Winters in Canada can be quite harsh, not just for humans but also pets. Think about it for a minute, we wear insulated boots with grips when we walk the dog. Our furry friends have...paw pads. That’s fine most of the time, but when it’s -20 degrees Celsius or colder? When you’re walking on paths covered in non-pet and non-child friendly de-icing mixes? The concept of dog footwear - dog boots and dog dog socks - doesn't seem so strange after all.
Dog boots for winter
I discovered dog footwear when Maestro was just a few years old. At first, I balked at the price of Muttluks dog boots and bought him a cheaper brand name. They didn't stay on very well. In the end, I bought Maestro Muttluks (approximately $50 CAD). He doesn't keep them on all the time but at least they don’t slide off as often as the knock-offs did.
The soles are leather, which is great when it’s below freezing. It’s a completely different story when the snow is melting. Those boots get soaked - fast!
Since buying the Muttluks, different models have come out. You can now get the leather sole, but you can also buy the fleece-lined model and the all-weather model.
On a recent visit to Pet Valu, Maestro and I watched a Corgi try on a set of Ultimate Trail Boots by Canine Equipment ($70 CAD). This is, by far, the best set of dog boots I have ever seen. There are grips on the soles and the hind paw boots are sized differently from the front paws’. Unlike the Muttluks, CE’s dog boots are water resistant, yet still breathable.
This company makes good quality dog accessories with thoughtful designs. Our family has several dog accessories by Canine Equipment, including the Ultimate Trail Pack, a harness and walking collar. Guess what Maestro is getting for his birthday?
Help! My older dog keeps slipping on hardwood floors
Maestro has always slipped a bit on hardwood floors, but when we visited relatives this Christmas, I saw that he was having a harder time standing up and moving around. He was more stiff than usual and oftentimes, seemed to plant himself in one spot and his expression clearly said, “I’m not moving. You’ll have to pick me up if you want me to move.”
I remembered hearing that other dog owners purchased dog boots or dog socks because their dogs kept slipping on hardwood floors. From the recesses of my memory, I recalled seeing dog socks with grips, so went to Pet Valu in search of these. We first tried Pawks by RC Pets ($10.99 CAD), primarily because I balked at the price of the Pawz dog boots ($19.99 CAD).
I went with medium because that was what was recommended. That was a failed experiment. One of the other dogs in the family tried (successfully) to pull off Maestro’s Pawks. They really didn't stay on well. By that point, Maestro stained the Pawks so I couldn't return them. That meant that I had to go and buy a small set of Pawks. They stay on better than the mediums, but he occasionally pulls off his hind ones when he sits.
In the end, I also broke down and bought Maestro a set of Pawz. I appreciate that there are three sets of reusable dog boots in the package.
Seriously, I need to remember not to go with the cheapest solution. I usually wind up spending two to three times as much.
Anyway, Pawz are ideal for the hardwood floors. Maestro has great traction when walking hardwood. They are also perfect at the vet’s office and pet stores. He gets decent traction on snow.
They stay on pretty well, too. The other dogs don’t try to pull them off, while Maestro rarely pulls them off when he sits on them.
The only thing is you can't keep them on for long periods of time. Remember, dogs "sweat" through their paws.
Where to buy dog boots and dog socks
Most pet stores carry at least one type of dog footwear. However, if you are looking to buy online, check out my affiliate links:
Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Boots: Amazon.com
Dog Socks with Traction Control: Pawks at Amazon.com | Pet Ego Home Comfort Traction Control Dog Socks at Petsmart | Pet Ego Home Comfort Traction Control Dog Socks at Amazon.ca
For your first set, I strongly recommend that you buy locally. Bring your dog in so that he or she can try on dog footwear for correct sizing and fit.
Having canine arthritis, Maestro will always move with some stiffness. It varies depending upon the weather. At least I can make his life a bit easier by putting on his dog boots or dog socks so that he can walk on hard surfaces and stand up from a prone position more easily.