We Try It: PAWZ Dog Booties

amandamariegWe try it!16 Comments

wetryit

The weather this year has been cold. We’ve had polar vortexes and arctic blasts, and I’m pretty sure I know how Laura Ingalls felt in that Long Winter now. I’m not the only one feeling the cold, though. Daisy has been uncomfortable, too. I first noticed that she was having problems when she started limping around and tucking her legs close to her body on really cold days. Worried that her legs were cramping or that there was a more serious knee issue, I talked to the vet tech. The vet tech examined Daisy’s paws and showed me that her pads were soft and pink, not the rough, black pads I’m used to seeing on my parents’ labradors. She advised I get some booties for Daisy because the icy, salty sidewalks were probably just burning her feet.

Once I got past the initial guilt of putting my dog in pain for a couple weeks, I moved into the shame phase where I thought, “Oh my God, I’m going to be one of those people I make fun of.” I didn’t know dogs actually needed foot protection, I just thought it was something people did for fun, like putting a tutu on a chihuahua.

So I began researching what kinds of boots I should get for the winter weather, and I saw lots of positive reviews for PAWZ. PAWZ are reusable, disposable, and come twelve to a package. The best description I have of them is that they are like very thick balloons that you slip over your dog’s paws. They come in five sizes, and you have to measure your dog’s paws to determine what size you need.

Every guide I’ve seen to acclimating your dog to wearing boots says to start in fall, with one boot at a time and lots of treats and praise. Never just put them all on at once and go. Not having that kind of time, I totally did it the wrong way. We started out just doing one boot in the house, slipping it on, feeding a treat and taking it right back off. Mostly just so that I could practice shoeing my dog. You really need to stretch the neck of the balloon to fit it over the paw and avoid the dewclaw. (Because they’re reusable, this becomes easier over time.) I did this a couple times over the first day, switching between her front two paws. The next day, against all good advice, we went to all four. As you can see below, it took less than two minutes to get them all on, and while she wasn’t happy about what was happening, she didn’t really fight it either, a triumph for such a typically anxious canine.

And once she had no choice but to walk on them, she didn’t care that she was wearing them. One of the great things about this particular kind of boots is that your dog can still feel the ground beneath herself because it’s not thick fabric. One of the nice side effects of it being so cold outdoors, is that when you put the boots on indoors and then walk out, the air inside the boots contracts, making the boots kind of suction around their paws, and making it even easier to feel the ground.

I was really worried about the deep snow we’ve been getting lately. Since the booties just slip on, I was sure they would slip off when Daisy has to break her own path through snow up to her belly. It’s been two weeks, though, and we haven’t lost one. And when I take them off when we get home, her feet are nice and dry.

We don’t put them on every time we go out, just for our morning and afternoon walk, because even though they’re very quick to put on and take off, it’s still too time consuming for a 30-second potty break. Since we’ve started using them, though, Daisy has not had one problem with limping from the cold, even when we take longer walks, so they do exactly what they need to do. People make fun of Daisy’s footwear, but we can actually get some exercise in this nasty weather now, so I’m willing to be one of those people.

I highly recommend PAWZ booties if you’re looking for a way to protect your dog’s feet from the elements. I bought mine on Amazon for $15.00 for 12 medium-sized foot protectors. It’s a pretty good bargain, considering some sets are upwards of $50.00, and there are no extras in those sets.

A friend of mine uses them too.  Lucky and Guru do not look happy about wearing their Chicago winter gear.

A friend of mine uses them too. Lucky and Guru do not look happy about wearing their Chicago winter gear.

 

*I was not compensated for this glowing review, except in the alleviation of pet-related guilt.

