Winter is a romantic, cozy time of year. Imagine sitting by a warm fireplace, sipping on hot cocoa while fluffy white snow turns your town into a magical playground. We all know the reality of the next day, though. Snowplows empty the streets and salt covers the sidewalks. This reality hardly makes it into Hallmark movies.
Winter is a wonderful time of year, but it’s also a time where you must work extra hard to protect yourself and your dog. DIY winter paw balm for your dog can make the difference between enjoying the outdoors and hating them.
DIY Winter Paw Balm for your Dog
One way to keep your dog comfortable over the winter is to apply paw balm to your dog’s paws to help protect from the cold of winter and the salt on the sidewalks.
Paw balm also helps to moisturize your dog’s paws and keep them from cracking after being exposed to the cold and damp. Paw balm is a great project for the avid DIY’er because it’s very easy to make and is a very small investment.
Here’s what you’ll need to make DIY paw balm:
- 6 – 1-ounce heat-safe tins
- A double boiler
- 2 ounces of olive oil
- 2 ounces of coconut oil
- 1 ounce of shea butter
- 4 teaspoons of beeswax
That’s all you’ll need to make your own paw balm at home. You’ll likely already have a few of these ingredients already lying around the house or in your cabinets. Just as a side note, you’ll want to be certain you use shea butter in your DIY paw balm and not cocoa butter. Just like how chocolate is toxic to dogs, cocoa butter is toxic as well. So, it’s best to keep it away from your four-legged friend.
DIY Paw Balm Instructions
- Set your tins in a line on your counter off to the side.
- In your double boiler, melt all the ingredients together. You’ll want to keep the heat low to prevent burning the mixture. It takes a bit of finesse, but it’s better to go slowly.
- Stir the mixture while you provide low heat. This will help to ensure the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Once the mixture is combined, pour it into the tins you had already lined up on the counter.
- Leave the tins to cool on the counter. Don’t try touching them or moving them. Remember, they are hot. You might even think about putting them into the fridge to cool faster, but that’s not necessary and will cause them to deform once they cool. Just let them rest and be patient.
- Once the mixture is cooled and solidified, place the cap on the tins and place them away. Labeling the tins with the date is a good idea as you’ll want to use them within the year.
DIY Paw Balm Tips
As an optional ingredient, you can choose to use an essential oil in the mix. About twenty drops of lavender essential oil will make the balm smell wonderful. Lavender also has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, which can come in handy for your dog this winter.
Lavender isn’t the only essential oil you can consider. Just make sure you research the oil you’ll use. Something like peppermint is a great digestive aid, but it can cause irritation if rubbed into your dog’s skin.
Good essential oils to try including:
- Cedarwood – improves circulation
- Chamomile – calming and can help rapid healing of wounds
- Ginger – can be massaged into the skin to aid sprains and dysplasia
- Green Mandarin – a sweet smelling and relaxing oil pressed from the skins of mandarin fruit
- Myrrh – very earthy aroma and the oil is anti-inflammatory and helps boost the immune system
A few drops of essential oil can help make this DIY winter paw balm much more luxurious. Feel free to mix and match aromas to your liking as well.
After Use Care
After applying some of your paw balm to your dog’s paws, be sure to gently rub the balm into their skin. If there is any leftover balm, use a cloth to wipe the access away. The balm is safe for your dog, but you don’t want them ingesting too much of it.
Even after you walk your dog outside, it’s a good idea to wipe their feet down again. The salts used to melt ice, and even ice that collects on your dog’s paws can really bother them. Give them a gentle cleaning and you both should be able to last the winter no problem.
DIY winter paw balm for your dog is an easy way to provide your dog a little extra protection from the winter cold. Your dog will certainly thank you for it.