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Luna LOVES snow and winter, but our neighbourhood sidewalks are salted, and it's awful for her paws. I'm not sure if snow alone hurts her paws as well, maybe it does. She does get ice balls in her paws. We've been using Vaseline, and it seems to help, but it's not enough on its own. Would Musher's Secret be better at all, or pretty much the same? Also, I think the salt crystals themselves hurt her, because she lifts her paws as soon as she steps into a big patch, it's not like the salt necessarily needs time to eat away at her paws.

I've tried the Pawz, but they seems too tight for her, like they're cutting off her circulation. Should I try a larger size?

Any recommendations for dog boots that are waterproof, warm and not too hard? I'd like something soft and supple, because most of the ones I see are like freakin' people boots, there's no way she would like that.

How does everyone deal with snowy salty icy sidewalks?
 

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I wouldn't expect Pawz to be particularly warm, since they're just rubber. Muttluks are the only boots that we have been able to keep on Snowball for more than a few minutes. The Muttluks seem tight when you're putting them on, but once his feet are in them they seem fine. Snug, but not tight. They take some practice to put on properly, but they're the only boot that we've tried that Snowball wasn't able to get all four boots off within the first two minutes of a walk.

Snowball has the same problem with the deicer salts, especially if its the large-crystal/rock type. It hurts him to step on it - as soon as he's not on it any more he is fine.

For ice balls.... wearing boots will eliminate the problem. Otherwise, keeping the hair between her toes trimmed will help stop the snow from collecting and forming ice balls. Aside from the iceball problem, snow is probably fine on her feet as long as the temperatures aren't too cold. Snowball gets his boots put on for our regular 20-30 minute walks when it hits -20C or so, or at -15C if we're out for longer. He probably doesn't need them at -15C because if we're out for more than half an hour at that temp, he's probably on an off-leash walk and doing lots of running around. I don't think I've ever seen him lift his feet because they're cold?
 

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This was a topic of discussion for our local breed club because we walked in the Denver Parade of Lights on Friday when the temperature was about two. The streets were wet and slushy. They use magnesium chloride on the streets here, and there weren't any noticeable crystals by the time we were out there since it had a couple days since the snow fell. The dogs started lifting their feet and acting uncomfortable immediately. You'd think that if it was the chemical it would take at least a little time to cause a problem. Luckily they were fine once we got their boots on.

The theory that made the most sense was that it was the combination of the extreme cold with the wet. In nature, you don't get liquid water that is below 32 degrees. It would be ice or snow. Water wicks heat away and destroys the body's natural insulations. Combine that with water temperature that is in the single digits and it's got to be painful.

I've used muttluks in the past too and was happy with them. Durable and stayed on well as long as you fastened them snugly.
 

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I use Musher's Secret on my dog. It's wax-based; in the tub it's a different, more solid consistency than Vaseline. Haven't done any comparisons between MS and Vaseline, but I wonder if MS would last longer?
 

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I like Pawz because they're cheap and they work. Some dogs will not tolerate them though. My 7 lbs dog wears them and there are no issues. I've had the same box for two winters now. You just have to make sure to get a good technique for putting them on/off. I would suggesting stretching the entry hole out with two figures on each side, and slipping your dog's paw in, and then taking your finger nail and hooking it just behind the paw pad and pulling forward to get them off (don't try to pull them off -- a lot of dogs get their toe hairs ripped out this way and dislike the sensation).

Otherwise, I really like NeoPaws. They are the only boots that I have seen that don't fall off (this is because they have a super long strip of velcro you need to wrap around your dog's legs over and over).
 

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I've used muttluks in the past too and was happy with them. Durable and stayed on well as long as you fastened them snugly.
This is really key with Mukluks. If you fasten them correctly, it almost seems like it will be too tight. But because of the way they were designed, it is nearly impossible to tighten them to the point of cutting off circulation - the velcro should be going kind of across right at the top of the foot, rather than wrapping around the ankle.
 
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