Paw butter has gotten extremely popular as of late. Because of that it often gets over used so I thought it was important to discuss as this could be very detrimental.
When paw butter is good:
-In cold weather when there is snow, ice and rock salt on the ground
-To nourish dried or cracked paws as needed only after exposure to hot or rough terrain with the excess being wiped off and gently cleansed with a moist cloth
When paw butter is dangerous:
-In warm weather climates
-When too much is used and left unabsorbed on the surface of the paws
This is because dogs have only two ways to cool down. One is panting and the other is through sweat glands. Unlike humans however, dogs only have sweat glands on a few very small portions of there bodies (two that I know of) and the majority of these glands exist on the paws. When too much paw butter clogs these pores they are unable to cool down properly and are at risk of overheating.
My dog is super active so I try to keep an eye on her sometimes very rough paws but because we live in Florida I have to be very careful not to over-do it. This past year I think I only used “real” paw butter once. Fortunately there are a lot of great options on the market that are organic and even helpful in treating other wounds like a healing balm. In the past I’ve tried to make my own version that is a little more easily absorbed and came up with a very good healing salve but as for just regular paw butter I think a dab of coconut oil does just fine! It’s relatively light and as long as you wipe the paws down afterwards it should provide all of the conditioners necessary to help soften dry paws without clogging pores. In climates where more protection is required I would still wipe them down once the dog was indoors, this way they can more efficiently cool down after their exercise outside.
At some point I’ll post some of my paw butter, healing and sunscreen recipes because I actually love to use them myself!!