Friday, 10 June 2016
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Homemade Natural Dog Paw Balm

Homemade dog paw balm with natural ingredients

Paw balm is handy for helping dry cracking, scrapes and cuts from fun at the beach and on our rocky trails, tenderness from playing a little too hard, or a little extra paw TLC in hot/cold conditions.  Many dogs (ours included) try to lick tender paws and other sore spots, so keeping things natural makes me more comfortable.  All the more so since our dogs often try to lick any cream or lotion that we apply, no matter how good/bad it might taste or what's might be in it!

In addition to paw-repairs, balm is handy for other doggy dry spots.  Our dogs don't suffer from dry noses, but old boy Oli does have senior dog callouses, and despite his abundance of beds he still loves sprawling in the garden and, in warmer weather, on cool floors.  Massaging his elbows with balm has done wonders. In all honesty, I use my "paw" balm far more often as a salve rubbed into his elbows and other sore/dry points than on either of our pet's actual paws!

My first attempt at making paw balm was based upon how I would make homemade lip balm.  It came out lovely, but too firm at room temperature for jar application (great for tubes though!)   After some experimentation, I settled on the following ratios.  We don't use paw balm for routine conditioning, just for extra care as dogs need tough paws for life's adventures and the sore spots noted above. A little balm goes a long way and a jar lasts a long time.  For this reason, ingredients are listed by parts (volume) not specific measures so you can easily tweak/swap ingredients to your preferences and/or scale ratios for as large or small a batch as you wish.

The ingredients and supplies that I use for my paw balm are a dog-suitable skin butter, coconut oil, olive oil or sweet almond oil, beeswax, and vitamin E oil, and you can adjust these to best suit personal preferences for ingredients and consistency. You will also need a small pot or double boiler and suitable tins or jars for storage.

🐾 Safety first, furfriends!  All the ingredients I use are food grade for the occasional post-application lick safety, but paw balms (bought or made) are not intended to be eaten in quantity.

To make your own paw balm, in a small pot or double boiler, combine:

2 parts Skin Butter Mango, shea, or similar. Avoid cocoa butter for dogs. 
2 parts Coconut Oil
2 parts Olive or Sweet Almond Oil 
3 parts Beeswax Save effort cutting/grating by buying as pellets or pastilles.

Stir together over low heat until melted to combine.  Add a small quantity of Vitamin E oil (optional) and pour into small tins or jars. Cool at room temperature until firm, check consistency (you can remelt and adjust if needed), cap, and enjoy some doggy s-paw time!

Tips and Tricks:
  • My paw balm parts ratios noted above are by volume (e.g. tbsp, cup, etc.) not weight.
  • Consistency will vary with ingredients and your ambient conditions, but not to worry - you can remelt and adjust at anytime if needed! I've had to do this myself in the past when working to come up with a blend that works for me and the dogs. You can also melt the residuals of an almost empty paw balm container from your last batch into your new batch if you wish.
  • If you prefer a looser creamier mixture, you can re-liquify and add a little more butter/oil or less beeswax. For a firmer mixture, use less butter/oil or add more beeswax. Easy peasy!  Make a note of your preferred custom mix for future batches and please do feel free to share in the comments here for others who might be looking for different textures or ingredient swaps. Thanks! :)
  • Ambient temperatures will affect your consistency, especially for the coconut oil.  You may prefer a firmer mix for summer and creamier/looser mix for winter, especially if you are using the balm in outdoor conditions, such as camping or hiking.
  • To avoid spills, take care not to store in hot places (parked card, hot tent, etc) unless you are using well-sealed jars or store upright as the balm will, of course, re-liquify.  

Step-by-step making DIY homemade natural dog paw balm
These supplies may be available from your local grocery or natural products store, or you can source them online through local specialists or large suppliers, such as Amazon. Reuse containers where you can to reduce waste and save money. Win win!  If you don't have any of the ingredients, it may seem like an expense, but it is very affordable in the long run and you can use the ingredients for tons of other neat DIY care/beauty products - human or dog.  Why not make yourself a little extra and use it as your lip balm or foot rub?  It smells nice as-is (perhaps a little too fab when made like mine using a mix with natural beeswax as the dogs seem to like it, too!), but you can add some essential oils to your human balms, such as peppermint for tired feet - feels and smells awesome!

Homemade natural dog paw balm in a small metal container


  1. How do you keep this stuff form getting on floors and carpets? Does it sink in or remain on the surface of the paws/ pressure points?

    1. Much like applying a balm to your own skin, if it's applied too liberally or not fully rubbed in and absorbed, some might rub off on your clothes, surfaces, etc.

      I haven't personally had any issues with homemade or bought balms and residues, but it could be a problem, especially if your dog doesn't like having his/her paws rubbed, or if you are particularly concerned about surfaces. Some folks apply outdoors only, in a confined hard-surface area, at night before sleeping, or bed/other crating times for dogs who are crated or confined for periods during the day. I've also heard of applying paw creams then putting on doggy socks to minimise licking/transfer, but that definitely wouldn't work for us. I've never had much luck with keeping socks on my senior - we've tried grippy dog docks and booties for slippery floors but he's very dept at wriggling them off! I'll stick with massage. Haha...

      When applying paw balm, I put a little in my hands, rub it to warm/soften, then gently massage it into the paw/point until absorbed. It makes my skin feel pretty great too. :) The feeling on your fingers in also a good gauge for absorption and reside. It has a short-term like waxy feeling, but isn't greasy or sticky after being thoroughly rubbed into the skin.

      I'm only an a-required user, not routine. For max cooperation, we do it when the dogs are most relaxed (after exercise for my two) and make application as part of special doggy "spaw time" ritual with massage, balm, pats/brushing, and a treat of two. They are usually relaxing outside on the patio or inside a dog bed or blankie, which minimises the likelihood of any immediate transfer during application whether from wriggly paws or my clumsy fumble fingers.

      Hope that helps!


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