Friday, 15 October 2010

The Boots

Prevent paw damage and extend your adventure with dog-specific boots

Why would dogs ever need to wear protective boots? 
Humans are increasing the rate in which they incorporate pets into their activities. Thanks to dog-specific gear that allows dogs to keep up with our own gear-enhanced activities, mans best friend can now accompany us on our adventures. Pets are exposed to situations and conditions that they may not confront on a daily basis. These new ever-changing environmental conditions can cause pads, which are perfectly conditioned for one environment, to become blistered and cut in the new environment. Critters that are adapted to mountainous regions often suffer paw lacerations when asked to perform in lower elevations. Conversely, the lower elevation dwelling dogs will often have difficulty in mountainous and snow environments. Hot asphalt, decomposing granite, shale, lava, scree, chemicals (snow-melters), abrasive sand, grain stubble, ice and snow are just a few of the conditions that can keep your dog out of action for several days.
How can booties improve a dog's performance? 
Ruff Wear's product developer, Patrick Kruse recounts lessons learned during the boot development process: I have taken my dog mountain biking on several occasions before we were making Bark'n Boots and at that time thought dog booties were unnecessary. In the product development stages of our Bark'n Boots I soon discovered that my Australian Cattle Dog, Otis, would be ready to go again within about 30 minutes of rest when wearing the boots after a 17 mile run. This was a considerable difference when compared to running him without boots. Otis would often stay off his feet as much as possible for up to three days when he wasn't wearing boots! I always thought that Otis simply had sore muscles from the run but the Bark'n Boot product development testing brought to light the positive impact that booties have against stone bruised and sore pads. Look at the technology in human footwear and how specific shoes allow us to perform at the top of our game for specific activities. Humans rarely head out on any adventure without footwear and yet we often drive our dogs to a new environment and ask them to keep up with us without the benefit of paw protection.
How do you size dog booties? 
Size does matter. Incorrectly sized booties will not perform well. We have created a paw sizing chart specific to our Bark'n Boots to assist you. Available on the back of every header card that accompanies our set of four boots is a sizing chart that will get you close. Once you have selected the size based on the chart we always suggest actually fitting the booties on the dog to make certain of a good fit. We also have a sizing chart available though Ruff Wear (by mail or online) or authorized Ruff Wear dealers free of charge so that you may take the chart to the dog if it is not convenient to bring the dog into the shop.
How do you get a dog used to new booties? 
For most dogs, footwear is a new concept. The first time your dog tries on a pair of Bark'n Boots it will be difficult not to laugh, as the dog will do a little dance, this is normal. Once you have the booties in place go out and engage in your pup's favorite activity: chasing a ball, catching a flying disk or just running. After about 15 minutes double-check the closure on the boots and adjust. This is considered the "break in" period where the Cordura® upper softens and conforms to the dog's paws. After the break in period you and your buddy are ready to explore. Use common sense and allow some time for your dog to become accustomed to the booties on daily walks. Just as you would never go out on a big hike with new hiking boots, start off on easy hikes and work into the big ones with your dog's new footwear.

                      Performance Outdoor Gear for Dogs

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