Product Review: Muttluks Pawstik and Pawmagik Paw Balms

Resident skijoring expert Kev Roberts is always on the prowl for products that help his dogs perform their best and keep them comfortable during the harsh Winnipeg winters. And he couldn’t wait to try out Muttluks Paw Balms. Sled dogs can wear booties while racing, but not all dogs like the feel of booties, so paw balms are the often the only way to block snow, ice and cold from tender paws. Here’s what he had to say about the Muttluks line of Paw Balms.

Ever tried to walk with a stone in your shoe?  It’s annoying and uncomfortable!   Now imagine that you had a little ice ball in between your toes, and each time you took a step, a little more snow was added.  Your toes begin to spread apart, and before long, your feet are hurting!  That is similar to how your dog feels when ice balls form between his toes.

muttluks-paw-balm-review-1Muttluks has made a paw balm that is designed to prevent the buildup of ice balls and to protect your dog’s paws from the worst of winter.  The natural wax based product is dual purpose.  First off, the wax forms a barrier that prevents snow from sticking to the dog’s paws and building up ice balls. The second way the balm works is to soothe the dog’s paws, and help keep them moisturized.  Using a balm on your dog’s paws also stops cracks from developing in the dry winter air.

Muttluks comes in three different products: the Pawstik, which comes in a handy roll up 75 ml applicator, and the Mini Pawtstik, which also rolls up, and contains 14.2 ml of balm.  The packaging would be similar to a deodorant stick for the larger one, and more like a glue stick for the Mini. The third product, Pawmagik, comes in a cream, which is packaged in an 85 ml tub.

We had an opportunity to test out Muttluks Paw balms.  We tested the products out on all of our own dogs, but we wanted to test on a variety of dog feet and really put it to the test!  So we called up some of our skijoring friends and asked them to come help us out.  

First off, we tested the Pawmagik on Blizzard, a Siberian Husky cross.  When Blizzard runs, snow balls sometimes build up between his toes, which means he has to stop and slow down to have them removed.   Blizzard enjoys entering and training for skijoring races with his human, Chris, so speed is of the essence.   We found the Pawmagik coated his foot easily.

When the product was warm, it was very easy to work with.  We left it in the car overnight before a run, and it needed to be warmed over the car’s defroster before we were able to apply it evenly.   Our runs average about 5k, and the paws stayed protected in a variety of conditions.

The product is all natural, and is just as good for your hands as your dog’s paws.  So if you use your hands to get it on your dog’s foot, don’t worry… just rub it into your own hands.  It’s a moisturizing balm, so your own hands will be happy and smell pretty good, too.

Having to take our gloves off to apply this product to our dog’s feet makes it a little tricky to use.  When skin freezes in a matter of minutes, applying paw balm to 16 feet can be a real problem!   Chris showed us a simple solution – by turning a plastic sandwich baggie inside out, he was able to use it like a glove, over his gloves, and apply the balm to his dog’s feet without getting his hands cold!

We were most excited to try out the Pawstik. We used it on all our own dogs, but invited Lori, with her skijoring dog Quinn, a Husky cross, and kicksledding pal Maura to bring Charlie, a Shepherd/Husky, to come on out and tell us what they thought.

muttluks-paw-balm-review-2Both Charlie and Quinn get snow balls pretty badly, as they both have Hobbit-like, hairy feet.   When the product was warm from the car, or kept in an interior pocket, it was easy to glide on and apply.

Once the lid was off, the product was easy to apply with gloves on.  We found that we used a lot of the balm up fairly quickly, but we used it on a few dogs and over a few weeks’ time.

We tested these products on a number of dogs, in a good variety of winter conditions.  Icy trails, powered snow and even on warmer days.  None of the dogs had problems with their pads or with snow ball build up, so the product worked!

Being dog owners, we weren’t surprised to see dog hair stuck to the roll up formals, but we did notice that it made it trickier to get the wax on the dog, with all the hair that builds up.

I really like the product being in a roll up stick, but found that the stick just didn’t hold enough wax for all my dogs.  We used the product up fairly quickly, but to be fair, that was on 16 feet over multiple runs.   If you were buying this for a few small dogs, or one larger dog, it would last longer.

Maura suggested that the product would be easier to use if there was an edge or a lip to the top of the stick, so it was easier to grasp and pull the lip off when using the product with mitts or cold hands.

We will use this product again and everyone involved was happy with its overall performance.

Note: PetGuide.com was NOT compensated for this review.  We received Muttluks’ Pawstick, Mini Pawtsick and Pawmagik Palm Balm to review. The opinions expressed in this post are the author’s. We provide unbiased feedback of the products and share products we think our readers would enjoy using and learning more about.

kev-robertsKev Roberts lives in Winnipeg, Canada with his partner and their pack of awesome rescue dogs.  By day, he is a Grade 3 teacher, and skijors by night!  Check out his blog Skijor OxfordDogs.


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