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I never thought I’d buy boots for my dog, but then Sonnet and I went through our first winter together. She is only seven pounds and cannot handle extreme cold. She loves snow, but her paws get so cold that she cries and rolls onto her back. Even if your dog is bigger and better able to deal with cold temperatures, salted roads may still lead to a need for protection.

It’s been a two year road of trail and error and frustration, but I’ve finally settled on a solution for cold and salt. Here are the fruits of my research:

For cold and salt protection my favourite solution comes from Canis Wear. Their boots are water and snow resistant with a rubber sole. They have a velcro strip with a reflective band. What I love about these boots is that you can actually get them on your dog. They are essentially a pocket that you tighten with velcro. The trick to keeping them on your dog is to make the velcro tight.

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I had problems with other brands of boots because they were too hard to get on. I’d spend half an hour putting the boots on just so I could take the dogs for a ten minute walk!!

Because my dogs are so small, any seam inside the boot would take up too much space as well as creating a dangerous lip that their nails could get caught on as I put the dogs paws in. Their leg bones are so small and delicate that I can’t afford to force their feet at all for fear of hurting them. Part of what I love about the Canis Wear boots is that they have NO inside seam and so are easy to slip on.

I only have one pair of these right now, but plan on getting another ASAP.

For protection from salt my favourite product is The Invisible Boot from Natural 4 Pets. It’s a wax like substance that you rub on your dogs paws before a walk. It provides a protective layer from ice and salt, and you just wipe it off when you get home.

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It’s safe for your dogs to lick, so you don’t need to worry if you don’t get it all off. Sonnet really loves to lick her paws after – she finds it quite tasty! All the ingredients are natural (soybean oil, cornstarch, cottonseed oil, beeswax, tea-tree oil, benzoin).

This product is a great solution if your dog really hates boots, or maybe just needs a bit of protection from the salt. It’s a lot cheaper too, coming in at about $11.

If you’ve never put boots on your dog, there are a few things you should know.

1. Your dog will best adapt to them outside, so make sure you have all your gear on before putting the boots on and go for a walk as soon as you can.

2. Enjoy the hilarity of the first boot experience – your dog will lift their feet really high with each step and just generally look silly. Don’t worry – they will get used to them. Sonnet runs, jumps, pees etc. with as much ease as when she doesn’t have anything on her feet.

I hope my research helps you find a good solution to keep your dogs’ paws warm!

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