Clean Your Paws

While we haven’t had an over-abundance of snow yet, other locales across the country have been inundated. What does this mean when you have a dog? Well in our case, it means when we go outside for daily walks, we run of the risk of harming fragile paws from neighbors who over-enthusiastically spread snow melt on sidewalks and driveways. Great for humans, not so great for the ‘paw set.’

img_1261Sure, putting on boots for extended walks protects them but installation on 8 paws isn’t possible all the time or particularly appreciated by the fur-gallery around the Ranch. Sam reluctantly allows boots, but Elsa on the other hand starts pirouetting around like Mikhail Baryshnikov. I haven’t been able to convince her yet that snow boots are not some torturous form of Chinese foot binding. So we often end up walking in the gutter area of the street when there is a lot of salt spread on walks and I have to keep her from licking her paws when it builds up. Conversely, avoiding salted walks by walking on snow-covered streets sometimes results in ice balls building up in their pads so we have to stop and remove them since they probably feel a little like a small stone in your shoe. I know I can’t walk like that and don’t expect my fur-kids to do so either.


We had hospital duty over the weekend and maintenance always over salts the walkways from the parking lot to the entrance even though the snow from our last storm was over two weeks ago as well as probably 95% melted. Luckily I carry individual wipes with me whenever we go to the hospital during the winter.  And with all sorts of potential germs in a hospital setting, I don’t want Sam licking his paws when we get home. It also inspired me to look for a recipe I could easily make that would help comfort and protect paws, especially in winter.

And voila! Just look at this one with minimal ingredients. Should be easy to protect the fur-kids’ paws when we don’t wear snow boots. Calendula is super healing, avocado and coconut will be extra moisturizing and beeswax will help coat and protect the surface of their paws.


How do you protect your pups’ paws in winter?

Live, love, bark! <3

36 thoughts on “Clean Your Paws

  1. Can’t believe Sam lets you put boots on him! That would never be allowed by either Duffy or Wilhelmina! But we simply don’t normally get the snow.salt etc. road conditions you have. I was thinking about the exact recipe you put at the end of your post as I was reading through. I’ve heard it works well! 🙂

    the critters in the cottage xo

    1. He acts like he’s being tortured while I put them on, but he quickly gets over it once we’re out the door and on our way. So much easier than having his paws burned or ice balls forming in the pads.

  2. I can see how booties are helpful in your neck of the woods. But dogs walking around in shoes in Los Angeles?? On rainy days, mud is kept at bay, somewhat, by towels the dogs are forced to walk on upon re-entering the house.

  3. I’d never really thought of this before since I have cats (and the dogs we had as kids had the run of the yard, so they weren’t walked). I do know businesses in particular are always in better safe than sorry mode, and would rather drop half an inch of salt on uncovered pavement than have to pay for accidents from people slipping. The store I work at is notorious for dousing the parking lot with salt at even just the threat of ice or snow…. especially now that our contracted salter is on retainer so management can call them out as often as they want without having to pay extra. Our floor maintenance crew HATES it!

    1. I’m always astounded at the amount of de-icer people and businesses use. Not only can that stuff be toxic (not to mention pit concrete surfaces), it burns tender paws. Because I live on a large corner lot, I just shovel and grumble about it but at least I know dogs (and squirrels) can safely walk on my walks without being harmed by snow melt. May your walks be smooth and ice free from parking lot to store this weekend. 😉

  4. Our weather doesn’t get very cold so we don’t have to worry about salt or any type of snow removal products. Our problem comes in the sweltering summer heat when the sidewalks can blister a dog’s paws. The recipe sounds excellent for paw relief. ☺

  5. Wren is pretty lucky that we live in a rural area and have acres of land to run free (and RUN she does). But even so, the dry air inside can affect paws, so I like your recipe as paw-lotion!

  6. We don’t get enough snow to have to worry about it either. I don’t use it here at the house and, so far, haven’t taken Tippy anywhere where they have used it. (They do go a little salt crazy on the roads when they start calling for snow. Since we don’t walk on the roads, no issues.)

  7. Of course we don’t have snow, thus no need for snow melt. However, the recipe looks and sounds good so I will make a note and perhaps use it on Benji for other outings.

  8. “Small” things that so many people don’t even consider! I’ve mentioned boots to a couple dog owners around here (St Louis, MO) and I got crickets. When you’ve got salt and anti-freeze and any other number of chemicals on pavement … those “small” things can make such a big difference. I like your alternative even better … you better believe there’s no way I’d get boots on Bear Cat’s paws!

  9. Oh, we can always use more paw protection suggestions!

    Choppy will wear the booties, she just won’t move in the booties, so that sort of limits us! Thankfully, despite our large amounts of snow, we don’t walk anywhere with much salt. Where we do, I have now figured out ways to go around all of it, usually just by altering my route. So far this winter, Choppy has seemed to have minimal problems. Yay!

    1. That’s too funny! I remember the first time I ‘introduced’ them to Sam. He had that same reaction. Luckily his Velcro nature took over and he stumbled began to walk along with me and got used to them. Not saying he likes them, but he will tolerate them.

  10. We don’t get that much snow here – and I don’t use rock salt to melt what we do get – so as long as I keep the girls in the back yard for potty times, they’re safe. And both of us pretty much stay indoors when there’s ice on the ground. Especially after Sam broke his shoulder in July. I do, however, clean the furry paws when they come inside.

  11. We always used a product our groomer gave us called Musher’s Secret. Fortunately we haven’t hand any snow this year *knock wood*. I could never get my dogs to wear boots like you have ! Well done! Hugs, Mickie

    1. Musher’s Secret is a semi-permeable dense barrier wax developed in Canadian for extreme conditions. It’s made from a combo of several food grade waxes and does pretty much the same thing as this homemade version. Your groomer is clever. 😉

  12. I used boots on my lab, she was so long suffering she put up with any of my antics. Cole wore them a few times and did get ice balls. He’d come in and thaw, and pick them out himself.

    1. In an unusual turn of the weather, we had icy rain last night and everything is covered in a sheet of ice. All 3 of nearly fell on our way out this morning and that was on the stone path! Seems like a good day to stay inside until it melts. 🙂 Be safe.

    2. I’ve heard of this product but not sure if it helps with sliding on icy rained paths. We had that to greet us this morning, something I rarely see here. Frankly, prefer the snow, giving a choice. Even the gravel was slippery early this morning!

  13. Southern California was heaven for both my fur love and me; no need to ‘splain I’m sure. And here in Alabama-land snow is a rarity. But The Poodle has been in snow during our Northern Virginia visits and we’ve experience the ice-balls….seriously unfashionable (oh, but we had to laugh at the look). Took HOURS to dry them off (bad Karma for laughing? LoL!). I’ve heard of Mushers Secret for paws too but a home remedy made by loving hands is always best. Hope your Thursday is throughly thrilling. 🐾😊

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