It’s that time of year here in New England, the time when a dog’s paws are exposed to everything – snow, ice, mud; often all in one short walk! I mostly avoid even our dirt road once snow has fallen here. They put a ton of sand and salt on our road because icy dirt roads can be just as bad as the paved ones. If we walk on the road, it’s for a short ways and then Luke walks in plenty of fresh snow to clean all that off afterwards. But even with that precaution, the weather can be tough on paws.
Since I already make an all-natural hand & body butter for humans, it stands to reason that I’d want to make something under the Barking Dog Organic Farm label for dogs as well. That’s even though Luke will never let me put any on his paws! I know some of our past dogs would have loved it, and certainly could have used it.
The truth is, there are a ton of recipes out on the internet for homemade paw balm or wax. Many have the same ingredients, but I like to put my own spin on things, so I changed up some of them and came up with our own recipe. Introducing “Farm to Paw” – now available in our online store! Farm to Paw is made in small batches right here in our farm kitchen, and is sold in 2 oz containers.
I already had the basics on hand since I use some of them in my other products, and some for Luke:
- Beeswax (I use organic white beeswax pellets, same thing I use in my human skin care products).
- Shea butter – 100% pure, unrefined, Grade A, imported from Ghana.
- Coconut Oil (organic & Non-GMO verified) which I always have on hand since I use it in many of our organic dog treat recipes as well as giving to Luke.
- Safflower oil which I occasionally give Luke because of the Omega 6 oils in it that can help promote clear skin and a healthy coat.
- Vitamin E oil moisturizes, soothes and protects a dog’s skin.
- Lavender essential oil, added because of it’s skin-soothing effects along with anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties. Lavender oil can also help dogs with anxiety and stress. There is only a small amount in our paw balm, so the scent is not overwhelming.
Our balm is meant to soothe, moisturize, and protect your dog’s paws from the elements. Whether you’re on snow and ice like us, or hiking rough terrain or pounding the pavement (not hot pavement please!), paw balm can add a protective layer to paws either before or after a walk. It can be especially beneficial for senior dogs whose paw pads tend to be very dry. If Luke would let me do it, I would love to rub this balm on his paws and then put some socks on him and just let it soak in! That’s what I do on my own feet with our hand & body butter! 🙂
Unfortunately, since Luke does not like having his paws handled, or even just looked at really (“don’t even think about it, Mom!!”), we couldn’t test this on him. So I used it on my own nose after I had been suffering from a cold and it worked great at keeping it from getting irritated and raw! You know what else we plan to use it for? We’ll be putting it on our chickens’ combs this winter to help protect them from frostbite!
Of course, there are the usual precautions – while ingesting a small amount of this shouldn’t hurt your dog, you would want to be sure they don’t lick it all off as it could upset their stomach. Also, essential oils shouldn’t be used on pregnant, nursing, or dogs with medical conditions; without checking with your veterinarian first.
Have you ever put balm or wax on your dog’s paws?