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Road salt and -20C is Pawblematic!

January 14th, 2009, 01:42 PM
Sorry, bad jokes run in the family...

Being from Southern Ontario, the -20C temperatures and excessive road salt on the park paths has me a bit concerned for Solo's paws. Has anyone successfully put boots or any other protection on their larger breed's paws? How long did it take for them to adjust?

One friend mentioned there is a petroleum jelly type of product which coats their pads helping protect from the extreme temperatures and road salt. Would regular P.J. work or could it be toxic? What about lip balm?

Any recommendations are appreciated!

January 14th, 2009, 02:00 PM
yup I put boots on my lab no prob! just put one on, gave treats walked around and played then did another, another ect.. once you get them on just make it positive and keep moving, if they have to move fast they cannot take the time to get it off, then before you know it they are used to it!

January 14th, 2009, 02:08 PM
So everyone can yell at me for repeatedly posting pictures of the dogs in their winter outfits, but......

You can use just vaseline, but it doesn't last more than a half block in my experience. There are a variety of balm type products made specifically to protect paws, which last longer because they typically contain wax as well, but in heavily salted areas, these too tend to wear off more quickly than I like. These also do little for the cold, which becomes an issue when it drops below a certain point.

As you can see in the picture, I put boots on my dogs when the conditions call for it. I've found Muttluks to be the most best all around and I know people who use them on their mastiffs, great danes and other very large dogs.

January 14th, 2009, 02:28 PM
Very cute pic!
How much for a set of four?

On a side note, road salt is toxic correct? Through the grapevine I've heard stories of dogs getting cancer and other illnesses from excessive exposure. :sad:

January 14th, 2009, 02:28 PM
Yell???? I think they are hysterical Pitgirl :laughing::laughing::laughing:

My dogs won't do boots no way no how!!!! Kick them off, chew them off, refuse to walk :laughing::laughing::laughing:

I would rather drive them to the wood trails where there is no salt anyways. Roads around here are very narrow for walking two dogs :frustrated:

Any wood trails near you?

January 14th, 2009, 02:33 PM
No wooded trails near us unfortunately. Those trips are reserved for weekends! Solo is regulated to the park behind our house during the week. It's nice but salted heavily. I do my best to keep him away from the stuff but I think boots are a good idea!

January 14th, 2009, 02:43 PM
Very cute pic!
How much for a set of four?

On a side note, road salt is toxic correct? Through the grapevine I've heard stories of dogs getting cancer and other illnesses from excessive exposure. :sad:

I don't know if it's linked to cancer, but road salt is certainly not just salt and I have heard of dog becoming ill from licking it off their paws.

Muttluks, around here at least, run around $50 for the size I get. They last me about 1 winter with heavy use on snow, salt and concrete. There are other brands that are cheaper for sure, which might be a good idea if you just want to try boots out, but I've come to prefer the Muttluks :shrug:

January 14th, 2009, 02:44 PM
I put boots on my pup Ozzy when it gets too cold. They are essentially just fleece boots with a velcro strap. He doesn't mind me putting them on him at all. He even lays on his back & lifts all his paws up for me - very cute!

Inside he walks funny, lifting his paws up really high & exaggerated like. But as soon as we get outside, he walks (& runs!) 100% normal. The key I think is to get them outside as fast as possible, since they seem to find indoor walking so strange.

January 14th, 2009, 02:53 PM
I'll take a look and see what my local pet store has to offer on my way home tonight.

January 14th, 2009, 04:56 PM
We have also rinsed them in a bucket of water when we get back from the walk to get the salt off.

January 14th, 2009, 05:53 PM
i buy the cheapies and then buy just the fleece ones and put the fleece inside the cheapie ones. I found the muttlucks only lasted one year, and this works and is cheaper and also lasts the winter... i would not use the fleece ones alone though. total cost for my lab $20!!!

