Alright humans. You asked, and I shall deliver - what are some tips and tricks to helping our fur babies survive the winter? As a professional dog walker, and a dog mom myself, I have seen and used many different items - and I can tell you which work, which don't, which work but I don't recommend, and all that fun stuff.
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.
Dog's can indeed get frostbite, and this is what it looks like (thanks to famouschihuahua.com for the picture). Always check for this. If you even suspect your dog has frostbite, call your vet. Again (I see a theme forming) WHY RISK IT! Now that that's covered, let's get on to my opinion on which boots are best and why.
As you saw from the chart above, when it's cold out - you shouldn't (and your dog walker shouldn't) keep your dog out for extended periods of time. So with that in mind, I want to compare PAWZ to some of the other popular brands to just emphasize why I believe PAWZ are the smartest choice.
PAWZ are clearly the cheapest at first glance.. but some people argue that PAWZ are disposable and are not made to last, whereas the other brands are.True, this isn't an argument at all. PAWZ do deteriorate after time, sometimes within just a few uses.. but, they come in a pack of 12! If one breaks, you have more to select from. So yes, MUTTLUCKS and WELLIES are not likely to deteriorate, but you know what is likely to happen? They will fall off. You won't notice. And now you only have 3 booties. They only come in packs of 4, so now you either have to put your dog through the pain of having 1 bootless paw... or you have to buy ANOTHER 4 pack. The cost is huge. I cannot even count the number of booties I have seen go missing... and even if you think you have a good eye and will notice immediately if the boot falls off (sure you do....), if you send your dog for dog walking, especially group walking, it is nearly impossible for a dog walker to monitor each and every boot from each dog at each moment of the walk. So, if you are dead set on the higher quality booties, I still suggest you buy a pack of PAWZ for your dog to use while being walked by someone other than you.
Have you looked at a dog's front paws compared to their back paws? The front paws are circular with very little "ankle" and there isn't much of an angle to the leg (when comparing it to the picture I provided of the wellies, you can see that the design should fit the front paws). But the pack paws? They are like double as long and have a much higher angle and there is a lot more paw before it becomes leg than there is with the front paw. How could these booties adequately fit both the front paws and the back paws? I can tell you from experience... they don't. They sit awkwardly, and you can tell they aren't designed with much thought about dog paw shape in mind.
So, to summarize
To sign off.. here are a few adorable pictures of dog's world pups in booties.