Let me first start by saying that Musher’s has been one part of the two-part system that I have been using for my dog. It is an absolutely wonderful product, but I want to be upfront about not using this product alone.
So, my 14-year-old dog has severe arthritis and over the course of this Winter he has lost a lot of stability, especially on tile. I was so horrified, because I am not ready to say goodbye to my dog and seeing him start to regularly slip, slide, and fall in our home made me think that it was going to come to that sooner rather than later. In short, it seemed like he was suddenly aging a lot faster than I was prepared for.
I stepped up shaving out the hair in-between his paw pads (he is a Sheltie, so he has lots of hair growth there), and noticed that his paw pads were dry and cracked, so I started using coconut oil to help, but it didn’t really help. After doing some research I saw several websites recommend Musher’s, and their reviews looked great, so I figured I would go ahead and give it a try. I am so glad that I did.
After a couple of days of massaging a small amount into his pads twice a day (morning and night), I noticed that his paws were still slipping on the tile but to the same extent and he was not falling anymore from it. The overall dryness of his pads was also noticeably better, too. It has been several weeks now and all but the worst of his cracks are resolved and his pads are now soft and supple like our two-year-old dog’s pads. I really wish that I had taken before photos, not just for this review but for myself, too, because it really is a remarkable difference.
Now, for anybody that is looking to use this product to help with an elderly dog’s stability, I paired this product with Dr. Buzby’s Toe Grips. They are these little grip-y bands that you put on the nails so that they can make contact with the ground and give your dog more traction. These are, unfortunately, not available on Amazon, but there are similar products. I cannot speak to how well they work, though.
Once a week, I check the Toe Grips to make sure they are sitting well and aren’t too worn. If they are, remove them and either reposition them or change them out for new ones. At the same time, I make sure his nails are a good length and aren’t in need of a trim. I also trim the hair in between his pads at this time. For the Mushers, at first I was using Musher’s twice a day on his paws, but now that it has been a few weeks I use it once a day, before bed. He loves the bedtime paw massage, and this regimen has helped to give him back a lot of stability and dignity and it has given me the confidence to know that I do have some more time with my dog.