More Bark For Your Buck
Issue 1                                                                                                                   January 2010
Dear Anu,
Did you know January is Walk Your Pet Month? No kidding. And if you have any idea why the coldest month of the year was chosen to encourage people to walk their dogs, please let me know. It's a mystery to me.


I took my dog for a walk . . . from New York to Florida.

I said to him - 'There now you're done.'

Steven Wright



For those of you who resist the snug temptation to hunker down inside until the spring thaw, here are a few ideas how to protect your puppies' paws from winter's worst.


Often expensive are dog booties. Go online and Google "dog boots" and you'll discover tons of offerings in a wide variety of materials, features, and pricing.


For example, Guardian Gear and Muttluks both offer fleece lined booties with reflective strips and hook and loop closures. In size XL, the Guardian Gear set of four costs $12.49. The XL size quartet from Muttluks will set you back $55.95. These prices don't include shipping and handling.


That's a heckuva price difference. Clearly, spending a few minutes researching online could keep more than a just few bucks in your wallet.


You could also try paw wax. This is a good choice if your dog won't tolerate boots, or you don't have the time (or patience) to train her to accept wearing them. Google 'paw wax protector' and take your pick.


Years ago I tried "Musher's Secret" wax for my dog's feet which she was fine with. Honestly though, I don't use it any more. That's because I clean my dog's feet every time we come in from a walk, every day. Doing that saves me the worry about her licking salt, sand, and de-icing chemicals off her feet, or absorbing any of that through her pads.


But if I didn't clean her feet, or were into dog sledding with my pup running miles and miles through the snow, you can bet I'd be applying this wax to her feet.


At I found "Musher's Secret" costs $17.85 for a fat 200 gm tub. A smaller, 60 gm container costs $14.85. Shipping costs are extra.


For the most frugal of Fidos, for just $1.49 you can buy a four ounce jar of house brand petroleum jelly at a large discount chain store. Just like paw waxes, this will create a barrier between snow, ice and chemicals. But unlike "Musher'sSecret", it's not an organic based product.


NOTE:  I read in one of my dog magazines that a professional dog walker in New York City uses cooking spray on his charges' feet during winter walks.


Ingenious yes, but I wouldn't recommend it. Here's why: Seems to me a spray isn't thick enough to guard against anything on the road.


And more importantly, I'd be concerned that a dog could very easily lick that spray off her feet swallowing the salt, sand, and de-icing stuff along with it.



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