dog boots

6:45 p.m. on November 13, 2011 (EST)
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does anyone have user experience with bark n' boots?the polar trex looks like knee high with lots of insulation,the grip tex is ankle high with what looks like basic pad protection for rocks,anybody have exp.?stinky will appreciate any input.

7:05 p.m. on November 13, 2011 (EST)
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A friend of mine uses them for his Great Dane ALL THE TIME and swears by them. His are the grip tex.

11:31 p.m. on November 13, 2011 (EST)
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I grew up around pointers of various breeds and been around them my entire life.  I know some people have great luck with booties, but I've never had any luck getting my dogs to put up with them.  I had a Weimaraner who loved to winter hike (in Minnesota), and I tried like hell to get her to wear them.  She needed to wear them.  Never happened.  One of those things probably better successful if you start them in the habit as a puppy.  I've seen quite a few German Shorthairs in the field with basic neoprene ones with a velcro strap a couple inches up the leg.  I believe they're also felt lined.

2:21 a.m. on November 14, 2011 (EST)
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Really?...........................Doggie back backpacks.............doggie sleeping bags..............doggie water filters.................doggie first aids kits...........should doggies wear cotton or wool.............Doggie head lamps........doggie mp3 players

We must remember that our dogs are , well...........dogs.

I love my dog Mogh, but, he is after all, well, a..............dog.

If your dog is not able to handle the environment you want to tread into or upon then please do not take your dog with you.

My dog has his own packs. Why?  He  must carry his own weight,………food and  gear, his leash, tie out.   I carry my gear, why should he not carry his weight.

When does the excessive coddling of dogs stop.  Maybe we should just carry them up the mountian.

I have a mastiff type dog that is not able to handle hot weather situations. What that means to me is that I don't take him out in hot weather situations .  I do intended to buy him a air-conditioned body suit. He will stay at home when he is not prepared to meet the demands of the trail.

If your dogs paws can't handle the hike or journey you've set your sites on then most likely you should not be taking him/her with you until the both of you have practiced on smaller jaunts that both and he/she can be prepared for your big adventures.

A dog does not need booties unless he/she is under the most extreme circumstances and then you must consider why you would drag your dog into your mess. What your dog needs is for you to take him/her out on the trail to build up calluses on his paws so that his/her paws can handle the trail situations. IMHO

 

4:13 a.m. on November 14, 2011 (EST)
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I agree with apeman here. Insulated dog boots for 90 $ is just crazy and not needed if the dog is used to walking in the terrain at all. The reason why dog trekkers use boots is to avoid snow/ice building up between the toes. When I had my Siberian Huskies this was never a problem for my dogs, but other breeds had this problem in quite a large amount. Today with my Border Collie I must use a shaving machine to cut the hairs between the toes if I plan on take a long tour in the winter.

But I have bought two socks that is with us even in the summer to prevent infection if he should cut his paw on some sharp rock.

6:47 a.m. on November 14, 2011 (EST)
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Ok, well for starters paying more than say 4$ per bootie is crazy, and the 40-90$ for the ones at REI etc is even crazier.

Booties are a very real need if your going to be on rough rocky trail all day or on ice and snow for a long time. Booties protect the pads of the dogs foot, that is their only purpose. They prevent snow and ice build up between the toes and prevent the pads from getting cut up on sharp rock.

Booties can be needed no matter how well conditioned your dog is. Callouses on your dog's pads wont prevent a pad injury, though they help during normal conditions.  A pad injury on a dog can be very serious and result in you having to carry your dog out in some severe cases. Wet conditions can make pad injuries much easier to obtain due to softening of the pads, especially on rock. Walk or run your dog for 5+ miles on asphault in the rain or right after a rain and then look at their pads. You will be surprised.This isn't about coddling dogs but about being responsible and providing the adequate protection they need.

Personally I only use booties maybe a handful of times a year, mainly in winter. It is rare that you will be on a rock slab of a trail ALL day. My use of booties outside of winter is rare.

I use booties all the time when conditions warrant, and I hike and sled with my dogs all the time.

