Does your dog have dry or irritated skin? Looking for a quick and easy treatment to help your dog and soothe its skin?

I have the answer for you!

Shea butter is a great skincare product that is widely used on humans. The great news is that you can use shea butter for dogs too!

In this full guide to shea butter for dogs, I describe exactly what shea butter is, discuss why dogs might get dry and irritated skin and then walk you through the benefits of shea butter for dogs before describing exactly how to use shea butter on dogs including shea butter on dogs’ paws. I also answer is shea butter poisonous to dogs.

By the end of this guide, you’ll be all set to use shea butter to help out your furry best friend.

Shea Butter For Dogs: Is It Good For Them?

What Is Shea Butter?

Shea butter is popular for skincare and beauty product use thanks to its many nourishing and protecting qualities for the skin. It’s one of my personal favorite products in my own DIY skincare products and I use it regular for smooth and healthy skin.

But where does it come from? Is it natural?

Shea butter is a natural product which comes from fat extracted from shea seeds. Shea seeds are inside shea fruit which grows on shea trees. These are native to West Africa.

shea tree and fruit
Fruit on a shea tree

It’s not quite as easy as finding some shea seeds and then you have shea butter though, and there are a few different techniques to make shea butter.

The first step is to remove the seeds from the shell that surrounds them and then drying them out.

At this point, there are two choices of what to do which lead to two different types of shea butter – refined and unrefined (or raw). The latter is the preferable one as it creates a nutrient-rich shea butter. It’s an off-white color and has a nutty smell.

The former is the easiest and cheapest way to make shea butter but results in a butter that has lost most of its nutrients (and benefits). It uses high-heat and solvents to produce shea butter and the end result is white and odorless.

Read more about the differences between refined and unrefined (or raw) shea butter here.

The following is how to make unrefined or raw shea butter. This is the better shea butter for dogs.

This is often done by hand. It starts by taking the dried seeds and grinding and roasting them.

Next the roasted powder is ground again to form a viscous substance. This substance is kneaded while adding water before being whipped while more water is added.

The whipping process forces the oils to come together on the surface. They are then removed and boiled to remove any remaining water and any impurities which will come to the top.

This leaves raw shea butter. Finally, it’s strained and cooled. While cooling, it solidifies into a thick, creamy consistency ready to use.

Click here to buy shea butter.

Why Do Dogs Get Dry Skin?

Just like humans get dry skin, so do dogs. In fact, it can be every worse for them thanks to their skin being three times thinner and more sensitive.

Changing seasons, dry weather and more can cause humans to get dry skin and it can in dogs too. In addition to this, dogs can get dry skin from allergies, skin infections, hormone changes or as a reaction to products you put on their skin. Also like people, some dogs and breeds are just more likely to get dry skin.

Dogs can have problems such as:

  • Dry skin
  • Rashes
  • Rough skin
  • Peeling skin
  • Red areas

The extra difficulty with dogs though, is that they often will lick, scratch and do other things to increase the problems in their irritated areas.

If the skin problem is something you haven’t seen before, a trip to the veterinarian is a good idea to make sure nothing serious is happening. Otherwise, you can help your dog at home – with shea butter!

dog shea butter

Shea Butter For Dogs: Does It Help Dry Skin?

Just like shea butter is great for human skin, especially dry skin, it is great for dog’s skin.

Shea butter works by forming a natural protective layer on the dog’s skin while hydrating the skin underneath. It also soothes and softens skin while having anti-inflammatory properties.

Here are some reasons why it’s great for dog skin.

1. Shea Butter Softens, Soothes And Moisturizes

As stated above, shea butter will form a protective layer on the skin while hydrating below.

It’s an emollient so it will soften any dry and flakey skin so it feels much better for your dog while filling in any open spaces in the skin to smooth it out.

It’s also an occlusive agent which means it also coats your dog’s skin in a thin oily layer which helps seal the moisture into the skin.

2. Shea Butter Heals Your Dog’s Skin

Shea butter has been used for centuries for its healing properties and can treat cuts, rashes and burns. It can also help with any skin flakiness.

3. Shea Butter Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

This is great news for your dog as it can help stop any itchiness and irritation from its skin problems.

4. Shea Butter Has Anti-Microbial Properties

This means that it reduces the amount of microbes where it is applied, such as bacteria. This helps protect your dog’s skin from infections.

5. Shea Butter Provides Some Sun Protection

It’s also a natural sun protectant.

How To Use Shea Butter On Your Dog

Shea butter doesn’t just have tons of great benefits for your dog’s skin but it’s also very easy to use on your dog.

You can simply buy some raw shea butter and apply it.

Shea butter is solid at room temperature so it’s best to put some in your hands and rub it together before rubbing it on to problem areas on your dog.

If you would prefer, you can also buy shea butter based dog skin products that can be a little easier to apply and also contain other ingredients to help soothe and treat your dog’s skin.

This shea butter balm on Amazon is easy to apply and can be an easy choice especially for trickier areas.

Click here to buy it now.

You can apply shea butter to any problem area, including using shea butter for dog’s nose. Simply rub some gently on.

Shea Butter For Dog’s Paws

If you are specifically wondering is shea butter safe for dog’s paws? The answer is yes! You can use it there in the same way as anywhere else. Simply apply some shea butter to the paw.

You can also buy the shea butter balm above for use on dog’s paws or this is an especially made shea butter balm for dog paws.

Is Shea Butter Edible For Dogs?

If you are wondering, can dogs eat shea butter? the answer is yes!

While I wouldn’t put out a tray of shea butter for dinner, shea butter is edible and safe for your dog.

This is important as anything you put on your dog’s skin, your dog is likely to lick. This means you should only use skin products which are safe for your dog to consume.

So if your dog ate shea butter, don’t worry unless you see any worrying signs later (like vomiting).


I hope you have found this guide to using shea butter to treat your dog’s skin useful. Shea butter is a nutrient-rich, skin superfood great for humans and dogs and I hope it has your dog feeling and looking better very soon.

You can also read guides to using almond oil on dog’s here or using shea butter on human skin here. Find all our shea butter guides here. Want to know if peanut oil is safe for your dog? Click here.


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