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Updated: May 21

Hello Friends of SDK! Christina here with your weekly Barking Post. We are full speed ahead towards Winter and with that comes Ice and Salted sidewalks. Did you know that exposure of more than 15 minutes to temperatures around or below freezing (32°F) can pose real risks to our dogs' unprotected paws. In fact, our pups can begin showing signs of frostbite in as little as 30 minutes. Here are some ideas to consider when protecting your pup's paws for this coming winter season!

  • Paw Butter/Balm: Paw butter works like a Chapstick for the paws. This is my favorite thing for protecting my pups. This is also safe for noses, elbows and ears if your dog has dryness, cracking or chapping. There are also many recipes online to make it at home if you are up for it!

** Chapstick is not a safe alternative to paw butter since it is made with ingredients that aren't generally safe for dogs.

  • Dog Safe Salt: When choosing ice melt for your sidewalk and steps be sure to choose a pet safe brand. A brand that is not designed for pet paws will cause irritations and over time cause cracking pads which can be painful.

  • Booties: Booties are excellent at protecting your pup from all things salt! Now is the time to begin training your pup to wear booties. Although they can be pricey; there is no way to ensure neighbors, businesses or the city will use a pet safe salt for de-icing.

When returning home from any ice/wet outings, one way to protect your pup's paws and joints (for those senior pets) is to wash the paws in lukewarm soapy water and dry. If your pet will allow you to use a personal hairdryer on low to no heat, then this is ideal. The hairdryer will warm up the joints in the feet and help to prevent irritation from being on the cold ground. For those long-coated breeds, you can also consider asking your groomer to clip the coat on the feet short. They don't have to be shaved like a poodle, but the shorter fur will help prevent buildup of ice and salt.

Recipe: DIY Dog Paw Balm


  • 21-24 standard lip balm tubes OR 6 1-oz. tins

  • a small digital kitchen scale, optional

  • small pot or double boiler


  • 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


  1. 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.

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

  3. Let them cool on the counter until hard.

  4. Cap and label.

  5. Keep away from extreme heat.

  6. Apply the balm as a preventive treatment or to help soften dry paw pads or noses. Use within 1 to 2 years.

Wishing you a Paw Safe Fall,

SDK Groomer, Christina

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