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amandamarieg

Amandamarieg is a lawyer who does not work as a lawyer.She once wrote up a plan to take over the world and turned it in as a paper for a college course.She only received an A-, because she forgot that she would need tech geeks to pull off her scheme.
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amandamariegWe Try It: PAWZ Dog Booties

16 Comments on “We Try It: PAWZ Dog Booties”

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  1. Profile photo of Sara Habein
    Sara Habein

    Curses, I suspect I would be allergic to these, since they’re “natural rubber” and latex and I don’t get along. When we move, we might be in an area where there will be more walks for the dog, rather than just having a yard she can run around in. But something similar and not rubber may be in my future.

    On a related note, one of my brother’s dogs was at first only used to peeing in sand because they lived in the desert, and when they moved to where there was grass the dog was very confused! ha

  2. Profile photo of Laura-C
    Laura-C

    This is a great review! We don’t live in a climate where these are very necessary for warmth, but I do see people do use them to help older dogs that are losing rear leg function keep their traction.
    I’m impressed with how quickly Daisy got used to them, I’ll have to keep these in mind if we ever get to go somewhere snowy with the dogs on vacation.

  3. Profile photo of [E] pileofmonkeys
    [E] pileofmonkeys

    So, putting a tutu on a chihuahua is actually not fun at all. :) Neither is putting booties on one (we adopted a dog from Alabama in the middle of a polar vortex):

    1. Profile photo of amandamarieg
      amandamarieg

      I tend to make a lot of incorrect assumptions about other people’s pets, obviously. :) Poor little guy looks terrified of the outdoors.

      1. Profile photo of [E] pileofmonkeys
        [E] pileofmonkeys

        She actually loves it outside, but having never seen snow before, is DEEPLY unimpressed with the white stuff. The few days there’s actually been lawn to see, she’s been having a great time. (Of course, we’re trying to leash train her, so “great” is somewhat tempered by her utter confusion about the leash and the fact that she thinks it actually paralyzes her.)

        1. Profile photo of amandamarieg
          amandamarieg

          It took Daisy two days to figure out that she could, indeed, pee in the snow. I mean, she would do it, but the whole process was clearly upsetting, as she looked for a patch of grass ANYWHERE. Now she will only pee in the snow, which could make spring interesting. If it helps, she got used to playing in the snow too, when she realized if she jumps into it play-bow-style, it all flies up. Now she runs across the grass, scooping it up into her mouth.

  4. Profile photo of nonsensikel
    nonsensikel

    We just used these for our trip up to Iowa. Despite his expression, Odie was quite fond of them. During our last winter trip, he was licking his paws like crazy. This trip, not so much.

    Also, I know he looks ridiculous, but this dog loves to wear clothes. He sits and wags his tail when he sees his outfit because he likes to be 500 degrees. =)

  5. Profile photo of bronwynm23
    bronwynm23

    I’m glad you wrote this article! My Poms can’t wear the “typical” dog boots because their paws are so small, so we’ll have to try these. Cold paws are the first thing that shortens our winter walks, too.

    1. Profile photo of amandamarieg
      amandamarieg

      Daisy is a medium, and I think her feet are on the small side, so the x-small would probably work for your poms. The measurements for each size are on their website (and Amazon, too, I think) and you just measure your dogs’ paws with a regular tape measure. I will say, having a longer haired dog, the boots can be difficult to get on at first, because they’re just elastic, and that can pull at your pups’ fur, so make sure you open the top extra wide. Spend some time Netflixing and stretching them out.

  6. Profile photo of Rachel
    Rachel

    I want to get these for my dog. Not because it’s so cold, cause it’s not where I am, but because he steps in poop.

      1. Profile photo of Rachel
        Rachel

        He feels the need to mark over our other dog’s poo, and when he puts his leg back down, it will sometimes go straight into the poo. I guess on the bright side, he spends most of his time in rooms without carpeting so I don’t have to clean poo out of the carpet?

        Fortunately, he is handsome and wonderful and is currently keeping my feet warm :)

        1. Profile photo of amandamarieg
          amandamarieg

          Amazing how little they really have to do for forgiveness. And if it makes you feel better, my mom’s dogs have to mark over each other too–and end up peeing on each other’s heads. Consistently.

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