With subzero temperatures, salt-laden sidewalks, and generally wintry conditions, your pet’s paws can really take a beating! Can you imagine going outside without some sort of shoe on? 

Salt used to melt snow on sidewalks can be harmful to your pet’s paw pads, and lots of snow and ice can make their paws cold and uncomfortable. 

We decided to test out a popular online recipe for a paw balm said to help protect your furry friends from the cold and snow while outside. It can also be used to hydrate dry noses.

We spoke with Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald at VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital about the safety of the salve. He says its pet-safe, however your dog or cat may try licking it off their paw pads. Best to keep an eye on them right after applying.

Reporter Noel Brennan has one of the cutest dogs we know, so we enlisted the help of Cooper to test out the recipe. 

Stay tuned to find out how it works! Noel and Cooper’s story will air Thursday at 4PM on 9NEWS. 

DIY PET PAW BALM INGREDIENTS

  • 2 oz. (approx. 2 tbsp.) olive, sunflower, or sweet almond oil
  • 2 oz. (approx. 2 tbsp.) coconut oil 
  • 1 oz. (approx. 1 tbsp.) shea butter 
  • 4 tsp. beeswax 

Directions:

In a small pot or double boiler over low heat melt the oils, shea butter, and beeswax. Stir continuously until all is melted and well blended.

Carefully pour the mixture into lip balm tubes and/or tins.

Let them cool on the counter until hard. Cap and label. Keep away from extreme heat.

Apply the balm as a preventive treatment or to help soften dry paw pads or noses. Use within one to two years.

Recipe adapted from Frugally Sustainable.

Other ways to protect your pet’s paws:

Booties are the best option – although we know some dogs just can’t quite get the hang of them! 

If you choose not to use booties on your dog, be sure to wipe his or her feet before your pup comes inside to ensure that de-icing products (like salt) have been removed along with any ice balls that might have formed.

The American Kennel Club also recommends keeping the paw hair short with frequent trimming. It will help prevent snow and ice from forming balls that can lead to chaffing, chapping, and even cuts. Trim the hairs around the outside of your dog’s paw so that it doesn’t extend past the boundaries of the paw. 

(© 2017 KUSA)