Impact Lab

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August 25th, 2007 at 3:41 pm

New “Shoes” for Paws

Would you walk barefoot across a paved road on a 100-degree day, of course not, your pets probably don’t want to do it either.

Special to The Press-Enterprise


The pads of dogs’ feet are as sensitive to surface heat as you are. In the summer heat, the pads on their feet could become damaged by walking on hot asphalt and other paved surfaces.

"The way to gauge whether a dog can go outside without shoes is to put your palm on the pavement, and hold it there for five seconds," said Kim Laidlaw, of Guide Dogs of the Desert Training Center in Whitewater. "If the pavement is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s feet without protection."

She said that blacktop is about 20 degrees warmer than regular pavement. So how do you make your pooch comfortable?

Laidlaw recommends three brands of dog shoes: Grip Trex, Neo-Paws and Muttluks. The type of shoe depends on the level of activity of your dog and how much you want to spend.

Grip Trex boots, $59.95, are available at Cold Nose Warm Heart, a pet boutique in Palm Springs. These ankle boots have a nonmarking sole and are durable for trail hiking or rough pavement. The mesh tops also allow for ventilation.

Neo-Paws, $45-$60, are boots that are the dog equivalent to knee-high boots. Laidlaw said these boots are good if you take your dog on trails with thorns and brush because they come up high on the dog’s leg. The boots are available online only at

Muttluks, $24-$32, are a lighter shoe with a thinner, more flexible sole. These are useful when it’s not as hot outside in the morning or in the evenings. They are also recommended for casual walking as opposed to higher-impact hikes. Muttluks are sold at PetSmart and PetCo.



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