Protecting Your Pups Paws!

Its cold. I know, I live in Minnesota, its going to be cold, I get it. But remember, your pup is experiencing this cold too, and hes probably not getting all dressed up. The last couple of weeks has had me thinking about his physical well being, because he never does!

Spike (my golden retriever) can not contain his excitement when snow is on the ground. He’ll be champing at the bit by the back door, it doesn’t matter if its a white out snow storm or twenty degrees below zero.

A true snow dog … it was 10 below zero in this picture and he still wanted to run. – photo © Nick Schneeman

In order to keep his paws from freezing, or getting burned by sidewalk salt, and to reduce snow clumping between his paws, I’ve been trying out a paw balm for him this year! And its working. Its nothing fancy, I just rub it on his paws before we leave the house, but it does seem to be making him much more comfortable in the cold weather.

Spike waiting patiently for his paw balm to be applied. He only does this cause he knows he gets to go walking next! – photo © Nick Schneeman

Its four simple ingredients, and I leave out any sort of essential oils. You’ll hear a bunch of different sites claiming this essential oil or that will benefit his paws, I think that is mostly BS meant for the pet owner and not the pet. We’re just looking for a protective coating on your dog’s paws, and a little bit of a moisturizer, because lets face it, the winter is dry!

Ingredients –

  • Beeswax, 1 part
  • Shea butter, 1 part
  • Coconut oil, 1 part
  • Olive oil, 2 tbsp or so

I mix about even parts beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil, usually about 30 grams of each, and then two tablespoons of olive oil to soften it up a bit. Add more olive oil if you’re using more of the solid ingredients.

Shea butter, beeswax and coconut oil, all waiting to be melted together. – photo © Nick Schneeman

Measure out all of your ingredients and add them into a mason jar. The goal is to melt them down and get them to combine evenly.

Mason jar full of the paw balm ingredients! – photo © Nick Schneeman

Plop the mason jar into a sauce pot of water. You’re making a double boiler here essentially. Bring the heat up to medium, and let the stove do the work. I’ll give it a stir once in a while to make sure everything is melting evenly.

Bringing the pot up to heat, everything should start melting quickly. – photo © Nick Schneeman

Once everything has combined evenly, and there are not solid bits left, pour the mixture out into a shallow container. The key here is to have a container that is easy to get your pets foot in and out of. I use a short, round spice jar type thing, that Spike’s paw fits into well enough.

The finished product, in its container. – photo © Nick Schneeman

Once you’ve got your mixture poured out, set it on the counter to cool. At room temperature your balm should be solid and pliable. I like to just rub it on with the paw in the container, but you could also apply it with your fingers like a more traditional balm. Don’t worry if your dog starts eating it! There is nothing toxic in the mixture, and if they enjoy the taste, they might not mind you putting on their paws as much!

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