If you want real booties, here is a link, And oh my the most expensive ones are 3.75 per!  i use the denier cordura ones. There are other sites but I prefer these to the more commonly available canvas ones.

http://www.affordabledogsleds.com/booties.htm

 

10:30 a.m. on November 14, 2011 (EST)
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The other night on my way home after dark I saw a runner with her dog and it had a blicking light so it could be seen too.

In Alaska the dog sleds dogs wear booties to keep their feet dry,warmer and from being cut by the ice during the Iditirod.

4:34 p.m. on November 14, 2011 (EST)
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Yes indeed there is a time an place for a dog(s) having gear and I should have stated that in my posting.  Just as I would use dog packs for my dog there is a time an a palce for certain types of gear in certian situations.  When I was growing up as a young lad in Denver Colorado, we had Dogs called Great Pyreenes.


great-pyrenees.jpg

As you can see these are log haired dogs. They used to be used as sheep guarding dogs that would live in and amongst the sheep. Rather than herding the sheep the sheppard had other types of dog for that.  These dogs were designed to be part of the heard during the day and roam around the exterior the flock at night. As they circled the heard at night they would give a mundane bark all night long. When the sheppard  heard this mundan bark he knew all was well.  When he heard an excited bark he knew something such as a bear or wolf or large predator was attacking the heard. If he did not hear the mundane barking he knew the dog(s) were tracking large predators close to the heard. During the days they would look skyward as large eagles would commonly swoop down and take little baby lambs.  These dogs have long hear all over there bodies that includes there toes as well.  I remember many winters we would come home from school and Thunder would have little snow balls tucked between his toes due to the long hair on his feet.  With these dogs at least, they would just lay down and chew them out with out any problems.  To mitigate this problem we would trim the hair between his toes so that he hardly ever got them.  I can see how it might be necessary if you had a dog or in fact many dogs in very harsh conditions such as the Iditarod  that would make it such that the dogs would need booties because of conditions and the inability to take care of the porblems dur to running all day and night.

When I responded to this post I responded form a place of unfortunately having worked at one of the big box pet discount stores for about 9 months of my life. One of the things that I saw that I thought to be rather bizarre and I felt rather troublesome was when we would get the new shipment of dresses and doggie fashions and the such for little quivering dogs with names such as Boo-Boo, and Fluffy and tiny little dogs that in my estimations shouldn’t even be considered dogs and were much more like rats than dogs. I do realize that to persons who love their rats that this does a disservice to rats but that's really what they looked like. The amount of money that was spent on doggie fashion was astounding. Little pink too-toos, feathered boa's, rhinestone shoes and booties, rain coats and rain hats, little doggie sunglasses, etc.

I believe that different dogs are built and designed by nature to be in different conditions. Just as you would not have a Great Pyreenes it the heat of the Phoenix sun I would not take Mogh, My Neo, into high altitudes during  freezing cold. . Mogh is what called a hot house dog having very very short fur and hardly any body fat. He is a very muscular dog And he would not retain heat in cold situations.

Next year when I take Mogh out fishing with me I will have to buy him a life vest as with Neapolitan Mastiff’s there is no sink or swim, there is only sink. Mogh is my 5th Neo and none of the Neo’s that I've had has ever been able to come up for gulps of air when in water that was above their heads, they sink like lead if not faster.  Yes, I did test this theory by thowing them in various rivers to see if they could swim.  No worries as they were thrown into holes where their was no chance of anything happening to them.  I would mearly step in and pull them out by the collar when we determined that they in fact could not swim.

All Neapolitan mastiffs and most mastiff’s I've run into hate to have there the paws touched and played with. I truly do not think you could even habituate one of these dogs from a young age to use or keep on any type of booties on there paws.  I do realize that other breeds are different and will accept booties. 

As I'm looking for a sidecar for one of my BMW's and when I find one Mogh will likely be asked to wear goggles some day. Well see how that goes down.

