Pet Paw Balm
The ice, snow, and salt from pavements can do a number on your dog's paws. A homemade balm—of natural ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax—is the perfect ointment to keep his paw pads healthy this winter.
Photography: Chloe Mackintosh
Source: Martha Stewart
This idea comes from our friend Chloe Mackintosh of Boxwood Avenue. "We all know that the winter months can be tough on our skin," she says. "Between the wind, and the cold temperatures, it's important to take extra steps in our routine to keep our skin hydrated throughout winter. Not only does our skin need a little extra love during the winter months, but our pups will benefit from extra care too!"
All of these non-toxic ingredients are approved by the American Kennel Club. Shea butter is known to smooth, soften, and hydrate the skin. Beeswax is known to help heal chapped skin, making it the perfect ingredient for a homemade balm. Lastly, the combination of coconut and olive oil in this recipe adds additional hydration to leave your pup's paws feeling silky smooth. Apply by massaging a thin layer of balm into the skin of his paw pads—as Chloe does for her dog Cody—as often as needed. Don't worry if your dog licks it off of his paws, she says, "mine did!" Note: This balm will keep for up to a year if stored in a cool, dry place.
2 small glass jars with lids, 4 ounces (Pictured: North Mountain Supply regular mouth mason canning jars, 4 oz., $17 for 12, amazon.com.)
Large mason jar
Shea butter (Pictured: Kate Blanc's organic shea butter, $13 for 1 lb., amazon.com.)
Beeswax pellets (Pictured: Sky Organics USDA Organic White Beeswax Pellets, $14 for 1 lb., amazon.com.)
Add 1/4 cup shea butter, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/8 cup olive oil, and 1/4 cup beeswax pellets to a large mason jar; stir to combine. (Tip: Use a mason jar that you don't mind dedicating to crafting purposes, as it will be hard to get completely clean again.)
Fill a medium pot with enough water to cover the jar's contents by a few inches, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer. Place the jar into the pot; continue to simmer until the ingredients are completely melted, about 10 minutes.
Once melted, carefully remove jar from the pot, and pour the melted oils into small glass jars. Allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature and solidify before using.