We’re not particular fans of snow. Sure, it’s fun especially while growing up but with games and the occasional snowball fight aside, trudging through snow day by day, dealing with the inevitable bits that melt inside your boots, ending up all wet, cold and dirty.
Indeed we’re not exactly snow’s biggest fans however, it’s even harder for our canine companions. First off, we at least have footwear and clothes to keep us warm and safe, dogs don’t and they usually get the full brunt of it right on the chin. It’s harder for dogs to get around in the snow, most of them resorting to hopping around like a bunny.
Traction is one of the biggest issues that the dog faces when dealing with snow because the vast majority of dog breeds don’t have to deal with it and their paws are ineffective on snow. Frostbite is the other big issue that affects our canine friends during snowy days.
It can and it will get quite cold and your dog’s paws are exposed and sitting directly on frozen water. Needless to say that prolonged exposure, especially when the air temperature is below the freezing point, will cause the dog to start experiencing the first symptoms of frostbite.
Another thing that most people don’t really take into consideration is the fact that there are things sitting underneath the snow that can and will hurt your dog’s paws when he or she steps on them.
Anything from shards of glass to toothpicks, rusty nails, bits of sticks protruding from the ground and the list goes on. Dogs have to be careful otherwise they can get hurt, and another world of problems opens up with the risk of infection, parasites entering the body through the wound and so on.
So yeah, walking around as a dog is not exactly a comfortable and safe occupation, and the reason we don’t really think about it is the fact that we have footwear that is designed to protect us from all these risks while keeping us warm and insulated from the elements at the same time.
It comes as no surprise that action was taken in order to fix this problem. It might not of have been the most intuitive thing that hit the market, nor the most imaginative, however the solution is a rather effective one, granted your dog will need some time to adjust accordingly. The solution, of course, was doggy footwear, doggy boots to be more precise.
That’s right, canine footwear designed to do for dogs what it already does for us humans, and all the challenges that it presents. You didn’t think it was that easy, did you?
First off, you will have to expect a lot of resistance from your dog, and rightfully so, he or she has spent his or her entire life walking around without footwear, and has grown accustomed to this habit.
Doggy boots will seem a bit uncomfortable at first, and for a short period of time your dog will be more than hesitant to even walk around with those things on, however with time your dog will grow accustomed to them, and will start enjoying them.
Second thing to worry about is your dog’s shoe size. That’s right, that doggy footwear mentioned earlier does not come in a “one size fits all” setup, but rather in different sizes which are designed to fit different breeds, so expect to do a bit of research.
Third think you will have to keep an eye out for is the actual style of the boots and how useful they are for your dog.
A general rule of thumb here is that you are looking for boots with a rubber sole that can grip slippery surfaces. The body needs to be made out of insulating material, so mesh, cotton, wool and other fibers are out of the question. Rubber, vinyl, leather, and other solid components are a good bet to go on.
Plastic and foam are things to be aware of because some merchants will try to pass these on to you and they will cause your dog to be very uncomfortable, up to the point of getting hurt.
Fourth thing you will have to think long and hard about is the style of the boot. Unlike our boots, where the style of the boot refers to how the boot looks, doggie boots actually have different proper styles.
There are the simple boots, the ones that go halfway up the leg, there are boots with suspenders, there are clogs, there are laced boots, Velcro boots, zipped boots, there are quite a few things to keep in mind when setting out to get your dog the perfect set of doggie boots.
Where can you find these boots?
These boots are actually a lot harder to come by than normal human boots. There are only a few places that sell them, and the demand for them is not exactly a small one, and needless to say, where there is high demand there are also knock-offs.
That being said, the safest bets that you have are 2 in number.
The first one is a supplier or a store that your veterinarian recommends unless the vet can place the actual order for you, and the second one is Amazon, where you can find not only some of the best dog boots around at very low prices, but you can also arrange them to be delivered as a gift, and even return them if they end up being either faulty or a generally bad choice in terms of size.
There are actually a few dog boots on there that stand out as being the perfect ones to cover all of your dog’s wants and needs in order to deal with snow, lack of traction in a snowy environment and any nasty surprises that it can bring with it.
