Boots are one the most vitally important accessories that you can buy for your much loved companion. Ensuring that you pick the right ones can be a tough task. You want to make sure you that you get a pair that are long-lasting, comfortable and, most importantly, do the essential job of protecting your pooch’s feet in the variety of situations that they encounter on a daily basis.
This guide is designed to give you an insight into the key things that you should look out for when choosing a pair of dog boots. By the end of it you will be able to confidently and easily pick the pair that is just right for you and your companion.
Why does your dog need boots?
Your dog’s paws are one of the most sensitive parts of their bodies. They are also the part that gets put under the most strain on a daily basis. Weather this be through walking on icy or hot roads, sizzling beaches, or running through jaggy undergrowth, fields and forests, they deal with a lot of general wear and tear.
Allowing your dog to experience these conditions without the proper protective footwear can lead to burns (from the cold or heat), splinters and sores. Obviously this type of thing will cause your pooch unnecessary discomfort and pain, as well leading to more serious problems later in life. A top quality pair of boots negates these issues and makes for a much happier, confident and pain free pup.
Be Careful when selecting your store
Getting a pair of boots that provide adequate protection, comfort and durability may sound easy, but the fact that today’s market is absolutely flooded with products makes it anything but simple.
Unfortunately many businesses today are more concerned with making a quick buck than they are with the actual quality of the products that they have on offer. Cheaply made boots, and any other dog accessories for that matter, are rife and avoiding these should be your first concern when selecting a product. But how do you spot these? They all look the same and the descriptions make them all sound great, right? Well yes, but there are ways to ensure you get a high quality product.
Firstly, it’s always a good idea to go with a product that has been recommended by an expert. You should look for stores that really care about your dog’s health. If a site is full of advice on keeping your dog healthy, safe and comfortable, it’s likely a good one. However if a site sounds “salesy”, pushy or claims to be offering you something that no one else can, avoid it like the plague.
Can some dog boots really be that bad?
The quick answer to this question is yes, some products can actually be that bad. In what way? Here’s a brief run-down of some of the main issues that can arise from poor quality boots. We tell you this not to scare you, but rather to inform and educate you so that you don’t fall foul to the same issues that so many have experienced already.
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, poor quality boots simply don’t do their job. As previously mentioned, the main purpose of these boots is not to make your pooch look great, but to protect their feet from the elements, thorns and jaggy undergrowth. If you buy a pair of boots that are not made from the right materials or don’t feel or look like they will provide protection, there really is no point in having them.
On top of that, poorer quality boots can actually make matters worse. Not only will your dog’s paws be exposed to all of the things that you are trying to protect them from, but they can cause irritation, blisters and nasty sores. To avoid such issues you should ensure that the boots fit snuggly around your dog’s paws and ankles and don’t rotate while they walk.
It’s also common to find boots that are difficult to put on and this is just going to frustrate you and your pet. Taking your dog for a walk is meant to be a pleasant experience for both of you. You wouldn’t go for a walk in a pair of boots that take time and effort to put on or cause you discomfort, and your dog shouldn’t have to do this either.
If you have had the unfortunate experience of buying a pair that don’t fit correctly, rotate while your pooch walks, don’t keep out water, fall apart at the seams or are easily chewed through, either return them or bin them and start again.
So you’ve found a pair of boots that you think look great on the face of it, but you’re not exactly sure what you should be looking for in the description. Once again, we’re here to help. The most important specifications that your new boots should meet are as follows.
A high quality, waterproof material is an essential component in any good dog boot. Keep an eye out for textured nylon and waterproof fleece as these are generally the best materials used to make dog boots. They will provide adequate support, warmth and protection.
One size fits all boots are fantastic. They are generally made from expandable materials, such as nylon, that contract relatively tightly around your dog’s paws when slipped on. Not only does this guard against rubbing and blisters but it also makes it difficult for your pooch to remove them on their own accord.
If you can’t find a great one size fits all pair, make sure that the store you are buying from offers different sizes as an alternative. Boots that are too big or too small will simply cause more problems.
Any dog boots you buy should be advertised as breathable. This allows the air to circulate around your dog’s paws and guards against issues such as sweat rash and fungal infections by making it harder for bacteria to gather and reproduce.
While this is not an essential feature, it’s a very helpful one, especially when taking your dog out in the evening. Not only do these make it easier to keep an eye on your pooch as they run through woodland and bushes, they also make them visible to cars in the area, ensuring that there is a reduced chance of a nasty accident.
Easy to clean
Any accessory that you buy for your dog should be easy to clean. We all know just how much our best friends love diving into puddles, rolling in dirt and making a general mess everywhere they go. A pair of boots that collect this dirt and require a real amount of elbow grease to shine up just won’t do the trick. The dirt can start to irritate your dog’s skin and boots like this will likely need replacing sooner rather than later.
You shouldn’t have to pay through the nose for a good quality pair of boots. There are relatively cheap options on the market that meet all of the requirements that you need to keep your dog’s paws safe and healthy. For a top quality pair of dog boots you would be looking at paying something in the range 20 to 50 dollars.
Once you have purchased a pair of boots it is always a good idea to carry out an initial quality check. You should:
- Make sure that the stitching looks neat and tidy and give the boots a good once over, making sure there are no visible issues.
- Next, take them to your sink, put your fingers in them and run the toe of the boot under the tap. If your fingers on the inside get wet, they’re no good and you should return them.
- The same thing goes for boots that feel like they could be chewed to pieces by your dog in too seconds flat.
- Now it’s time for your pup to try them on. Make sure they slip on easily and feel relatively tight around the paws and ankles.
- Let your pooch have a wander around the house in their new footwear. Check that the boot is not moving around and causing friction as they walk.
If your new dog boots pass this check with flying colours, things are looking good. But don’t get too excited yet. You’ll only really know if they’re doing their job when you take them out for a spin.
When you return from your first decent walk with the new boots you should give your companion’s paws a once over and just make sure that they have done their job without causing any kind of irritation. If you feel like they failed, don’t hesitate to return them immediately.
So we’ve taken an in depth look at some of the things to be wary of when buying dog boots and some of the key attributes that a top quality pair of boots will possess. Now it’s over to you to use this guide as a simple checklist that will ensure that you find a great pair of boots for a decent price. We hope that it will help you make a more informed decision and find a pair that you and your beautiful dog love. You’re sure to see a happier, healthier pup as a result.
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