Monday, January 6, 2014
City Dog: How to Prepare your Dog for Icy, Salty Sidewalks
We've noticed a lot of Chicago dogs preparing for the cold, but one thing we don't have control over is walking over salt and ice. Without our own backyard, we still need to make our daily walk which often means walking over unshoveled sidewalks or encountering some toxic de-icers.
The salt can be painful to our pups and seeing the 3-legged prance too many times led us to the phenomena of dog boots. We've been getting a lot of questions about the boots we use and how we make our pups comfortable wearing boots. Here are some things that worked for us:
Handling Feet and Creating Positive Associations with Boots:
tracking 'Chicago Grime' into our home, we are always wiping and handling our dogs feet several times a day. I never realized the he positive side-effect is they are comfortable having their feet handled. This was our step in allowing us to put the boots on them.
We also recognize that whenever we're introducing new gear to the pooches, we always make sure to do it slowly and create positive associations. We allow the pooches to sniff out the boots, and they get a lot of petting and treats. We will try on one boot for a short amount of time where they will also get a lot of petting and treats. Eventually we are able to work our way up to wearing all of the boots.
Here are our dogs practicing/dancing inside.
Finding what Works:
We have had success with Pawz Disposable Rubber Boots which are like balloons that fit around their feet. Mr. B wears the purple boots (size Large) and Miss M's 'talons' make her size Extra-Large (Green Elf Shoes!).
I know some people have had some issues with the boots tearing, but since our dogs aren't running, they're merely walking on the sidewalk, we can typically use a pair as many as 5 times.
We have also been trying Musher's Paw and we're hoping to share our experiences with it soon.
What has everyone else's experience been? Do you use boots, mushers paw...or is your dog just a natural snow pup?
We review Ruffwear coats here. And RC pet products coats here.
And cold-weather gear for large pups.
How we prepare ourselves for the cold
When we'd rather stay in
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