reason Musher’s is globally renowned. Originally created to resist the Canadian winter’s subzero temperatures, ice and snow for dog sledders (hence the name), the dog paw balm has become a saving grace for pups around the world – especially those living in climates with both hot and cold extremes. Dr Warnes notes that when it comes to our dogs, it’s “important to avoid things that will cause damage to the pads, like extreme heat, cold and rough terrain”. During heat waves, the pavement can reach high temperatures so she recommends that in addition to using paw balm, “dogs should only be walked very early and late, for a very short amount of time”.

Musher’s uses a moisturising blend of 100 percent pure natural waxes, including white and yellow beeswax and vitamin E, and coats your pup’s paws. The balm creates a protective barrier while still allowing their skin to breathe. Plus, it uses a non-toxic formula so if your dog tends to lick, they can still use this balm for protection from the elements.

Avery, editor at The Wildest, and her cat, Chicken

Avery Felman

Avery is a writer and producer. She has written for numerous publications, including Refinery29, BuzzFeed, and V Magazine. When she’s not at her computer, you can find her reading, practicing her Greek on Duolingo, and delving into the Sex and the City discourse. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their cat, Chicken, who rules with an iron fist.