The Importance of Protecting Your Dog's Paws

“The road to my heart is paved with paw prints.”

Why Do You Need To Protect Your Dog's Paws?


With all the dangers out there, dog owners need to protect their best friends accordingly. We surpassed record weather this year, in both summer and winter. These extreme conditions and temperatures are problematic for dogs in general, but especially for their toes and nose!



Hazards Of Unprotected Paws


Extreme conditions and temperatures can lead to paw damage such as cuts, cracks, blisters, burns, and dryness. These conditions occur in all seasons, including:


Everyday Use: Pavement, rough/hiking terrain, sharp objects, cuts, ageing.

Summer: Hot surfaces, sand, and blistering.

Winter: Ice, snow, and ice melt burns.


The Problem With Ice Melt


Ice melts are made of different kinds of salt. Dogs can ingest these salts directly, or indirectly through licking their paws or eating salt exposed snow. Ingestion of ice melts can cause stomach upset, vomiting, or diarrhea. Depending on the size of your dog, and the amount ingested, this can cause more serious issues requiring veterinary attention, such as dehydration or seizures. Even "dog-friendly" ice melt can cause digestive issues for your dog. Not only that, but ice melt can lead to paw irritation, burns, bleeding, or cracks through surface contact.


It is important to prevent your dog from eating the salt, as well as snow that could be contaminated with it. During walks, you should also prevent skin contact with salt by using a protective barrier, like booties or paw balm. After walks, you should also thoroughly wash paws with a wet cloth, and prevent licking until paws are clean.



How to Provide Protection


The 2 best ways to protect your dog's paws are:

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1. Dog booties: While these provide great protection, they can be difficult to size, put on, and are easy to lose. Many dogs also have a hard time adjusting to them.


2. Paw balm: Provides a protective barrier, and is much easier to apply. Our paw balm also comes with added benefits, including moisturizing and healing properties.



Benefits Of Using A Natural Paw Balm


If you use a natural paw balm, you won't have to worry if your dog licks it. Although we don't recommend intentionally ingesting the balm, the natural ingredients mitigate the possibility of internal damage to your dog.


Our Natural Paw & Nose Protecting Balm (60 mL) is designed to moisturize, protect, and heal your dog's paws and nose. Paws are easily damaged from every day wear & tear, as well as harsh conditions like snow, hot pavement, rough surfaces, and road salt - but our balm protects those cute little toe-beans! It provides a protective barrier from these conditions, preventing paw damage and cracking. In addition, our balm moisturizes, heals, and soothes dry or damaged paws and noses. Our paw balm is handmade, using all-natural, dog-safe ingredients, and following sustainable practices. All oils used are organic and infused with marshmallow root and plantain for extra skin-soothing properties.


Directions: Massage the balm into your pet's paw pads, between their toes and/or nose. Apply a thick layer before walks for protection from harsh elements. After walks, clean your dog's paws if ice melt is a concern. Then apply a thin layer of balm to moisturize, soothe, and repair. Occupy your pet and prevent them from licking for a few minutes, to ensure absorption.



What Makes OUR Paw balm Sustainable?


At Precious Pawz, we aim to create pet products as sustainably as possible. Care is put into every decision to minimize our impact through ingredient choices, sourcing, production, packaging, and end-of-life concerns.


Sustainable Ingredients:


Organic: We use mainly organic ingredients in our Paw Balm. However, avocado oil is not organic, as it is considered clean produce.


Non-Vegan: All paw balms need wax, as it provides a protective layer. Our paw balm is non-vegan, by choice.

  • Vegan waxes used in other paw balms usually include candelilla, soy, or carnauba wax. Candelilla wax is an endangered plant, which has to be heavily processed and is generally associated with both environmental and ethical concerns. Soy and carnauba waxes are often associated with similar environmental and ethical issues, especially in regards to deforestation. Lastly, most wax alternatives are blended with paraffin, which is oil-derived, making the wax non-biodegradable.

  • We specifically chose to use beeswax in our formula, meaning it is not vegan. However, beeswax is fully biodegradable and can be harvested sustainably. Traditional beeswax does have some concerns, but these are caused by unsustainable, large-scale farming practices. As such, we source our beeswax from small-scale, local farmers, that harvest as ethically as possible.

  • Ingredients: Coconut oil*, extra virgin olive oil*, shea butter*, beeswax (from local ethical farms), avocado oil, vitamin E oil, jojoba oil*, plantain*, marshmallow root*. *Denotes organic ingredients.


Sourcing: We always source our ingredients as locally as possible, to reduce the environmental impacts of shipping and transport.

  • Our liquid oils all come from local refill companies to reduce waste. Our solid oils (coconut and shea) are from a Canadian company making their own great impact. “Baraka Shea” employs women in under-developed regions. They also support sustainable development goals, education programs, environmental stewardship, and economic development. We're proud to use their products!

  • Our dried herbs are sourced from, "Inglewood Apothecary", a local company focused on zero-waste initiatives.

  • Our beeswax comes from local small scale, hobby apiarists.


Production: We handmake our products at home. All our production supplies are thrifted and continually re-used.


Packaging & End-of-life:

  • Our Paw Balm is packaged in aluminum tins. Aluminum is infinitely recyclable, meaning the impacts of primary production are reduced. While cardboard was an option, we would rather eliminate the use of virgin materials.

  • Our labels are printed personally, meaning we don’t have to commercially produce and transport our labels. Our labels are biodegradable and dissolvable. This ensures the label is easily removed, so you can recycle the tin when it's empty.


Takeaways

  • Dog paws & noses need protection from harsh weather conditions.

  • Paw balm provides a solution to this, by protecting, healing, and moisturizing damaged paws.

  • Standing out from competitors, our unique Paw Balm makes use of:

  • Sustainable, organic, & local ingredients,

  • Transparent practices,

  • Soothing herbal infusions,

  • Recyclable packaging,

  • ...all while being locally handmade!


Sources


1 (https://www.aspca.org/news/keeping-pets-safe-during-winter-dangers-ice-melts)

2 (https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/ss/slideshow-foods-your-dog-should-never-eat)





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