I finally managed to convince two of my best human pals to join me for a dogventure. It was a gloomy Sunday in Halifax, but time with friends makes everything feel a little brighter.
I had to run a few errands downtown (most importantly, I had to pick up the ingredients for Homemade Paw Balm – more on this later!) so we decided to meet up at Conrose Park.
Conrose Park is a smaller urban park adjacent to the St. Mary’s Boat Club. It’s nestled in between Jubilee Road and Coburg Road, and as it it turns out, it’s the perfect spot for a wintertime playdate. That’s because Conrose Park is on the list of HRM sports fields that turn into off-leash play spaces for the winter months. To read more about this awesome program, check out this blog post.
We spent the morning catching up, tossing the ball, failing at keeping our pooches out of the mud, and MEETING PUPPIES.
You may remember this majestic pup from Martha’s guest post. Just look at him.
After our playdate, it was time to head home to try a new recipe: Homemade Paw Balm. I came across the idea of paw balm because I was searching for a way to protect Dallas’s feet from the harsh cold and salty streets. We have tried dog booties, without much luck. They’re a pain to put on and they always seem to fall off. Plus, they are expensive. We splurged for a higher end brand of dog booties, and even then, they started to come apart after a half dozen uses. We were in search of an alternative.
Enter paw balm. You can buy various types in-store, but I wanted to try making our own. Many of the recipes I found were nearly identical. I decided to follow DogRunnin’s recipe (because, well, they are local and they are awesome). I made just one tweak: I added some vitamin E for extra soothing powers.
The most difficult part about making the Homemade Paw Balm was tracking down the ingredients; specifically, natural beeswax. I tried three different locations in HRM including the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market before finally finding it at Organic Earth Market on Quinpool Road. I picked up the shea butter and vitamin E at The Healthy Bug Natural Health Shoppe, and I already had coconut oil and olive oil.
Here is the recipe.
- 1/2 cup natural beeswax
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. shea butter
- 10 drops vitamin E
Yield: Approx. two jars (250-mL each).
1. Fill a pot about one-third full with water and heat to medium-low.
2. Set a standard or large-sized mason jar inside of the pot. This creates a double boiler effect. (You could also just use a double boiler, but beware: my mason jar was impossible to get clean afterwards so I am glad I used something fairly disposable.)
3. Put the beeswax in the jar and heat, stirring often, until it’s melted. This took about ten minutes. (Tip: I used a wooden skewer to stir so I wouldn’t ruin a spoon.)
4. Add the coconut oil, olive oil and shea buetter. As you can see, I was pretty loose with my measurements. Heat until melted, stirring often.
5. Remove from heat and add the vitamin E drops. Stir.
6. Pour the mixture into storage containers. I used smaller mason jars. (Tip: I like the wide-mouth jar the best because I can put Dallas’s paw inside the jar and simply rub her paw on the balm to apply it.)
7. Let it sit for an hour or so until it hardens.
Voila! You now have an all-natural, yummy-smelling paw protector for your pooch! I hear this stuff also works well for dry human skin.
Dallas didn’t mind me putting it on her paws AND she didn’t try to lick it off. I’m calling this one a win.