Friday, January 3, 2014

Protecting Your Pup's Paws In The Winter: Are Booties Necessary?

How To Keep Your Pup’s Paws From Freezing This Winter via Babble
Do you have doggie booties? I’ve seen quite a few pups with booties strutting their stuff around New York City. I once said I would probably never get our dosg booties, but you may have noticed this recent Instagram photo. In the past, I doubted that Django or Hayley would keep them on their paws long enough to make it to the end of the block (or even out the door), and I wondered if they were necessary.
My dogs only go out for short walks and quick trips to relieve themselves in the yard in very cold weather. I let them in as soon as they do their business. If we are cold, so are they, after all. No dog should be kept outside for very long when temperatures plunge.
I always put a coat on Hayley, the Chihuahua mix, but not Django, the Lab mix. But like I said, I never tried booties until recently. They looked cute, yes and I suppose they gave Hayley some warmth but in today's snow and single temps, they surely wouldn't do much. 

Still, I wonder, are booties a necessity?

Not really so, says Dr. Stu Nelson, chief veterinarian for the popular dog sled race, Iditarod:
“Frostbite strikes the areas of the body that have the slowest circulation and are therefore easily chilled. Pets have greater circulation in their feet than humans do, enabling them to withstand low temperatures without wearing shoes.” Dr. Nelson points out that “while pet dogs and cats have relatively short-term exposure to walking on ice and snow, that’s certainly not true of sled dogs such as the ones who run the Iditarod. The thickness of the paw pads help animals go ‘barefoot’ on various types of terrain, including snow and ice.”
What booties may help prevent is exposure to chemicals from synthetic salt and other de-icing solutions that are often found on city streets in the winter. That poses a higher risk of injury to dogs than frostbite on a typical walk.
Do you put booties on your pet in the winter?
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