Musher’s Secret is a paw protection wax that was developed in Canada for use on sledding dogs. The manufacturer describes the product as a blend of 100% pure, natural waxes — including white and yellow beeswax, carnauba and candelilla wax — along with white and vegetable oils as well as vitamin E to provide protection against salt residue, ice, snowballing, hot sand and pavement, rough terrain and chemicals such as pesticides and lawn fertilizers. The product is non-toxic, non-GMO, gluten-free and does not contain any nut, soy, tea tree or flaxseed oils. It also contains no lanolin or petroleum products.
Safe for dogs, cats, horses and chickens, the dense wax helps soothe, condition and protect dry animal pads by forming a semi-permeable barrier between the paw and off-road and street hazards. It’s appropriate for use on paws/feet, ears, snout, elbows and hot spots. The company notes that Musher’s Secret can speed healing of an existing sore by keeping debris and dirt out of the wound.
With snow recently hitting the region where our test dog Vicki resides, we decided to have the collie-husky mix try out the paw wax. She was a strong candidate for testing the product due to her paws being very sensitive to rough pavement and debris.
We followed the instructions, which is to apply a thin coat of the barrier wax on the pads and between the toes approximately once a week, depending on the level of outside exposure. Vicki’s owner noted it was a breeze to spread the product on the pup’s paws and between her toes, plus the wax dries in seconds, and it left no greasy residue or sticky feeling on the dog or owner after application.
As for Vicki, she showed no ill effects from having the wax on her paws. It didn’t affect her gait, and she never tried to lick the product off her paws. Vicki simply went on her way to frolic through the snow and slush. She had good traction each time she went outside and never tracked any dirt or debris in the house when she got home.
As temperatures increased, Vicki’s owner continued weekly applications, with the pup walking on a variety of surfaces, such as gravel driveways, dirt trails, concrete sidewalks and asphalt streets. Once again, Vicki showed no signs of discomfort or negative side effects. In addition, Vicki’s owner reported that Musher’s Secret caused no staining to any floors, carpet or furniture.
The food-grade wax in the container (it comes in three sizes: 60 grams, 200 grams and 454 grams) is thick, so a little goes a long way. While thin balms tend to dissolve quickly, Musher’s Secret remained in place despite Vicki walking through wet grass, puddles and slush. And the product provides all-season paw protection, so it also is useful when the dog is walking on grit and rock salt.
Musher’s Secret lived up to its reputation, and we have come away from our test with only positive feelings about the product. Like an invisible boot, the wax successfully coats a pet’s paw or foot and is absorbed to form a breathable bond that provides comfort in extreme conditions and temperatures while allowing perspiration to escape through the toes. We see this product being appropriate for companion pets, but also for working, mushing, hunting and guide dogs. And we like the fact that because Musher’s Secret is a stable wax, it has an indefinite shelf life.
It’s important to note that the company recommends pet owners use their best judgment on taking their dog out on pavement during summer months, as no wax can protect against very hot surfaces.