Are dog boots, raincoats and other rain “gear” essential for our pets’ survival or just more of a fashion statement for their proud owners? Trends show that more people are buying gear for their pets.
For owners, rain boots give the most welcome outcome — reducing the mess brought indoors — after coming home from walking through that muddy, puddle-filled outdoor terrain, whether it be city or country. Another advantage for pet owners is the elimination of the dreaded “icky paw smell.”
Fashion and cleanliness aside, rain boots for dogs have some very practical uses. Brands that tend to remain securely on the dog’s foot provide obvious security on slick surfaces. Non-slip soles make it easier for your pet to walk steadily even when the walking surfaces change from hard to soft.
In the city, even if you manage to stay out of the grass, you will most likely slog through a puddle or two, opening up your dog’s paws to insects and infections. In rural terrain, wet rocks can become very slippery and slate cuts the tender pads of your dog’s feet.
When seasons are changing, some of those rainy days also can be quite chilly, especially after a lengthy warm spell. Smaller dogs and those with short or light-colored hair can catch cold more quickly.
Consider the age of your dog also: very young, very old and dogs prone to illness are more vulnerable if they get wet. Weight should also be considered. Thinner dogs tend to get cold faster. Rain boots will keep your dog’s feet warm and dry, slowing the progress of the cold from advancing upward to the body as quickly.
The pads of a dog’s feet are very sensitive because they are constantly touching the ground. Constant exposure to various terrain leaves them susceptible to infection and insects. Wet feet make them even more susceptible to bacteria.
Dog boots, in addition to keeping your dog’s feet warm and dry, protect against those insects and other pathogens. One fungal infection, Blastomycosis, is caused by a fungus that lives in rotting wood or wet soil. If you live near water, dog boots is probably an extremely good investment for your dog’s health.
A proper fit is the most important component of buying rain boots. There are many boots on the market and many recommended by various pet magazines. However, the true test is how snugly they fit on your dog’s feet and the comfort factor; whether your dog will become accustomed to wearing them; and finding the boot that will serve your specific purpose.
Most brands have similar construction — non-slip soles, flexible velcro closures, reflective safety strips, and padding. Some brands offer a split-seam toe for added width and comfort. Ultimately, the best dog boot is the one that will stay on.
A search on Amazon will provide you with a large sampling of dog boots. If you need multi-purpose foot gear, My Busy Dog’s own boots were voted #1 by Canine Journal. These accommodate your pet in the city AND in the country. If you only need rainy day boots, Pawz is made completely of rubber, disposable and biodegradable, completely flexible and come in several fashionable colors. They were ranked #3 on Top Dog Tips’ list of the “6 Best Dog Boots That Stay On”. Most brands are reasonably priced. But whatever brand you choose, rain boots are a practical solution for protecting your dog’s feet.