How to Use Coconut Oil for Sore, Cracked, and Dry Dog Paws

How to Use Coconut Oil for Sore, Cracked, and Dry Dog Paws

Dog owners are no strangers to beauty trends.

I see other dog parents post on social media about different sprays and brushes they use, not to mention types of shampoo.

There’s always some new product to try, but I rarely hear about things both Maggie and I can use at the same time.

That’s why it caught my eye when I saw people post about using coconut oil on their dogs.

I’d only ever heard of it as an ingredient in recipes or human skincare products.

Since then, I’ve done my research and discovered some surprising facts about dogs and coconut oil.

Here’s everything I’ve learned and why it might be right for your own dog.

Is Coconut Oil Safe for Dogs?

In general, yes, coconut oil is safe for dogs!

They do well when it’s applied topically or mixed in with their food.

There’s only a few situations where you should be careful.

Things to Be Aware OfIs coconut oil safe for dogs applying topically ingestion medium chain triglycerides

Like with anything in life, you have to be aware of a couple things regarding coconut oil and your dog.

Some dogs have an allergic reaction to it, which may result in symptoms like[1]:

  • Itchiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sneezing
  • Swelling of the face and ears

You should also know that too much coconut oil will likely cause diarrhea, since it contains medium-chain triglycerides that powerfully cleanse the gut if your dog isn’t used to it[2].

This side effect will only happen if your dog ingests the oil, so keep it out of their reach to be safe.

What Kind of Coconut Oil Should You Use?

Raw extra virgin coconut oil for cracked damaged dog paw padsDogs need unprocessed foods, which is why you should choose unrefined or virgin coconut oil for them.

Refining coconut oil eliminates some of the nutrients, which won’t help your dog.

Before you buy anything, make sure the coconut oil isn’t flavored or sweetened either.

Organic unrefined containers are the best option to help your dog.

Coconut Oil Benefits for Dog Paws

While coconut oil has been known to help skin and metabolism issues (and even teeth!), it’s mostly recommended for dogs who have cracked, dry paws.

Here are some of the reasons why so many dogs get coconut oil paw massages and why it might help your dog too.

Soothes Sore Paws

Is coconut oil good for sore dog paws cracked dry damaged

All-natural coconut oil is full of vitamins and minerals. That’s what makes it so great for skin and paws.

Sometimes, dogs can have sore paws because they’ve spent time walking across hot pavement or rough terrain.

Rub coconut oil over sore paws for instant relief from burns and irritation.

Hydrates Dry Paws

Another part of what makes coconut oil a canine and human miracle salve is its fatty acids.

The fatty acids, combined with a coconut’s lauric acid, moisturizes skin and reaches deep into paw pads.

Extremely dry paw pads will form cracks. They may run deep or appear as surface abrasions.

Coconut oil will help in both cases, reducing pain and healing the skin with its powerful moisturizing powers.

Shortens Healing TimeDry damaged cracked sore dog paw pads treatment with coconut oil

Fatty acids bring instant hydration to skin cells and also soothe any cellular damage or irritation[3].

Although it doesn’t directly speed up the healing process, easing cells back to normal helps them catch up when they’re healing cuts or dry skin.

Prevents Infections

Sometimes open wounds or skin abrasions become red with infection.

You can turn to coconut oil in those cases too.

It’s been used as an antibacterial and antifungal remedy for centuries[4], helping defend people against infections, psoriasis, and more.

Using Coconut Oil on Dog PawsIs viva natural organic extra virgin coconut oil safe for dog paws

Now that you know how coconut oil will help your dog’s paws, check out how to apply it.

It won’t be as effective if applied incorrectly or if your dog can lick it all away before it starts to work, so follow these tips for the best chance of success.

Step 1: Scoop the Oil Out

It may sound strange to hear that you should scoop the oil out, but coconut oil quickly turns solid in any temperature under 76 degrees[5].

You’ll need to use a spoon to scoop out about a half teaspoon of coconut oil and rub it between your palms to thin it out.

Step 2: Melt the Oil

How to melt liquefy coconut oil for helping sore dog paw pads

You might find it easier to melt the oil in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Both are safe options and won’t reduce any of the nutrients in the oil.

Just make sure the oil isn’t too hot to touch before applying it on your dog.

Step 3: Do One Paw at a Time

Take one paw in your hand and rub a little bit of coconut oil onto the pads, roughly a quarter of a teaspoon.

Massage it into each pad carefully, being mindful of any open wounds or soreness.

Continue until you’ve covered each paw, leaving no clumps of coconut oil in your dog’s hair or between their paw pads.

Step 4: Cover Their Feet

How to prevent dog from licking coconut oil off paw padsDepending on your dog, you may be able to cover their feet in tiny booties to avoid them licking the oil off.

This will also protect your carpets and hardwood, which will become slippery with the oil.

If your dog tries to bite the booties off, you can make them wear a cone or neck pillow until their paws have dried.

You should leave the oil on their paws for at least five minutes, but it can be left on longer because it’s an organic oil.


Coconut oil is a great remedy for dogs with paw issues.

It’s all-natural and easy to get at the store.

The only things you should keep in mind when you use it on your dog for the first time is to watch for allergy symptoms and prevent them from licking it all off their paws.

Although it’s edible, too much may disrupt their digestive system.


About the author

Emily Pierce

Emily Pierce is a self-published novelist, award winning short story writer, and freelancer. When she’s not writing, she enjoys baking and making clothes for dogs.