Should I invest in a pair of shoes/boots for my dog?

asked 2016-12-13 17:23:35 -0500

My pup, Momo, is a long-haired mini Dachshund. She absolutely loves the snow but since moving to Chicago, I've found that she has trouble with her feet. She isn't able to thoroughly enjoy her walks, which I believe is due to the slush and ice on the sidewalks. I'm looking for some opinions/suggestions on how I should tackle this issue. I've looked into buying some shoes or boots for her but I'm open to other options. Any advice is welcomed! Particularly from fellow doxie owners :) Thank you!

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answered 2016-12-13 22:59:15 -0500

It sounds like your dog could benefit from booties. Getting the correct size is important; too small will hurt her feet and too big will spin around or fall off. Muttluks have a good reputation, as does Ruffwear. Another option is the type of booties that come with "suspenders" to help keep them on. If she will be walking on ice often, make sure the bottoms of the booties are "grippy."

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answered 2016-12-13 23:43:29 -0500

Start with the Pawz type of booties, which are the easiest for dogs to wear and are not that expensive. Pawz are like heavy duty balloons and come in many sizes. Because they have no structure, dogs are more easily able to walk in them. When we had our polar vortex a couple of years ago, I started adding a pair of socks underneath the Pawz. Not only did that look pretty cute, but it added a bit of cushioning for the salt on the sidewalk, which is the biggest reason here for a dog to wear booties. The dog's nails will naturally make little holes in both, but I've found that it doesn't affect the dog. When the holes get large, then I'll replace the bootie. A pack has 12 booties.

My dog hates the slush as well. He won't walk through pools of water either. However, in his boots, he walks like a champ on the salted sidewalks, ice and slush.

Shannon's recommendations are great boots but they are expensive and many dogs refuse to walk in them. If you pursue those types, go to a local pet store that carries them (usually your small, independent shops, although I have seen Muttluks at PetSmart) and have your dog try them on. More than likely, your dog will refuse to walk with them on, but with enough patience and inducements, you might be successful.

I've had many people on the street comment about my dog's booties. Many people can't even get them on their dogs paws. I have it down to a science and have demo'd the technique to total strangers. It isn't all that hard. Try Pawz and see if they'll work for you.

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Karen, Thanks for all your advice! I'm planning on hitting the store tonight to check out my options, the Pawz sounds like a great place to start. Thank you!

Jasmin K.'s profile image Jasmin K.  ( 2016-12-14 10:45:33 -0500 ) edit

We've been experimenting with the fleece-lined Muttluks today. I managed to buy them for under $20. As expected, he just stood there frozen to the floor despite having worn Pawz for several years. With lots of treats, I have him walking around the house now. We'll test them outside later.

Karen R.'s profile image Karen R.  ( 2016-12-14 11:16:19 -0500 ) edit
answered 2017-01-02 14:19:52 -0500

My pup is only 9lbs and generally loves the snow, as well. The problem is not the ice but the SALT that the city puts on the sidewalk to melt the snow. It burns his paws, so, yes, shoes are a must. Poor little friends. They do have paw-friendly SnoMelt for sidewalks but most cities / apartment management companies don't use it. :/

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answered 2016-12-14 18:37:11 -0500

In addition to the above, if she is long haired, keep a careful eye on her paws to keep the hair trimmed short and to clean out any ice balls that might build up. Also apply Musher's Secret paw balm to protect her paw pads from the snow.

I can't get mine to wear booties. They were a total waste, and the fleece ones collect snow in little balls. Boots seem to be made for the bigger dogs rather than the small ones.

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