Protecting your dog’s paws from harsh weather can be very important, even if you live in a place with relatively mild temperatures or you don’t usually go on hiking adventures. Despite the convenience of our urban lives, there is still a chance to run into uncomfortable situations. For example, roads de-iced with rock salt, a muddy day at the park or a stretch of rough road.
And if your pet suffers from problems that affect their paws or limbs, having well-fitting, quality boots during winter can really boost their confidence levels! Keep reading to find out how much pet boots can make a big difference in their lives.
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Offer your pet comfort and stability
We know, and your furry friend will surely agree, that doggy paws are perfectly adapted to deal with whatever life throws at them. But, think about how our hands and feet can handle just about anything. Shoes and gloves are still an essential part of our comfort levels, particularly in harsh weather.
This becomes especially important for dogs in case of injuries or chronic illnesses. From cuts that need to heal, to needing a boost in traction because of a balance issue, boots can feature as a great aid in your pet’s mobility and recovery.
Doggy shoes can help:
- Reduce contact between painful points and the hard or dirty ground;
- Shield from perforating or dangerous materials;
- Keep paws dry and warm during frosty or rainy days;
- Increase traction, which gives your pet a lot of confidence in walking around difficult surfaces;
- Stop potential irritants like rock salt or de-icers from clinging to pads or remaining in the sensitive skin between the toes;
Older dogs will also appreciate the boost in grip that boots offer. Be it because of evolving orthopaedic issues or other problems that cause limb strength or gait changes, their stability might be altered. And they might be reluctant or even scared to move around. Adding traction is of the utmost importance in these situations. It can make a huge difference in their comfort levels and autonomy.
As always, don’t forget to consult with your vet regarding your pet’s specific needs. And how to best fit walking aids into their daily lives.
The perfect aid for outdoor adventures
The world out there is full of doggy adventures. Without a doubt boots are a must-have if you and your pets are usually out and about in the snow, rough terrain or on long treks. Depending on the season and your dog’s preferences, there are several styles of doggy shoes to choose from:
- Weather-proof – Will keep water, snow and wind away from paws and ensure a great day out;
- Insulating – A winter wonderland must-have, these are also suitable for hot temperatures;
- Non-slip – If you’re out on rugged walks, icy paths or have slippery floors, these are for you;
- Extra secure fit – Depending on your dog’s temperament and your usual activities, it’s good to seek out a design that’s less prone to slipping.
- Lightweight – These are usually made from neoprene or other lighter materials, losing out on the toughness of their more heavy-duty counterparts, but might be better tolerated by reluctant pets.
- Disposable – Disposable rubber booties are economical, lightweight and easy to wear for dogs that aren’t too keen on proper shoes but still benefit from some protection. Although the environmental impact should be considered.
- Reflective – Many models already feature highly reflective bits, and it never hurts to increase your pet’s visibility as much as possible.
No matter your needs, we’re sure there is the perfect boot out there to keep your dog safe and comfortable during your outings.
Acclimatised and ready to go!
A good fit and the right size are vital when buying a pair of dog boots; as badly fitting shoes are as annoying on your dog as they are on you. Some models need to be put through their paces before achieving that peak “broken-in shoe” feel. Manufacturers may recommend that you work them with your hands for a bit to soften up the soles.
If it’s the first time your pet is wearing paw coverings, it’s also essential to go slow. Start by putting them on for short periods inside the house, and don’t forget to give them treats. It’s a great time to observe how they react to having their paws with a different feel. Don’t worry if they walk a little funny for a while!
When you’re out with them, periodically check if the boot is still on and in the right place to avoid slipping off or an uncomfortable fitting.
As far as accessories go, a quality set of boots is one of the best choices you can make! They also aren’t just for bad weather, as many models keep your dog’s paws protected from the cold as well as from excessive heat, like hot pavements or sand. Take your time to shop around. Don’t hesitate to ask your vet for recommendations on what the best model might be for your dog’s lifestyle and particular health problems.