What Happens if I Put Lotion on My Dog's Paw?

Lotions designed for dogs can be used on their paws.
Lotions designed for dogs can be used on their paws. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Your dog's paws can benefit from the use of lotion, cream or ointment for certain conditions. If the dog has sore, cracked or dry paw pads, applying a lotion for dogs can help. Avoid using human lotions such hand or skin creams. Most dogs will immediately lick it off their paws. Many human lotions and creams have ingredients that can make a dog sick. Some dogs will lick medicated treatments designed for animals as well, but they don't contain harmful ingredients.

Inspect the Paws

If you notice your dog is licking its paws frequently or chewing its feet, inspect the paw pads. They may be sore or dry. Redness indicates irritation, and dry pads may be cracked. Your dog may have been stung by an insect or stepped on something sharp while outside. Allergies can cause problems that affect a dog's paws and cause itching and licking. Before using any lotion or medication on the dog's paws, look for problems on her feet and check with your vet if you see a problem.

Treating Paw Problems

If your dog's paws are irritated or cracked, wash them with a gentle soap and rinse well with water. Hydrogen peroxide or a betadine wash can be used if pads are cracked or sore. Once they are clean, keep the dog inside and use an ointment, lotion or cream as directed that suits your dog's needs.


There are a number of ointments made for dogs that target specific uses. Some are medicated and recommended for itchy, dry paws and others just moisturize. Bag balm or petroleum jelly are popular ointments for sore, dry paws. Be aware if you use an ointment on the dog's paws, though, that your pup will track it around the house. A cream will be absorbed better.

Lotions and Creams

There are veterinary lotions and creams for dogs made with ingredients such as aloe that can be used to moisturize paw pads. Avoid using them for an extended period, unless instructed to do so by your vet. Moisturizing lotions can soften the pads and make them prone to tearing. Using human skin lotions will also soften the pads too much.

Inspect your dog's paws regularly.
Inspect your dog's paws regularly. (Image: Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images)

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