If you feel that you need to use booties for you dogs safety then by all means do so. Again I have found that when hiking my dogs build up there bodies to be able to handle longer and longer trips into the backcountry and this includes their paw's and pads. Gary mentioned the use of blinking lights on dogs that are out with there running owners and I think that that is a wise move. Dog equipment is important for your four legged friend at certain points in time and varing conditons and I encourage it by all means.  With that being said if you take your dog out and he’s used to booties that he did not need in the first place and looses one or more of them than I believe you are doing a disservice to him/her as he or she will not be prepared to handle the conditions esp. with the extra weight of a pack.  What I think is silly and even absurd is that people would be willing to shell out big monies to get brand name gear for their dogs when far cheaper gear is available that will do the job equally well. We seem care if we have name band gear but I'm pretty sure that Mogh does not need nor care if he has a Arc'teryx combat jacket, with Nike booties and a Dana Design  packs when all brands of gear, big and small, chew the same.  That does not mean that some of the good gear does not cost more than poorly made geare but I must first question why it cost more, quality or brand naming as well as how much that gear will really be used.  I know that my dogs packs do not take the beating that my gear takes, but that again is just my experiance.

 

4:33 p.m. on November 15, 2011 (EST)
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thanx for info,the main purpose in my situation would be pad protection at higher elevs. where its all rock in warmer temps.,shes an 80lb. lab..dont want to leave S.O. and dog camped out for day at treeline while i summit,supposed to be a family thing.some people mentioned cheaper versions that im assuming are almost like fitted socks,but id imagine there would be a lot of friction of material sliding back and forth(similar to wearing an oversized boot)i really dont want to have to carry an 80lb. dog.some people mentioned the dogs willingness to wear paw protection,ive experimented with putting socks on her and having her walk,she walks like a cat with tape on feet for afew minutes then gets accustomed.another question,put boots on at start of hike or wait till rocks/snow/ice?thanxP.S my dog doesnt quiver,not even after defending against errant pit bull.

8:10 p.m. on November 15, 2011 (EST)
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It's not that they are 'cheaper versions', it's that they are practical versions that just so happen to be much cheaper. I am telling you right now that the major brand ones available at REI etc are gimmicky and a waste of money. The ones I linked you are the best bang for your buck.

There will be no friction so to speak if you purchase the correct size and put them on correctly. The ones I linked are made for sled dogs, that are running for 8-10 hours a day. It's what they are made for. However, the bark n boots you mentioned are much more similar to an oversized boot that slips and slides and causes alot of friction. If you really have your heart set on paying some big bucks for some fancy dog booties then go ahead, but I strongly recommend that you take my advice and don't buy them and buy a more practical alternative instead.

In winter in the snow and ice I put the booties on right away and leave them on except for at night in camp/resting. Otherwise I only put them on when needed.

These are the sites I recommend you buy from:

http://www.affordabledogsleds.com/booties.htm

http://www.dogbooties.com/products/330decobo.html

http://mountainridge.estoreadvanced.biz/index.php?p=catalog&parent=1&pg=1

there are other similar sellers, but these I have all used, and I like the affordabledogsled ones the best.

8:31 p.m. on November 15, 2011 (EST)
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TheRambler said:  "affordabledogsled"

That is a good word, I would guess that it hails from those above and below the north and or south 65 deg latitude?

7:50 a.m. on November 22, 2011 (EST)
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I mostly agree with Apeman.  My pooch trail runs with me 5 days a week and that keeps her pads tough enough to not need booties.  Her predecessor was the same.

I did own a dog years ago that needed boots in the snow because she had a problem with ice buildup between her toes.  It built up quickly and really bothered her.  So there may be cases where boots make sense, but the $1.50-$3.00 are plenty adequate in those cases.

11:03 a.m. on November 22, 2011 (EST)
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I have had dogs in the BC wilderness, very rocky, mucho cold, ice, very deep snow and rugged terrain for some 57 years, often living in the wilderness for months on end without a break. I have never used dogboots and have only had snow buildup problems with my pb Rough Collies, in our hometown on salted-sanded roads.

We took our dogs everywhere, out for 16 hours per day and had them swimmng in Kootenay Lake, some 75 miles long, 5 miles wide and 500 ft. deep, glacier-fed and COLD, in January, February and late autumn. We would then run them home in the snow for 2-3 hours and never used boots.

I can see boots in an endurance race such as The Yukon Quest, but, as with pack dogs, if, you properly condition well-bred stock and look after them well, I see little or no need for dogboots.

