Does Your Dog Need Shoes?
Many people might scoff at the thought of dog shoes. A canine is born with paws and paw pads that are designed to stand up to the great outdoors, right? Actually, your canine companion has been domesticated for thousands of years and the environment is constantly changing. Very few wolves or wild African dogs encounter concrete surfaces. However, your dog might regularly go for walks or jogs alongside you which takes them across such harsh surfaces. Your dog’s paws are designed to tolerate weather deviations and not adverse terrain so your four-legged buddy might need shoes.
Why Does Your Dog Need Shoes?
In an interview with Martha Stewart, Hyunmin Kim, DVM, veterinary staff manager for the ASPCA Community Medicine Department stated, "The pads on the bottom of your pup’s feet provide extra cushioning to help protect bones and joints from shock, provide insulation against extreme weather, aid walking on rough ground, and protect tissue deep within the paw." However, your canine might need shoes for added protection. You’ll need to consider the location where your dog will be walking and the weather.
- Surfaces: Watch the surface where you are walking your dog. Is there broken glass, hot asphalt, or jagged rocks? Your dog may benefit from a pair of booties for added protection across adverse surfaces.
- Seasonal: Your dog’s paws can show signs of cracking or chapping if they are exposed to rock salt or chemical ice melt. Depending on the compounds, your dog’s paws might even develop sores, blistering, or an infection as a reaction. Always wash your dog’s paws in warm water after walking outdoors. When the weather is hot the asphalt can also burn your dog’s delicate pads. You’ll want to avoid walking your dog through chemicals or on the hot pavement unless you put shoes on the dog.
- Paw damage: Has your dog sustained a minor burn, blister, or cut to the paw? If so then you’ll want to wash it using an antibacterial wash. Most dogs refuel to keep a loose bandage on their foot so you might have more success making your pooch wear booties to protect the paw and give it time to heal.
Benefits of Dog Shoes
There are several benefits to investing in dog shoes for Fido.
Protects the dog’s feet (especially senior dogs)
- Keeps the paws warm in cold weather
- Prevents slipping by providing traction
- Protects the dog’s paws from hot surfaces
- Stops your dog from tracking in mud and other debris into your home
Sizing Dog Shoes
Dog shoes are available in a wide array of sizes. Many manufacturers suggest measuring the width of the dog’s paw to determine the shoe’s correct sizing. Other dog shoe brands sell their booties based on the size and breed of the dog such as XS, S, M, L, and XL. Remember, you don’t want to buy dog shoes that are too small, or they might rub your pooch’s feet raw or cause blisters.
Doggy shoes provide protection to your furry buddy’s feet. If you would like to learn more about dog shoes, please contact us.