Does my dog need shoes?
You may have asked yourself "does my dog need shoes?" Even as the owner of a dog boot company, I’ll be the first to admit……not always. The need for some type of paw protection for your dog depends on factors such as breed, type of activity, weather, and terrain, among others. Let’s say you’ve got a Husky and you’re heading out to play in the snow. That dog is built for such conditions and you may not need shoes or boots. Or maybe you and your dog are playing fetch in the local dog park, which is grassy….again, probably don’t need shoes. But what if I live in an area like Phoenix and the air temp is 110 deg? Surfaces like asphalt or concrete can be upwards of 190 degrees! ANYTHING you do in those conditions should include paw protection. Maybe you’re heading out for a day hike in the mountains and you’ll be traversing very rocky terrain, which can easily slice a paw. Again, probably a good idea to put some boots on those paws.
Your dog’s paw pads are nothing more than calloused skin. Those paws are not impervious to pain, cuts, and bruising. Sure, they might be a little tougher than our feet, but don’t get complacent. There are dangers everywhere, from a city street, to desert terrains….from mountain hikes, to icy paths. Hot pavement….sharp rocks….thorns and stickers…broken glass….salt and ice melt chemicals. And even the tile and wood floors in our homes can be treacherous for an older dog, or one with an injury. You should consider the following factors when determining when to put on some dog boots…..Your specific dog, (age, breed, health)…..Weather conditions….Length of activity…. Terrain…Potential Dangers.
So, it’s safe to say dog boots are a helpful part of your dog’s accessories. Now comes the next important question….What type of boot should I get? Search “dog boots/shoes” on Google or Amazon and you’ll get 20 different makers of boots, but all have virtually the same characteristics….Fabric construction, (usually a nylon mesh), Velcro straps and a rubber sole. There’s also one that looks like a rubber balloon, and some “sock” options, (obviously you’re not taking your dog on a hike in SOCKS!!). And then there’s one dog boot that is completely different from all the rest…..Dog Mocs. The ONLY 100% deerskin leather boot on the market. No Velcro, no man-made fabric, and definitely NO rubber sole.
Ok, why is leather better? Let’s look at your dog. For a dog, the ability to “feel” the ground is a critical part of how it navigates the world around him/her. A dog’s sense of touch on the ground is giving the brain important information, allowing the dog to move safely through the current environment. How firm is the surface? What’s the temperature? Am I walking on grass, rocks, pavement, ice? Is that water? We can determine all that based on our sight and experiences. We don’t need to walk barefoot to know if we’re on the street, or in the mountains, or on grass. Our eyes tell our brain what’s going on around us. But a dog can’t reason and understand the world that way. They might recognize a familiar path, but until the paws hit the ground, they don’t know if it’s muddy and soft, or dry and hard. Everything our dogs do is affected by what they feel beneath their paws….Can I jump up on that table? (Of course, knocking all the food off)….Can I turn on a dime at full speed? Can I stop myself before knocking you down? Can I clear that branch on the path? Am I swimming or walking across that stream?
A dog NEEDS to feel the ground….it’s as simple as that. And that explains why you’ll always see them “freaking out” when you put on boots with a rubber sole. (We’ve all seen those videos!) Our fur-buddies are looking at us with two questions….Why did you just take away my ability to feel the ground under my paws?? And.….When are you taking them off??? But all of this “drama” is completely avoided with the soft, deerskin construction of Dog Mocs. Yes, they are like a moccasin for dogs. Deerskin is very soft, (although extremely tough and durable), allowing the dog to “feel” the ground just at it would naturally. Take that same dog who just refused to walk in rubber-soled boots and put Dog Mocs on, and you’ll see a completely different reaction. Walk 3 steps. That’s all it takes for a dog to realize it can still feel the ground and off it goes…..running, jumping, playing just at it would without anything on its paws.
So, does my dog need shoes? We trust your judgement, as a loving pet parent. But if, for you, the answer is “YES”, there’s really only one choice that protects the paw, while honoring the dog and how it needs to feel the ground to best navigate its world.
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