My Rottweilers do not need them, however, I give them "medical" care superior to that most people in "Third World" nations receive and am very careful about conditioning and ambient heat issues, thus, I have never had a real problem with their paws. But, I love my Rottweilers more than many people do their children and treat them as well trained, gently disciplined, but, rather "spoiled" furkids and it shows in their performance and health.

12:42 p.m. on November 22, 2011 (EST)
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Dewey said:

"I love my Rottweilers more than many people do their children and treat them as well trained, gently disciplined, but, rather "spoiled" furkids and it shows in their performance and health."

As it should be IMHO.

I have hiked with three dogs and didn't use booties, it should be noted though that we didn't trudge through ice & snow all the time.

The terrain was mostly embedded or loose rock, packed or loose soil, grass, moss, etc. I kept a close eye on my dogs feet and overall condition.

The need for booties seems to depend on several factors such as terrain, climate, dog breed and type of activity.

6:33 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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I have a set of those RuffWear griptrex boots for my 70+ lb lab-mix and use them as the situation warrants.  

Here's the backstory: a 1/2 dozen years ago, before I got my dog, I met a couple of guys out backpacking one day and they had boots on their 80+ lb dog.  I'd never seen that before so I asked them about it.  These guys were ardent backpackers and they always took this dog with them.  Apparently, one time she cut her pads up pretty badly hiking over sharp granite and they'd had to carry her out 10+ miles.  So ever since then, they'd had her in booties.

Years later when I got my dog, I got him those GripTrex boots and got him used to them early in his life (though I think most dogs could adjust fairly quickly with reasonable strategy and training techniques).  We carry them most of the time when we're out in the backcountry - he only wears them maybe 10% of the time - but I've got them when I want/need them and there have definitely been times when they've been a help.  Also, since he's used to them, he doesn't fret much when I put them on.  Actually, since I usually only put them on him when it's sharp rock or something in which the booties will help, he usually seems kind of happy and/or thankful that they're on... he picks up his pace and generally seems like he's in a better mood, so I do think they are helping.  Most of the time we're on dirt or forest duff or smooth rock or sand, etc, and he doesn't need them.

On the CA Lost Coast (northern CA), there are miles of these rocky beaches and I put them on him then.  The vibram soles definitely seemed to help him grip on the rocks better and I felt like he had less chance of injuring a paw, toe, or ankle in those stretches.  They were also helpful when the sand got hot if we weren't able to hike down by the water line.


dante-boots.jpg

When I got them from the local outdoor store, the guy that sold them to me told me that he and his dad use them with their bird dogs for upland hunting, when they'll be running all day long on (occasionally) sharp rocks.  They swore by them, but he also told me to tape them on if the dog is running.  When we're just hiking, I've rarely seen them fall off if I put them on securely; however, if the dog is running, and especially if they'll be cutting hard back and forth like when they're hunting, the boots need to be taped on or else they will rotate and fall off.  He showed me how they do it, using that white athletic tape that only sticks to itself wrapped around the ankle (won't stick to the fur) and then the booties taped to that with the black (boxing glove?) athletic tape.  


dante-boots2.jpg

(you can see the white tape around his leg on the right and then the black tape holding the boot on)

We haven't been out in the snow for long enough periods for him to need boots, but if we were going to be, I'd probably use the above taping technique with the griptrex boots.  I tried their polartrex boots last year just for fun but couldn't get them to stay on so I sent them back.  I've since heard they they are sized one size smaller than the griptrex (and I'd bought the same size).

Lastly, (and I have no affiliation with REI or Ruffwear), I wanted to let you know that the older griptrex like mine are on sale on the REI outlet if you have a larger dog:

http://www.rei.com/outlet/category/40003649  My 70 lb lab-mix wears medium.

6:39 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Oh also, I read an interesting post one time about a guy who'd mountain bike with his dog a lot.  They'd usually go on 8+ mile biking runs and the dog would be sore the next day and not want to move around much. He assumed it was her joints that were sore because she was starting to get a little older.  Then one day he tested the booties on her for the run and the next day she was fine.  It seemed her soreness was from her feet, not her joints.

11:58 p.m. on November 29, 2011 (EST)
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Lots of good deals on GripTrex on here:

http://www.geartrade.com/browse/dog-packs-and-accessories#b

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