Pups in Boots
We active, outdoorsy types love to take our dogs with us everywhere. There’s nothing better than a dog-friendly day out in nature. And, I’m no different. In fact it makes our adventures a little less enjoyable if our dog isn’t able to join us. One of our favorite ways to wear out our mutt is hiking, especially the “big ones,” like peaks that rise more than 14,000 above sea level!
Marley is a 4-year-old German Shorthair Pointer, and the dog of a vet. This means he has an extra dose of the crazy, seeing as he has been the brunt of my husband’s poking, prodding and practice all the way through vet school. Of course, like any dog, Marley gets absurdly excited when we get out the packs and put on our hiking boots.
I don’t know about your dog, but ours ends up hiking about three times the distance that we do with all his out and backs! Combine that with the rocky surface of the trail when you get above the tree-line (around 12,000 feet), and we were looking at a recipe for destruction for our dog’s feet. The vet decided to protect his pup’s pads by putting him in boots – you can imagine the hilarity that ensued, but in case you’d like to see it for yourself you can check out our video. Needless to say, the boots didn’t stay on long.
Here’s my tip for avid hikers with worries about their puppy’s paws: stick to soft surfaces when possible, and check their feet at the end of the hike for lacerations, thorns and the like. If the paws are sore or cracked, try soaking them in Epsom salt and warm water for a few minutes (that is, of course, if you can get your pup to sit still for that long!).