Does My Dog Need To Wear Shoes Outside?
If you’re a dog owner, you will do anything you can to ensure that they stay healthy. Dogs are amazing creatures that love to explore the outdoors. But just like humans, their paws can get hurt in certain conditions. That’s where dog shoes come in. Dog shoes are small shoes that were designed for dogs to wear when walking on hot or rough terrain.
Dog shoes can provide a number of benefits for your furry friend, from protecting their paws from hot or cold surfaces to preventing them from picking up parasites. But do all dogs need to wear shoes outside?
Alpha Buddy Dog Training has been training dogs in South Florida for years and the hot weather found has encouraged us to break down the different reasons you may want to think about dog paw protection.
Benefits of Dog Shoes
There are many benefits to putting dog shoes on your pup. Here are a few of the most important ones:
- Protection from hot or cold surfaces: Dog paws are sensitive to heat and cold, so shoes can help protect them from burns or frostbite. If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, shoes are a must-have. In Florida for example, we recently experienced temperatures of over 100 degrees. The sidewalk and asphalt that your dog walks on can be over 50 degrees hotter than the temperature outside. At such extreme temperatures, your dog’s paws can be burnt, resulting in discomfort and pain for your dog.
- Protection from sharp objects: Shoes can help protect your dog’s paws from sharp objects like rocks, glass, and thorns. This is especially important if you’re hiking or walking in areas with a lot of debris. The next time you go on a nature trail, dog shoes can help prevent injuries.
- Prevention of injuries: Shoes can help prevent your dog from getting cuts, scrapes, and other injuries to their paws. This is especially important if your dog is active and loves to run and play.
- Prevention of parasites: Shoes can help prevent your dog from picking up parasites like ticks and fleas. These parasites can carry diseases that can be harmful to your dog.
- Comfort: Shoes can help keep your dog’s paws comfortable in a variety of conditions. This is especially important for older dogs or dogs with sensitive paws.
- Improved traction: Shoes can help improve your dog’s traction on slippery surfaces, such as ice or wet concrete. This can help prevent your dog from slipping and falling.
- Reduced noise: Shoes can help reduce the noise your dog makes when they walk on hard surfaces. This can be especially helpful if you live in an apartment or other noise-sensitive environment.
Drawbacks of Dog Shoes
While there are many benefits to dog shoes, there are also a few drawbacks to consider. Here a few drawbacks that you will want to consider when buying dog shoes:
- Cost: Dog shoes can be expensive, especially if you need to buy a pair for every season. It’s best to buy a pair of all-season dog shoes. We recommend these from PetSmart.
- Fit: It can be difficult to find dog shoes that fit properly. If the shoes are too tight, they can be uncomfortable for your dog. If they’re too loose, they can fall off. You want to make sure you get the right size as it can cause discomfort and health issues if they are too tight.
- Acceptance: Some dogs may not like wearing shoes. If your dog is resistant to wearing shoes, you may have to work with them gradually to get them used to them. Try putting them on for short periods of time and rewarding them with treats when they put them on.
- Reduced sensory input: Shoes can reduce the amount of sensory input that your dog’s paws receive. This can be a problem for dogs that rely on their paws to feel their way around. It’s not recommended to wear these shoes for more than a few hours.
Deciding If Your Dog Needs Shoes
Do all dogs need to wear shoes outside? The short answer is no. Some dogs, like those with thick, tough paws, such as a Great Dane, may not need shoes at all. However, if your dog has thin, sensitive paws or if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, shoes may be a good idea.
The decision of whether or not to put shoes on your dog is up to you. Weigh the benefits and drawbacks carefully and decide what’s best for your furry friend.
Tips for Choosing Dog Shoes
If you decide that your dog needs shoes, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind when choosing a pair. Here are a few tips:
- Consider your dog’s activity level: If your dog is very active, you’ll need a pair of shoes that are durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
- Think about the weather conditions: If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, you’ll need a pair of shoes that can protect your dog’s paws from the elements.
- Pay attention to the fit: The shoes should fit snugly but not too tightly. You should be able to fit a finger between the shoe and your dog’s paw.
- Choose a comfortable material: The shoes should be made from a comfortable material that won’t rub or chafe your dog’s paws.
Dog shoes can be a great way to protect your pup’s paws from a variety of hazards. However, it’s important to choose the right shoes for your dog and to make sure they fit properly. If your dog is resistant to wearing shoes, you may have to work with them slowly to get them used to it. Remember that it’s an alien concept to them and they need help getting used to it. ‘
If you’re in need of South Florida dog training, reach out to Alpha Buddy Dog Training today!