I love getting out and about every weekend to different shows, meeting all types of different dogs and of course their owners. One product we always take with us which is guaranteed to cause a few laughs are dog boots and dog socks. The general comments are 'oh how sweet, look at the little doggie boots' or 'who would have thought it, trainers for dogs', but that's not why we stock them, as they do have a serious purpose and multiple uses.
We first started to use the Ruffwear Polar Trex Boots on Cocoa in Spain because she had a problem with getting so many different things stuck in her paws. Small ball thistle type things, pointy grass seeds, all very difficult to see and to remove, but if left in they would become very uncomfortable and dangerous to her. We then also found them handy because they protected her paws on the very rough and hard terrain that she covers over there, stopping her paws becoming cracked and sore.
The Spanish would laugh at us, a dog wearing boots, totally unheard of in rural Spain, but then back in England from show to show other people's stories would come out, mainly medical reasons as to why their dogs needed them, deformed paws, operations to paws which then needed protecting whilst healing, energetic dogs that needed exercise but suffered from cracked and sore paws, stopping that badly needed exercise, time after time. The military dogs and the search and rescue dogs in many different places and situations will wear them, again for the same reason, a dog continually working on hard rubble, broken glass, sharp metal, searching through who knows what, needs to protect those paws, so they can continue to do their very important jobs.
The Ruffwear Dog Boots, in my mind, are the best ones we have found, they offer various different types of boots for dogs depending on what type of conditions and terrain your dog will generally cover. We decided to go for the Ruffwear Polar Trex ones, they cover more of the leg as they are higher than the others. Both the Ruffwear Grip Trex and the Ruffwear Summit Trex types have the Ruffwear designed out-sole which offers flexible traction and is built for high mileage along with a tightly woven air mesh which is breathable but keeps the dirt and the debris out. It looks just like a proper trainer with a good protected sole to the bottom. The one thing that you do have to be careful with is that occasionally the odd one might come off, it might be that I haven't secured it sufficiently at the start or Cocoa has had a particularly hard hike, up hill and down very steep dale, on rocky ground, but apart from that they do help and certainly make my life a lot easier at the end of a hike because I don't have to sit for hours removing dozens of dangerous foxtails out of her paws.
And so the point? Although some people will look and just say mad people, dressing their dogs up again, we are not doing it for the fun of it (although the first time Cocoa wore them, it did make me laugh as she would just lift one paw up at a time, walking slightly sideways, very bemused as to what was on her feet), but joking aside, they do serve a purpose for different reasons, and different situations, that is why we use them and sell them.