If your favorite pooch loves to run and race, protective foot wear can help to protect her paws, as long as she agrees to wear them. The right canine running boots need to fit well and be comfortable too.
Dog Boots and the Races
Dogs that participate in many famous races wear boots, also known as canine running booties, to protect their paws from scrapes, scratches and extreme temperatures. Some dog races, including the Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race and the Iditarod, require that handlers carry a correct amount of running booties for each dog in the race. The booties that dogs wear in these races do not interfere with their ability to run or the quality of their run.
Styles of Canine Running Boots
Decorative dog booties that look more like people shoes are not made for running and could injure your dog’s paws if she tried to run in them. Running boots for dogs look very different compared to running shoes made for humans. Standard protective canine running booties look a lot like protective socks, made with strong weather resistant material plus a hook and loop fastener at the top. Canine running boots for dogs are available in bright neon colors and come with reflective strips to help improve visibility on runs.
Teaching a Dog to Wear Running Boots
Dogs need time to get used to the novelty of walking and running while wearing booties. If you would like outfit your running pooch with protective running booties, begin by making sure the booties you choose are the right size. Measure her paws, and then select the appropriate size based on the length and width of her paws.
Place the booties on her feet for just a few minutes at a time for walking around the house, and slowly increase the amount of time she spends wearing the booties. When she is comfortable, and accustomed, to her new running booties she can begin short runs with them on. Running times while wearing booties should be gradually increased.
Maintenance for Canine Running Booties
Running boots for dogs need to be checked regularly for wear and tear. After each run, remove the booties and take a quick look to check for areas that are thinning or for the appearance of small holes. Replace the booties once they begin to show signs of wear. Check your dog’s paws after each run to make sure the booties fit her comfortably and are not rubbing on any area of her skin. It is also a good idea to pack an extra pair of booties, especially on long runs, just in case they need to be replaced mid-run.
Jane Peterson has been a professional freelance writer since 2006. She enjoys covering subjects such as personal health, diet, women's health, pets, alternative medicine and green living. Peterson graduated from the University of Florida in 2003, earning a bachelor's degree in science.