Friday, October 30, 2015

Wipe Your Paws

I practice wiping my dogs’ paws and private areas every time they come back from outside. Time consuming I know. 

There are two sides to every coin. Dog germs are good for you. Dog germs are bad for you. On one hand, dogs bring in particles of grass, mud, allergens, feces, and goodness knows what else. These can strengthen our immune system and that of any young children, but they can also make us sick.

Either way, everything is good moderation. I wipe them down because it lessens some of the bacteria coming in, and because it can help deter fleas or allergens from sticking to their fur or paws. Less dirt between their toes means less dirt they are licking up and then licking onto me (if you have a dog you know they lick, lick, lick, and lick…).

You can use baby wipes, but since baby wipes are made with their own set of icky preservatives or potentially irritating fragrances - I make my own. You can tear up paper towel pieces (I’ve seen some people sawing in half a roll of paper towel too) or use reusable cloth. You can store the pieces in an old container (perhaps one that held baby wipes) with the liquid to keep them wet, or simply spray the liquid onto the material when ready to use.

There are many recipes online, but what I find that I like is:
1 cup distilled water, 1 cup aloe vera gel or liquid, and a few drops (4-5 of each) of safe essential oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree, and lavender. I also added a few drops of wild orange essential oil for a pleasant citrus scent.

The aloe acts as a moisturizer for their paws and the essential oils are the disinfectants and also flea and tick deterrents. You can also add in some vinegar, but while that would add more germ fighting power, it may burn private areas or the corner of their eyes.

My one dog likes the smell of this so much he tried to lick it up! Weirdo. 

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