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Baggins' Bites: Salty Paws--Protect Your Dog In the Snow
January 18, 2011
Dear Dog Lover,

Jen Phillips April here with and something unprecedented happened recently...

The U.S. got snow in all 50 states—yep, even Hawaii had snow on the volcano peaks…

While we were digging out here in the Mid Atlantic where I live, a friend of mine wrote me on Facebook.

She told me her dogs were romping in the snow and suddenly both picked up their back left paws as though they’d hurt them.

“What could be the problem?” She wanted to know.

“Did they step in something?” I asked her. “Salt, ice crystals? Both can be irritating to sensitive paw pads.”

Her response? “I had no idea! I just spread a 50 pound bag of salt.”

I suggested she bring the dogs in and wash their paws in warm water, being sure to clear out the craters in their paws.

Have you ever fully explored a dog’s paw?

They have all kinds of nooks and crannies in there where salt granules and ice crystals can get lodged and cause your pet irritation and even pain.

If your dog won’t let you clean out his paw “craters” (by “craters” I’m referring to the parts between the individual toes and the main part of the paw pad) then you’ll have to settle for soaking them.

You could put him in the bathtub and fill it up with enough warm water to cover his feet.

Or you could keep an old pan by the door (a cookie sheet with a raised edge all the way around would work) and fill that with warm water and have your dog step in it when he comes in.

Either method will help melt ice crystals and clean off drying rock salt used to melt the ice.

An alternative to salt and chemical ice melters is sand or gravel.

They won’t melt the ice but will give you some traction and won't irritate sensitive paw pads.

Reader's Write: Homemade Dog Treats Heal Skin Problem

A while back reader Karyn wrote to share about how much fun she was having making homemade dog treats and how much they’d helped her Maltese Ariel.

She gave me permission to share her story here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I’m so glad she was able to find such a simple, healthy solution.

I have to tell you how much my dogs and I are enjoying making homemade dog treats.

I have made the cheese dog treats three times. The third time I made them, I put half whole wheat flour in the treats. My dogs love them!

I also have an Eskie whose name is Tanner. He is the sweetest dog I know. I know he would talk if he could. I call him my three-year old boy although he will be ten in October.

I also have a three year-old Maltese. She is also sweet and she and Tanner are the best of friends.

Tanner takes care of Ariel like he is her mother.

My Maltese is the reason for my trying homemade dog treats. She has had a skin problem for some time now.

Lots of scratching and chewing of her feet which caused staining on her feet and mouth. Her tummy was awful. The vet and the groomer both said she had dry skin.

I can't believe how much better her skin is in just four short weeks on the homemade treats. I chose the treats I did hoping the oil would help Ariel's skin problem.

I am so pleased.

I don't know where I'm going with these treats, but I'm having the time of my life and enjoying my dogs in the process.

Thank you for all the recipes and health tips.

Dear Karyn, I'm so glad you found success in healing Ariel's skin problem. And, that it was so simple! I love hearing success stories like yours.

Thanks for sharing.

Yours in treats, Jen & Sammy

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2010 Top 10 Dog Treat Recipes

Here it is....the 2010 top 10 dog treat recipes for you and your pooches. Can you choose a favorite?

2010 Top 10 Dog Treat Recipes

'Til next time...

Yours in Treats and Health,

Jen & Sammy the best in dog treat recipes online

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