Dog Paws are in Danger

Diligent doting dog moms and dads have to put up with an awful lot sometimes. Dog paws are in danger. It’s 2016 and the arrival of the modern canine is here. It irks me to no end, then, that those of us who choose to share our lives with a dog sometimes put up with complete and utter BS from:

  1. Folks who also have dogs but consider them property and don’t go a few extra steps for their dogs;
  2. People who don’t “get” that dogs are family and living beings who deserve love, protection, comfort, and a good life.

That said, I have found that a quick quip to educate a person often gets me farther than a jab or a barb to cut them down. Some people are simply “old school” and growing up, a dog was simply a dog. They lived outside, where they belonged, after all.

Times have changed. We know better. We do better. We are dedicated dog parents.

Many do not. Many want to and they don’t know how. They are afraid to ask. They fear ridicule. They may not want to treat a dog with respect and love and care.

In that spur of the moment opportunity, my mind sometimes goes blank. I walk away from a situation and say to myself, “I wish I thought to say XXX.”

That was then.

This is now.

Being a journalist for many years coupled with a solid history of pet parenting, I’ve learned that getting mad and allowing negative comments to tie me up in knots serves no purpose in my life. Speaking against naysayers and trying to educate the ignorant has become more the norm in my life. Of course, there are some folks who just aren’t worth educating.

Dog boots at Grand Canyon

The Boots or the Canyon

Recently, my family and I visited the Grand Canyon with our dog, Since it was June and the temps were over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, my dog wore Pawz dog boots. At the Grand Canyon, for the pet-friendly section, the number of tourists who stopped to take his photo in the dog boots was amazing. I even met someone who told me I was harming my dog by allowing him to wear boots and that it was “unnatural.”

“Why would you say such a thing?” I asked him.

“Well look at him, he’s a dog, he doesn’t deserve that treatment,” he balked back.

Rather than tell him to pound sand, I decided to take a different route.

“Do you know dogs can get second and even third degree burns in 30 seconds on hot pavement?”

He was silenced and stopped.

I spent the next 10 minutes showing him the product and why/how it works.

He thanked me.

Whether or not he will use them on his dogs is up for debate but I felt vindicated. Knowledge is power.

Allergies and pollen/grass issues can wreak havoc on a dog’s paws. Put your hand down on pavement. Put your bare foot down. Does it feel good? Not burn? If it does, it will hurt your dog.

The same holds true for winter time chemicals and irritants. Consider dog boots or an item like Pawz, which are natural rubber disposable boots for dogs. Never in a million years did I think I’d have a dog who wore “booties,” but I do. It took us 10 minutes to get Dexter used to wearing Pawz, and we are not alone in using them.. For those interested, our Cocker Spaniel wears a size large.

At the present time, our friends at Poochieboots are developing a warmer weather option, too.

So how do you get your dogs accustomed to Paws dog boots and what other things can you do for paw care? Here you go:

Tips for Getting Dogs Used to Items on Their Paws

Touch Your Dog’s Paws From Time to Time: A common myth in among dog parents is that a dog’s paws need no protection; after all, they’ve been walking around without socks or shoes for thousands of years, right? True, but a dog’s paws do need protection. There’s a way to treat the feet and a multitude of dog paw problems that can ensue if you don’t.

So massage your dog’s feet: the tops of the feet, pet the legs, and do so in a positive and reinforcing way. Some dogs don’t like their feet touched, and if this is the case with your dog, don’t scold him or get upset. Don’t bug him.

dog paw safety
Aren’t Dexter’s paw paws adorbs?

Put One Pawz Dog Boot On

Learn to put one Pawz dog boot on (or whatever brand you choose) and make the experience the best possible one for the dog. He just won Best in Show. Associate it with his favorite treat. Once my dog had one dog boot on, I tossed his favorite ball and whistled for him to come to the kitchen for a piece of cheese (a favorite).

He or she may stand in place like frozen into the floor, but eventually he or she will move. The dog may walk like they are stuck on glue also. This is normal.

As the dog accepts one of the boots, you can add a second one and so on.

Be positive. Be happy. Be encouraging. Be sure the dog’s nails are not long.

Here’s how:

When the Weather is Too Hot

If you live in a state like Arizona where the temperatures go well over 100 degrees at certain times of the year, rubber boots may not work.