January 15th, 2009, 09:48 AM
I have been trying to find booties that fit my boys. So don't know if they will wear them or not. But the salt is a concern for me as well. Lucky I have a park nearby but sometimes they just want to walk and see everything

January 15th, 2009, 12:04 PM
I have boots for jag and have some sadies best that i also feels like a vasaline and it does work.

January 15th, 2009, 12:09 PM

I went to 2 different places last night and both were sold out of the med-large size boots! Very frustrating!

There was a new-ish product the clerk at Global Pet foods showed me though. They look like party balloons and the have extra padding on the bottom. Pawz dog boots. Apparently they're easy for the dog to adjust to and also inexpensive at $15 for a set of 3 (12 boots total). He's going to give me a call when they get more in stock. He can't keep them on the shelves they sell so fast!

January 15th, 2009, 02:47 PM
I have a pack of those, but never used them because the opening at the top is so tight it seemed like putting too tight rubber bands around the dog's ankles. I also can't imagine they're too great for the cold :shrug:

January 15th, 2009, 03:12 PM
Duly noted. I will have to see if that's the case with Solo. If they seem too tight then maybe they aren't a good idea.

January 15th, 2009, 03:42 PM
Duly noted. I will have to see if that's the case with Solo. If they seem too tight then maybe they aren't a good idea.

It's possible that Basil and Streets, though otherwise perfect, have some thick ankles :laughing:

January 15th, 2009, 06:14 PM
Scruffy wears MuttLucks. I won't say that he likes them (cuz he doesn' but he'll put up with anything if it means he gets to go to the park.
They generally stay on him quite well. The only thing is they were pricey and I don't think they'll last more than one winter. They've been a godsend this year though, with the extended cold and snow..brr.

January 15th, 2009, 06:50 PM
The booties i have are the same as pitgrrl them at global and thats also where i got the sadies best.

January 15th, 2009, 07:15 PM
I have muttluks for all three of mine. Petey and Belle's have lasted for two winters so far and are still in great shape. We must not be as rough on them as some others! The trick is to put them on VERY tight, way tighter than you would think. Have them leashed and ready to go and you ready to go as well. Put on the boots last then and MOVE FAST! They will do the funny walk the first few times you put them on, but they adjust pretty quickly. I've done it with all three of my dogs and for several other people's dogs as well.

I also use Musher's Secret ( and it works really well! I rub a little bit into their paws each night in the winter as extra protection as I only use their boots on long outings outside. They have a doggie door they are in and out of all day long and this protects their paws on a daily basis. I also use it when biking in the summer and they're going to be running on asphalt.

There is a newer brand of dog boot out that is similar to Muttluks, but are supposed to be better because they have a patent pending foam cushion in them that conforms to the paw and that supposedly make them stay on even better. I haven't tried them yet, but really want to!

With Muttluks, watch sizing. They run bigger than you'd think. If uncertain, go a size smaller. They will NOT stay on if even a little too big. Jelly's paw is just under 2 inches, is 9 pounds and wears the Itty Bitty size. Belle's paw is 2 inches, is 28 pounds, and wears XS. Petey's paw is 3.5 inches, is 55 pounds, and wears Medium.

Here's ( my video of Petey in boots for the second time (not on leash this time) and here's ( in boots (not muttluks) and a snowsuit for the first time. I forgot to get a video of Jelly in her boots for the first time though!


January 16th, 2009, 10:03 AM
We have a pair of professionally fitted Muttluks for our little terror the 23 lb. American Eskimo that have been hanging in closet for nearly 4 years - they were fitted after he reached full size so it isn't as if his toes are being pinched. He screams his head off if he even seens us approaching with them - when he was fitted, the store owner just ignored him - and often dogs are different with people other than those they love - so he sort of put up with it. But every time he is standing out there on one paw I mention and show him the boots, to no avail. This year I bought Invisible Boot - it helps some - but then of course he does love the taste. Bitter Apple is equally appealing to him. I have every type of Salt Alternative known to man, but of course it still hurts and then there is the salt that everyone else uses. Maybe one of these days - the pup is about to turn 5 - and pup he still is.