DIY CBD Salve to Soothe Winter Dry Noses and Paws

Jessica McKeil November 26, 2020 0 comments

Dog paws take a beating over the winter months. The ice, snow, salt, and sand can cause dry skin, irritation, and may even lead to infection.

We wouldn’t choose to walk through the elements unprotected, and we shouldn’t expect our pups to either. This is why many dog owners are now applying moisturizing and protective salves to the noses and paws of their pooches in the colder season. With CBD’s known benefits for pets, combined with it’s documented topical advantages from pet owners, it only makes sense to source a CBD nose and paw balm for dry skin on dogs. Better yet, it’s cheaper and simple enough to make a soothing CBD salve at home.

A Refresher on CBD’s Potential for Pets

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating compound called a cannabinoid. It is sourced from cannabis (including hemp varieties). CBD is under intense study for its therapeutic potential among humans, but also in the veterinary sciences. While our understanding of CBD’s potential for canines and felines isn’t as far along as it is for humans, there is significant precedence of its use among pet owners. There are also a few recently published studies exploring CBD for common canine ailments.

According to anecdotal reports, pet owners often give their dogs CBD oil for palliative care, loss of appetite, pain, inflammation, joint stiffness, anxiety, aggression, and more. Although, still, largely unproven in veterinary sciences, the stories are compelling.

dry skin on dogs represented by brown dog with cream on its paw

What’s Under Investigation?

What does science say so far? Currently, research tells us CBD is as safe for dogs as it is humans. Scientists are investigating the following as potential medicinal applications for Cannabidiol (CBD):

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  • Epilepsy

In 2019, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published a randomized, placebo-controlled study of CBD for intractable canine epilepsy. CBD produced favorable results, and the study concluded that “a significant reduction in seizure frequency was achieved for dogs in the CBD group.” They summarized the need for further study, perhaps with a higher dose. [1]Mcgrath, S., Bartner, L. R., Rao, S., Packer, R. A., & Gustafson, D. L. (2019). Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to … Continue reading

  • Cancer

In early 2020, an in vitro study examined CBD for targeting cancerous Glioma Cells. The researchers looked at both human and canine dog cell lines. They discovered that both sets of cancerous cells responded similarly to CBD, entering apoptosis, and undergoing a period of stress. This preliminary study shows CBD kills canine cancer. [2]Gross, C., Ramirez, D., Dickinson, P., Gustafson, D., & Mcgrath, S. (2020). Cannabidiol Induces Apoptosis and Perturbs Mitochondrial Function in both Human and Canine Glioma Cells. The FASEB … Continue reading

  • Osteoarthritis

“A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of daily cannabidiol for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis pain” published in 2020 also demonstrated positive benefits of CBD for dogs. This study, one of the most relevant and advanced to date, determined “CBD significantly decreased pain and increased mobility in a dose-dependent fashion.” [3]Verrico, Chris D.a,b; Wesson, Shondac; Konduri, Vanajad; Hofferek, Colby J.d; Vazquez-Perez, Jonathand; Blair, Emeke; Dunner, Kenneth Jrf; Salimpour, Pedramg; Decker, William K.d,h,i; Halpert, … Continue reading

The Topical Potential of CBD

But what about CBD for dry skin on dogs? Does CBD have topical benefits? On this topic, the available research comes from human-specific studies, not from their canine-companions. Here are a few highlights of CBD’s topical benefits:

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  • Inflammation and Arthritis

Applied topically, the researchers behind a 2016 paper determined, “Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis.” [4]Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L. P., Ma, F., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a … Continue reading

  • Skin Irritation and Chronic Conditions

A summary published in Biochemical Pharmacology in 2018 deemed CBD a valuable area for study as a new treatment option for chronic skin conditions. These could include psoriasis, eczema, scleroderma, and skin cancer. [5]Río CD, Millán E, García V, Appendino G, DeMesa J, Muñoz E. The endocannabinoid system of the skin. A potential approach for the treatment of skin disorders. Biochem Pharmacol. 2018;157:122-133. … Continue reading

  • Acne

Finally, there is a strong suggestion that CBD could reduce the lipogenic actions of various compounds, meaning the production of oils. The researchers behind a 2014 preliminary phase study believe, “Collectively, our findings suggest that, due to the combined lipostatic, antiproliferative, and antiinflammatory effects, CBD has potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne vulgaris.” [6]Oláh, A., Tóth, B. I., Borbíró, I., Sugawara, K., Szöllõsi, A. G., Czifra, G., Pál, B., Ambrus, L., Kloepper, J., Camera, E., Ludovici, M., Picardo, M., Voets, T., Zouboulis, C. C., Paus, R., … Continue reading

While canine-specific research is needed, CBD’s health benefits have thus far transferred well between humans and dogs. It’s plausible to assume that the topical benefits will also transfer between pet-owners and their pets.

How to Make CBD Salve for Paws and Nose

Recipe adapted from the American Kennel Club

Like in many other pet products, CBD is popping up in commercially available paw balms and other salves for pets. But, you don’t have to wait for your local pet store to carry a CBD pet balm to help relieve dry skin on dogs. You also don’t have to spend astronomical amounts on store-bought CBD pet products. It turns out, you can make CBD paw and nose balm yourself, and for a relatively low cost.


  • ¼ cup Olive or sunflower oil
  • ¼ cup Coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. Shea Butter
  • 2 ml Full-spectrum hemp CBD oil
  • 3 tbsp. Beeswax


  1. Set up a double boiler over low heat.
  2. While you bring the double boiler up to boil, prepare your containers. Small tins, empty lip balm tubes, or even small 125 ml mason jars are perfect.
  3. Add all ingredients to the bowl, except for the CBD oil.
  4. Stir gently until all the ingredients are melted and well combined.
  5. Carefully remove from heat, and add the CBD oil. Stir to combine.
  6. Using a funnel, if needed, fill the prepped containers with the melted mixture.
  7. Allow the mixture to cool at room temperature until hardened.
  8. Seal, and label with the name and date.

How to Use CBD Balm for Dry Skin on Dogs

Once you’ve made a batch of CBD nose and paw balm, keep it handy by the door for treatment before and after walks. Apply to noses, paws, or other dry patches to help moisten and soften the area. It’s especially useful in winter when many dog’s paws suffer from exposure to ice and snow.

If you used a lip balm container, the application is direct. Otherwise, you may be able to slip a paw over a small tin or jar to rub the mixture over the dry skin on dogs. If all else fails, use your finger to apply — this balm is equally suitable for pet owners as it is for pets.

Your DIY nose and paw treatment should last for up to two years if stored in a cool, dry place.


Author avatar

Jessica McKeil

Jessica McKeil is a freelance writer focused on the medical marijuana industry, from production methods to medicinal applications. She is lucky enough to live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada where the cannabis industry is exploding. When not writing, she spends much of her time exploring in the coastal forests.

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