Please if you have a pet, do not place them on hot sidewalks or pavement. Pick them up, use a dog stroller, or drop them off at the door with a friend or family member.

Pawz are waterproof. No other boot protects against liquid chloride and other liquid hazards. My buddy Sugar Golden Woofs told us to poke a hole in the tops of each of the Pawz boot so the dog’s feet can breathe. This is a good idea since dogs sweat through their feet (and their tongues, by the way).

Here’s our dog, Dexter, wearing Pawz dog boots:

Organic Healing Cream

This is a miracle cream in a jar, and I am even using it. I am not one to be easily sold on claims of a product being a miracle, but this one sets the bar high. Dr. Harvey’s Organic Healing Cream is a combination of healing herbs in a base of organic shea butter. This cream is used for minor skin irritations, hot spots, rashes, cuts, sunburn and itching. It is great for human bug bites, too! I use it on Dexter’s paw pads: They are oh so smooth and soft now. Toss this in your dog’s first aid bag right away. I use this for paw maintenance. I rub it into my dog’s feet twice a week.

dog feet

General Outdoor Dog Paw Care

Though a dog’s pads contain much fatty tissue that does not freeze as easily as other tissues, protection against scuffing, scraping, cutting, and ice damage is crucial in winter months. Ice cubes and “snowballing” may occur in the delicate areas between toes and pads. Protective booties or a product like Musher’s Secret, which is used on sledding dogs, can help ease extreme conditions on sensitive pads. I’ve been using it on our dog’s pads year-round, as it helps with the hot pavement and sidewalk issue in the summertime on walks.

Bottom line: If it’s too hot for you, if the ground hurts your feet, it can harm your dog, too.

Please read Treat the Feet and Other Dog Paw Problems

What do you do to take care of your dog’s paws?

Note: We were not paid to tell you any of this. We use these products and share what works for us with our readers.

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  1. Such important better pet parenting info Carol. I always say, “If it’s too hot for YOU to walk barefoot on it, it’s too hot for your best friend (aka your dog)!” Thanks for sharing and helping more humans get in-the-know.

  2. Great info!
    We use “running shoe” by NeoPaws, they are great for my labs both in terms of protection and ankle support.
    I live in AZ where, due to high temperatures, there are several weeks that my dogs do not get walks. The reason is that even though boots provide great protection from hot and rough surfaces, in high temperatures, wearing boots can cause our dogs to overheat. This is because they perspire through the bottom of their feet, and by enclosing them we interfere with the natural cooling process.

    1. Good to hear that you found a product that works. You sure do have high temperatures there in Arizona. We are heading home via car from a week near Phoenix and had to use extra protection. Thans for sharing your experience!

  3. I loved seeing the Pawz boots in action at BlogPaws. Here in Hawaii it DEFINITELY gets hot, so I’m looking into these for both my dogs. I loved seeing how you dealt with the negativity of a random stranger. Some people think everyone should hear their opinion! Good for you for sticking up for yourself, your beliefs and your adorable pooch!

    1. I am so sorry we did not get a photo together. I appreciate that you are looking into getting them for your dogs, too!

  4. So glad to hear that the one guy took time to learn from you!

    I feel lucky that I can just swoop up Matilda, I never noticed that dogs had a problem with hot surfaces until we were training on some gravel – she was hopping from foot to foot. Dog paws are so tough, but nature never intended for them to walk on sizzling pavement!

    1. Yes, dog paws are very sensitive and I am glad that you are aware of that. They can get severe burns rapidly and I have seen it happen over the years in interviewing pet parents. Since dogs can’t yell “ouch” we have to be their voices and protect them. Thanks, Lindsay!

  5. i have tried the Paws on my oldest and they made her paws sweat and she got sores. i have been looking and have tried so many little boots for her. she needs them to walk on the hard wood floors in my house. i have also put down yoga mats all over my house for her. she recently lost 2 brand new pairs that cost over 25.00 each when she was outside. so i just ordered a new style for her. i saw some that i really liked on line but they were 80.00 so i have been looking for other alternatives. i am hoping the new boots that i get tmrw will be better for her. she hates them but she needs them to keep her from slipping and sliding on the hardwood floors.

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