• Debbie Safran

A Tale of Two Paws

“Does my dog need boots?” Well, clearly mine need a nail trim, but that’s another story...

So. Does your dog need boots, and if so — what kind? That depends! If it was, say -7 this morning when you went to let the dogs out... your dog *probably* needs some sort of paw protection. Unless you’ve got a sled dog or a sled dog wannabe. (Which many of you have, I realize!)

If you’re going for a quick walk — or even a walk around town once it gets ABOVE zero, you really just need to create a barrier between your dog’s paws and the cold or the ice or the salt. Sierra’s got skinny little Whippet feet with not much to them. And, surprise-surprise, her size Medium PAWZ booties have made a world of difference. Because it's not always about warmth; sometimes your dog literally just needs a barrier between their delicate little feet and something crazy-cold.

We like the reusable/disposable dog booties because they're fairly inexpensive (no more than $20) and you get multiple pairs in a pack. So, if you tear one or your dog loses one...you've got backups! Making them the perfect "starter" bootie (or "gateway bootie" if you prefer!), although a lot of people --- us included! -- will likely stay with this option. We currently stock two different brands, each with its own advantages.

  • PAWZ are the ones that look like balloons. They come in lots of sizes and are pretty forgiving of Sierra's talons.

  • Pooch Kicks have a more tailored shape and defined tread on the bottom. They currently come in three sizes but can fit a wide range of dogs.

If your dog is a pro at booties, WagWellies might be the right choice for you. They're utterly adorable and very durable, and come in sizes XXS to XL -- not to mention several very fun colors. Try them on at the shop to make sure the fit works for you and your dog.

That said, there is a reason warmer booties — like Muttluks (which we also carry) — exist. Some of you have dogs who LOVE this weather and will join you for longer outdoor adventures. Vesper would be a perfect candidate for something like that...if he would let us put things on his feet.

Which brings us to the third option: paw wax. Booties aren’t for everyone. But unless your dog is toilet-trained (or litter box trained), there’s a good chance you’re going to have to take them outside at some point. Wax, like our little rubber booties, creates a barrier to protect your dog’s paws from salt—and also from snow balls piling up into those furry toes (like Vesper’s). Slather it on before you send your pup outside; wipe it off when they come back in. Done! And onto the next adventure...

Stay safe—and warm!—out there!

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