Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Winter Proofing Your Dog's Paws

Winter can be a beautiful time to hike in the sparkly, cold wonderland. But, it can also wreak havoc on your dog's paws: cracking, trauma, frost bite, chemical burns and drying. This can hurt! We often don't think about it, but steps can be taken to prevent painful paws. Here's what you can do:
  1. Prep the paws. Trim the hair between the toes and around the paws. This will prevent ice balls from forming. It is also especially important to keep your dog's nails trimmed. Long nails can cause the paw pads to spread out while walking causing snow to get packed in between the toes. 
  2. Invest in some Paw and Nose Butter. Yes, there is such a product! Before you go out into the wild, gently clean your dog's paw pads with a warm wash cloth and apply a thin layer of butter. This will form a thin barrier between your dog's paw pads and the elements. Once you are done with your walk, wash your dog's paws with warm water and apply the butter again. This will help moisturize the paw pads and keep them from getting dried out.  You can follow the same steps for your dog's nose if you notice it is getting dry and cracked from the cold weather.
  3. Invest in some dog boots. This is another layer of protection for your dog's feet. You can still use the paw butter to keep the paws warm, soft and supple. But the dog boots add the ultimate protection.
  4. Stay away from de-icers and salt. Avoid areas that have had de-icer or salt spread. These substances can be toxic to pets and cause chemical burns. Once you are done walking, wash your dog's paws to make sure that there is nothing that Fido can lick off to make him/her sick and then apply paw butter!
Last but not least, here is a recipe you can use to make your own paw butter:
  • 2 TBS Shea Butter
  • 2 TBS Coconut oil
  • 2 TBS Beeswax
  • 1 tsp Sweet almond or Olive oil
Put all the ingredients into a pan and melt over low heat while occasionally stirring. Once it is all melted, transfer into a glass jar for cooling and storage.

p.s...This recipe can also be used as an excellent human body butter. :)

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