If you've ever examined the pads on Biff's feet, you probably assumed that the thick pads act like the soles of your shoes, protecting him from extreme surface temperatures when he's outdoors. That's only partially true. The extreme cold of winter can be drying. Even sled dogs who thrive in wintry conditions are susceptible to foot problems, such as cracking and bleeding, brought on by running in the snow. Putting boots on Biff before a winter walk will protect his paws by keeping ice and snow from building up on the bottoms of his feet and in between his toes. They'll keep his feet warm, and his paws won't become dry and cracked. They're also useful for protecting against cuts from the sharp edges of ice that can sometimes be difficult to see, especially if they're hidden under the snow.
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Great article and even better comments! My golden retriever Sawyer and I very much appreciate all the suggestions. We have been using Mushers Wax for winters in New York City/Westchester, which I think has worked fine since Sawyer's pads have not cracked or burned due to salt, ice, cold, etc. I have stayed away from boots because of their tendency to fall off, but this year I'm going to try them. I just placed an order for A1 dog boots based on these comments, and I am looking very forward to trying them out. Come spring time I'll let you all know how they worked out for us this season. Thanks again and please keep posting!
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I'm searching for winter/snow dog boots so found this article interesting but thanks to Suzanne's & Tamara's comments above, found better options than recommended in this article. I'm also in Minnesota and walk my dogs an hour a day (weather permitting), off-leash in deep snow so the Muttluks would be unsuitable for the reasons mentioned by Suzanne. I've now been researching the A1 and Neo-Paws brands mentioned. They both look great and much better than MuttLuks and anything else I've seen, in a few hours of research, for snow. What a shame about the Neo-Paws owner! I'm going to try the A1s.
Blue Soft Sole Waterproof Winter Dog Booties - All Dog Boots