Updated: Nov 9, 2020
Imagine what could happen to your feet if you ran barefoot through mud, woodland, winter roads and hot summertime pavements? Once upon a time, thousands of years ago man walked barefoot but it didn't take us long to realise our feet needed protection. Our pets are domesticated and even though a dog's paw has pads that provide extra cushioning which help to protect their bones and joints, provide some insulation against the weather and provide protection for tissue that is located in the paw, in these days, depending on your dog's outdoor activities, it is not enough..
A dog's paws are subjected to harsh terrain, nasty diseases that can be fatal, such as Alabama Rot, and even frostbite. And remember, your dog can ingest toxic chemicals, tiny slivers of glass when he or she licks their paws.
Your pet can suffer cuts or other wounds from glass, debris or other objects. This is where a dog bootie or sock comes in handy after you have cleaned any smaller injuries with an antibacterial wash. For deeper paw cuts, you should take your pet to the vet. Let your pet wear booties outside to prevent the risk of cuts and trips to the vet.
Your dog’s paws also feel extreme heat such as on summertime hot pavements and sand and can suffer burns and blisters, loose flaps of skin or red, ulcerated patches. For minor burns, apply antibacterial wash and cover the paw with a dog bootie.
Winter weather can can cause chapping and cracking and salt used on winter roads can cause sores, infection and blistering. After outdoor walks, wash your dog’s paws in warm water to rinse away salt and chemicals. Make sure your dog wears booties. Footwear for dogs is protective and not just for dress-up sake. Waterproof boots with sturdy soles will protect your dogs from harsh environments. Vets use protective footwear on dogs that have issues with their paws and need protection.
Getting your pet used to wearing boots takes a little patience - no different than house-training a puppy. Patience and gentleness. Many dogs take happily to their footwear. If you have a puppy, this is a great time to start!
One of my dogs is 13 1/2 and he has less muscled control in his back legs and he slips on the parquet floors and ends up spread-eagle. He whimpers and becomes distressed and has to be lifted onto his legs. He wears socks with rubber grips that prevent him slipping, sliding and falling. Inexpensive and prevents distress.
Better safe than sorry. The price of footwear and your patience will save you money at the vet and even the possibility of losing your dog.