Do your hands or lips chap and crack during the winter? The same can happen to your dog’s paw pads. Even though it may seem like a dog’s paw pads are like built-in shoes, the skin is just as sensitive as it is anywhere else on your dog’s body. That’s why you should moisturize your dog’s paws with a balm on a regular basis to treat and prevent dryness, cracking, and irritation.
If this is your first time hearing about dog paw balm, you may be wondering what it is and why you should make it yourself. We’ll talk about it, and conclude with a simple and natural homemade dog paw balm recipe with ingredients you may already have in your kitchen.
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What is Paw Balm?
Dog paw balm is typically made from a combination of oils and waxes to help soothe and protect your dog’s paw pads. Musher’s Secret has been a staple for working dogs for many years to protect the paws of dogs who work all day.
Just because your dog is more couch potato than canine cop doesn’t mean they won’t benefit from paw balm. Pavement that is hot, icy, or covered in sidewalk salt can be harmful for your dog’s paws, and a paw balm can help keep your pooch’s paw pads protected.
Why Should You Use Paw Balm on Your Dog?
Even though dogs were bred to walk “barefoot” every day, there are certain conditions that can injure or irritate your dog’s feet. Have you ever thought about what it must be like to walk barefoot on hot asphalt or icy pavement without any shoes? Dogs’ feet can get burns or frostbite just as easily as human skin, and nobody wants to see their fur child limping as a result of sore paws.
Additionally, dogs can suffer from dry, cracked paw pads the same way humans can. If you’ve ever washed too many dishes (or dogs) in the dry winter months, you’ll understand how painful it can be to have your skin split apart simply due to how dry it is.
Paw balm helps moisturize your dog’s skin to treat and prevent dryness and cracking. It also provides a barrier between your dog’s feet and the surfaces they are walking on.
Why Make it Yourself?
There are a variety of paw balms on the market that you can buy, but many of them contain unnecessary chemicals or additives. They may even include ingredients that could make your dog sick if they lick it off their paws.
Making your own dog paw balm ensures that you know exactly what’s in it (and it will save you money too!).
Homemade Dog Paw Balm Recipe
Courtesy of the Ontario SPCA, here’s a simple homemade dog paw balm recipe that makes enough to fill about six 1-oz tins.
- 2 oz olive oil
- 2 oz coconut oil
- 1 oz shea butter (NOT cocoa butter, since that’s toxic for dogs)
- 4 tsp beeswax
- In a small pot or a double boiler, melt all the above ingredients over low heat, stirring continuously.
- Once the mixture is melted and mixed well, pour into 6 1-oz heat-safe tins.
- Allow to cool and harden.
- Cap, label, and use within 1-2 years.
- Keep away from extreme heat.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.