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Is Vaseline Safe for Treating Cracked Paws on Puppies or Are There Better Options?


Dear VetBabble,

Is it safe for my puppy’s cracked paws to be treated with Vaseline, or is there another option to help soothe and heal them? I’m concerned about her comfort and overall paw health, and I’d like to know what would be the best course of action for my furry friend.


Thank you for reaching out to us about your dog’s paw concerns! It’s essential to keep our pets’ paws healthy and comfortable, so I understand your concern. However, we would not recommend using Vaseline on your puppy’s paws. While it is non-toxic, your dog is likely to lick it off, potentially causing vomiting and diarrhea. Instead, let’s explore some other solutions for cracked paws and how you can prevent further irritation.

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?

First, it’s important to understand why dogs lick their paws in the first place. There could be several reasons, including allergies, boredom, anxiety, or an underlying medical issue. To gain more insight into why your dog might be licking her paws, I recommend reading our article, “Why Does My Dog Lick His Paws?“. It’s essential to address these underlying issues, as continuing to lick the paws can exacerbate the problem and make the cracking worse.

Basic First Aid for Dogs and Treating Paw Wounds

If your dog has developed cracked paws, it’s important to treat them promptly to prevent further damage and infection. You should start by cleaning your dog’s paws with mild soap and water. Additionally, you can apply over-the-counter dog-specific products to soothe and heal the cracked skin on their pads. It may also be helpful to put your dog in protective booties or socks to prevent her from licking her paws and allow them to heal efficiently. For more information on basic first aid for dogs, be sure to check out our article on “Basic First Aid for Dogs“.

If the paw injury is more severe, such as a wound or broken nail, it may be necessary to take additional action, such as flushing the wound, applying an antibiotic ointment, or using gauze and medical tape to wrap the injured paw. For more detailed information on treating these types of wounds, be sure to read our articles on “How to Treat your Dog’s Wounds at Home“, and “How to Prevent and Treat a Broken Nail on a Dog“.

When to Consult a Veterinarian

While providing basic care at home can be helpful, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian if your dog’s paw issues continue or worsen. The veterinarian can determine if there’s a medical cause behind your dog’s cracked paws, such as allergies or an infection, and recommend appropriate treatments. They may also suggest using veterinary-approved paw balms and creams specifically designed for treating and protecting your pet’s paws.

In summary, it’s essential to protect your dog’s paws and keep them healthy. While Vaseline is not a recommended solution, utilizing basic first aid methods and consulting a veterinarian when necessary will help ensure the best care for your furry friend’s paws.

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