Muttluks Reflective 4 dog boots
This one is the perfect example of a set of light dog boots. They are agile, they can be worn without a problem, they go up over the dog’s ankle, and they are easy to wear.
Securing these boots on your dog’s paws is simple, you simply thread the self-tightening strap through the metal hoop and adjust it according to your dog’s paw and every time pressure is applied to the strap, the strap itself will tighten itself slightly in order to compensate thus maintaining a nice tight fit around the dog’s paw.
It comes in 6 different sizes, so you will be able to buy these for your dog regardless of the breed, and it also comes equipped with reflective straps in order to improve nighttime visibility and allow you to locate your dog during the night.
The upside with these boots is simple to understand, they are light. This means that the dog will have an easier time adjusting to them and will feel a lot better wearing them earlier on.
They do their job, they do what it says on the box, they will protect your dog’s paws against the elements, they will provide the insulation that they need and they will help your dog negotiate snowy terrain easier than he or she would of have done without them.
There is also a downside, which is also the fact that they are light. Light boots work best in the city or in a town, where there is no off-road terrain to negotiate, and the dog simply has to deal with snow and a bit of ice here and there.
In a rural environment, or right in the middle of an off-road situation, these boots might not live up to your expectations. Forest environments, mountainous terrain, all manner of off-road terrain will cause a lot of wear and tear on these boots, and most of the time your dog will find it a lot harder to maintain traction with thee boots than without them.
So they are perfect for the city, not so much for nature.
If you interested in this product you can purchase it on Amazon.
JML Puppy Dog PU Sneakers
This example is somewhat of a medium level; however it is the type of medium that can easily be mistaken for a heavy.
Right off the bat you notice something a bit different in comparison to the previous example, these are more solid, sturdier, and they don’t go up as high. They are, in fact, stronger, a lot more solid, and they don’t allow for as much flexibility as the last pair, which is why they stop just short of the dog’s ankles. Otherwise they might lock the paw in place and rob the dog of a certain degree of mobility.
They can be locked in with a zip, which is then locked in by a Velcro strap, just for good measure. They have a thick rubber sole which allows the dog to maintain traction on some rather slippery and uncomfortable sections of terrain, and they will keep the dog nice and warm while they are being worn.
There isn’t actually a heavy boot style or a survivalist style boot for dogs, and this is actually some really good news for our 4 legged friends. Truth be told, they don’t really need heavy boots like we do because the medium ones can provide them with the grip that they need and the footing that they require, while their muscles can power them through safely.
The good part about these boots is the fact that they are a lot sturdier and a lot more solid, allowing the dog to negotiate more difficult terrain and frolic around in nature without worrying about anything. They are durable, they can take a lot of punishment and a lot of abuse from the dog, and they will help the dog keep his or her grip.
These are the type of boots that are chosen for endurance dog races like the Iditarod or the Siberian dog trek, and that is due to the fact that they can take a lot of abuse and they can be subjected to extreme conditions while under constant physical stress and still perform without a great deal of wear and tear added to them.
Like this product? Then you can purchase it on Amazon.
One could argue that the dog loses the extra inch of coverage height over the leg that the light ones are able to offer, however if you find yourself in need of such boots for your dog, chances are that you don’t exactly have a dog that is not built to cope with the weather.
The bad part about these boots is the fact that they had to be made specifically shorter, meaning that only the actual paws are protected, the rest of the leg is not.
Another thing to bear in mind when it comes to these boots is the fact that the dog will need a bit more time than he or she would with light boots in order for him or her to get used to them, and if you happen to have a dog with a stronger than average personality, you will spend a lot of time looking at him or her trying to chew his or her way through the boots.
And remember before buying you must measure your dog’s paws.
That being said, dog boots can be both a blessing and a curse at the same time, depending on the dog that you are buying them for.
You will live some rather hilarious moments watching your dog trying to get used to the boots and the weird and hilarious struts that follow, however you will also live some rather scary moments when you are trudging through the snow and you see your dog all of a sudden shoot forward like an arrow and head off into the distance because he or she has the grip needed in order to do so.
As with everything, think long and hard before buying a pair of dog boots for your pooch, and if you feel that your dog needs them, now you know what look for, what to stay away from, and where to find them.