It feels strange writing about activities with our dogs in the snow since, at least in the Southwest high dessert, we are seeing balmy temperatures and no snow in sight. We did have an opportunity to take the dogs for a fun walk in the snow a few days ago. This walk was definitively different for Deuce.
They both love the cold temperatures and walking in the snow, but Deuce gets snow stuck between his toes, and now he is not walking. Instead he has stopped and is trying to remove the sticky snow with his mouth. For this reason, we bought him some really nice booties.
There is always the risk that a dog will not take well to a new piece of “equipment” no matter how much we think it will make them more comfortable. I always recommend folks take the time to get their dog comfortable at least and at best loving wearing whatever piece of equipment they intend to use with their dog. The process can be lengthy but it is definitively worth pursuing. Also, think about this: many times we do things to dogs (just) because we can and this can be a slippery slope.
So, to clarify, ideally we make good decision for our dogs that will keep them safe and increase the quality of their life, and as such, we help them transition into new experiences with care.
In the case of Deuce and his new pair of flashy snow boots the process was relatively easy. First, we made sure we knew how the boots needed to fit him so that he was comfortable and not lose them. Then we worked in tandem.
I fed Deuce treats and John slowly worked with the boots one foot at a time. In the process, Deuce needed a break from holding a paw up and we gave him a few seconds to just chill. I then noticed that Deuce was not so interested in the treats so I began to throw the ball at him so that he could catch it in his mouth – a favorite game of his. A few minutes later we were all ready to head out the door.
Deuce took his first steps looking more like a penguin flopping a fin than a dog but once we were outside he realized he could walk and run just fine.
We had tried other boot models that did not work for Deuce, so I found a more expensive and better design pair of winter boots. Not only did they prove to be comfortable for Deuce but we came back from our hike without losing any of them!
These boots of course could be used not only in the snow but whenever there is rough terrain should a dog be sensitive in its paws. I would also suggest using boots for a dog that has severe allergies otherwise it might be a necessity to wipe the paws after every outing.
I do warn folks that using boots on hot climate might not be a good thing. Dogs do not have sweat glands like we do. They shed heat by panting and through their paws. Please talk to your vet beforehand.
If you are looking for some good boots for your dog, check out Neopaws. www.neopaws.com