Paw Injuries and Boots for Dogs

My dog does not tend to consider her physical wellbeing. For example, the other day she leaped over a six foot drop before I could stop her. She’s made of pretty sturdy stuff and came out unscathed, actually it didn’t even faze her, but I’m lucky she’s not in a full leg cast. She scales rocky cliffs with ease and slides down dirt slopes without a second thought.

She climbed up here on her own.

I love her daredevil attitude, but it does come with a few pitfalls. This past weekend she scraped a bit of her back pad off, and it had become quite enflamed by that night when I noticed it. So she’s back in the cone and getting nightly Epsom salt soaks. It looked quite nasty the first night but it was actually pretty minor and is already looking a lot better, as you can see below.

It does bring up a question though: Are there places and times where dog boots are a good idea? When I was living in Alberta boots were a necessity in the winter when the temperature would dip to nearly -40°, but I hadn’t really considered boots as a summer item until Suki got her first foot injury. I started looking for small dog boots that would be durable and wouldn’t cause her to overheat. Most boots I found were fleece-lined, and the one mesh set I found had a reinforced heel that I felt was too restrictive of natural movement. I gave up on boots, figuring one paw injury in five years didn’t warrant forcing Suki to wear something hot or uncomfortable.  Recently I discovered a company called Ultra Paws has a product called Cool Boots, which is not only breathable mesh but is apparently made of material that repels heat. They’re also a soft boot which, while it doesn’t have as much protective ability as a hard- sole boot, my not-accustomed-to-wearing-boots dog should find more comfortable. The Toughtek sole should also be more than enough to protect against scrapes and cuts. I may or may not be able to change Suki’s behaviour, but I can at least equip her with gear to make her stunts safer. Since Suki’s paws seem pretty accident-prone I think I’ll look into a set of Cool Boots for her, at least just to try.
What do you think? Are there situations other than subzero temperatures where dog boots would be beneficial? Would you put boots on your dog?

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