And yes, I know, why am I even bothering while we are having a TROPICAL winter here in Toronto (today was a balmy 0 degrees). I am just being realistic. And also, even if it is only cold for one day this year.. you still need to protect your dog and make sure he/she is safe.
There is a lot of information to cover, so over the next few weeks I will be releasing different posts with different topics. At the beginning of each post I will be included the chart below, which is a good guideline for understanding the appropriate time amount a dog should be allowed outside based on temperature before it becoming dangerous. Be extra careful to note that this is the WINDCHILL.
I made this topic first because to me, it is the most important. Most dog's only have 2 exposed areas that are extremely sensitive to cold. Their little adorable noses, and their paws. Could you imagine having to walk barefoot on a cold side walk? Especially if it is covered in salt. Of course not. (yes, i know, dog's paws are thicker.. meant to withstand.. but that is only true until a certain point. why risk it?).
PAWZ booties are hands down my number 1 recommendation. They basically are like extra thick balloons that slip over the paws. They protect from salt, and to some degree the cold. People will argue they are not adequate for the cold - to which I counter with "correct. but i wont be staying out longer than the safe amount anyway, so i am protecting my dog from the salt and providing an extra barrier as extra protection"). In my opinion, boots are mostly only critical for protection from SALT and antifreeze that is in some salts used. The extra layer of cold protection is cool, but its not what I think is why boots are a must!
$17-20 for a set of 12
$35-50 for a set of 4
CANADA POOCH WELLIES
$18-30 for a set of 4
But now you might be saying "okay kelsey, true, good points, you are so smart and awesome... BUT.. LOOK HOW CUTE DOG RUBBER WELLIES ARE!!! Which, yeah, I get. They are outrageously cute. But you know what I don't get? How the designer could possibly think that 4 identical boots could fit the 4 paws of a dog properly.. These boots are designed with a human foot in mind.
Admittedly, Muttluks are designed more appropriately.. in that they are basically a long sock you slip over a paw, and tighten using a velcro strap. This allows the front and back paws to be set differently.. the wellies have a very strong rubber structure that cannot be altered. Whereas both muttluks and pawz are designed to slip over any paw and be tightened where the paw ends. Muttluks use a fancy strap.. PAWZ are basically high class balloons!
- If you live in an area where salt is used, your dog needs boots. Especially if the salt used has antifreeze. Regardless, salt is chunky and can often act like glass and split open a paw. If a dog's paw is dry and rough in the first place, having salt enter a crack or wound will cause extreme pain. I have experienced way too many screaming/yelping dogs who are in agony over salt getting into their pawz to never not put on boots, and to remember to always carry extra booties.
- PAWZ booties are my favourite. They are cost effective, and the fact that they come in a pack of 12 as opposed to 4 is awesome. They fit properly (as do muttluks), but if you lose 1 PAWZ boot you aren't forced into buying another entire package as you are with the other brands.
- Wellies are adorable, but they don't make sense and I believe them to be a waste of money. PAWZ are adorable in a totally dorky way. They aren't trying to impress anyone. They are there to get the job done and nothing else. I respect that.
- As I mentioned a few times, PAWZ are like fancy balloons. They are thicker and designed to stay on the paw without slipping. However, if you are really stuck with a budget - an alternative is to use ACTUAL balloons. You need to just cut off the tops (they are way too tight to be worn on a dog paw).
To sign off.. here are a few adorable pictures of dog's world pups in booties.