Happy New Year!

A very happy new year to all Muttstuffers.

I was doing some research today for a client on winter care for your pets, and as always, looked right to the Humane Society website.
Click here for good tips!

Also, I find that, at least with Sadie (see right side panel), her paws get cut up by the rock salt used on the sidewalks in the urban environment we call home. Our vet recommended we use booties for protection - and it took me awhile to realize that though the thought of putting boots on my dog for the winter seemed silly and kitchy, she really was having problems. Last year she needed stitches they were cut so badly by the salt. It was then that I realized pride(and aesthetics)had to be put on the back burner. When we ask our dogs to live in a city, there are certain precautions we have to take into consideration that you may not have to think about in a more natural, country setting when it comes to our dogs. They aren't built for concrete and pavement, but we ask them to live with us- and they do so happily.

It's been 3 years of lost boots, awkward boot fittings, cuts, slices, limping, and open wounds due to salt on sidewalks. Finally, we came across Pawz Dog Boots. They are sold in some Boston area locations - but I found the locations on the Somerville/Cambridge side of the river tend to be fairly limited in their size selection. I just ordered them through Amazon.com, and they arrived in 2 days (arrived Christmas Eve!)

I like them because they are disposable, biodegradable, and really easy to use. It's basically an inverted balloon- no ties, velcro, or complicated stuff. Plus, they don't fall off. They could be a bit more durable, but they do come in a pack of 12 at about $1.00 per boot. If your dogs nails are too long, they will cut through the rubber, but it's good incentive to keep their nails short. They aren't built to keep the feet warm - but just safe from debris and water, which is really all I needed! I haven't used them, nor do I think I will, on winter hikes. They don't protect from the cold, and they would tear on the rocks/sticks. They do wonders for the salt, and she hasn't had a cut yet this year (knock on wood).

For the record, a small is a hair too small, methinks, for a Border Collie's foot, however, the medium (which we got for the Greyhound) is just a bit too big for her. The mediums fit Zeppy very well.

So happy wintering, and stay tuned for more winter tips!

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