While I do not live in cold climates…. the biggest thing to worry about is things like salt that melts the ice... cleaning their paws after being out doors will remove that... and in colder climates.. IMO.. unless they are out for very long periods, booties are not necessay (and yes, I am an East Coast transplant, so I understand the weather).....
Yes salt is a problem but generally needs to be cleaned out rather quickly - not after you return - if you've never heard a basenji scream let the salt accumulate. Then you have to explain to passers-by why your dog is emitting that blood-curdling scream - and that you are not punishing it.
Also snow can get packed in between the paws and especially when really cold (I'm talking single digit temps) can cause the one-legged hop down the trail trick and more blood-curdling screams. We can walk some distance, then the snow gets packed in there, and suddenly my little bitch wants me to carry her back the whole way. Where's the booties.
I've bought various booties from the local pet shops but they usually don't last the whole season - mainly because they don't fit right and end up getting worn down then leak.
I saw some online that have a leather bottom and velcro straps from Muttluks - available at a variety of sources - and they run about $40 US. I'll probably get a pair unless someone can recommend something else.
I have also been looking into booties but don't really want to spend too much $$ without knowing they will fit. Last spring I was actually more interested in trying to keep the mud off the carpet as wiping off the paws with a rag just didn't seem to be enough and I could just leave the boots in the garage next to mine. I went so far as to keep a small bowl of water near the door for rinsing. Needless to say that did not go over very well but it did work. I found these disposable booties - Noobys - they worked okay but had the 'fit' problem. I had purchased the medium size (fuzzface wasn't with me at the pet store) and they wouldn't even go on. I went back and got the large. they went on but there was far too much "play" in them that one or more usually came off within a couple of minutes even with no help from Arleigh.
Needless to say, I would also be interested in any suggestions on this topic.:)
ETA: Snow is also an issue - hate that scream and the instinct to carry the guy home regardless of distance.
yeah, I suppose. I was thinking about the sole, too. Hmmm – gonna' have to do some scrounging around and experimenting. I sew much better than I knit, so I temporarily shelved the thought of knitting or crocheting a sweater warmer than the one I bought. But I think I can figure out the booties, even if I have to modify the model a few times to keep them on her feet. Our Pippi has a much shorter and bristly (sp?) coat than our previous basenjis, and she is constantly shivering. They had no trouble adjusting from Miami weather to MN winters, but she seems so sensitive to cold already, and it's only October! She lived in Indiana before we adopted her, so it's not as if she's been basking in the tropical (African) sun all her life.
Thanks for the leather suggestion -- I'll have to make a coat to match the booties, I suppose
I found a Muttluk set on DrsFosterSmith (http://pet-supplies.drsfostersmith.com/search?af=type%3Aproduct&view=grid&w=booties&visitorID=&cartcount=0&wishcount=0&subtotal=0.00) for only $16.
They seem to fit okay (I bought the XXS) but don't go up the leg very far; they do have a nice leather bottom and velcro fasteners. We'll see what happens when the snow comes.
There are soles for slippers that you can buy. You can also buy soles with little rubber dots on them (like on the footies of baby pj's) and of course you can use a liquid rubber on the bottoms of the boots.
here some links: (the liquid rubber stuff should be available at a hardwear store)
Since we had a huge amount of snow fall on Saturday (two days prior it was 60?F) I tried out the Muttluk booties I had bought. They have a leather bottom with ridges and leather over the claw area then the rest is felt. They fit fine (XXS) but really had to be cinched well - since they don't go up the leg very far, the back ones had a tendency to slip off if not tightened sufficiently. Gossy didn't particularly like them while I was putting them on but once she started walking she was fine with them.
In the pet stores here in Canada (some trainers have it as well) there is a cream that is like an invisible boot. Although our dogs don't like the snow, my main concern is the salt and what it does to their feet. Check with your local pet stores and see if they carry something similar. Basically you put this all natural cream on their paws and wipe them when they come back in.
on a regular basis, no, I don't think they're necessary either, and I've never used them for everyday use in my rural area. Pippi gets along in the snow banks just fine without them, and doesn't even mind the snow on her paws. But I'm in frigid MN where the city streets and roads are loaded with chemicals so we can get around in much colder weather. 14F is a balmy day for Dec-Jan. I don't use regular de-icer on my concrete, but she goes to Mpls/StP with us every weekend, and those roads and walkways are covered in de-icer that is not very animal friendly and I don't have the opportunity to wash it off her paws.
I'm a little bogged down with sewing for the holidays and don't have time to work out a pattern for them, so I found a set that works OK for short periods of time, which is all I need. The real test will be our March weather. Thanks for replying!