Alright, let's talk about a topic that I know can be controversial. But I think it's time for me to alert people who follow me, people who really love their dogs. Let's talk about those damn dog booties.
In this post I'm not even going to waste my time discussing the issues of humanization and owners thinking that putting booties on their dogs' paws is something cute. No! Here I'm going to talk about something more important, the health and the lack of information from some owners. Without knowing that they could be putting their pets' lives at risk.
I live in Florida, a hot, humid place with one of the most aggressive summers in the country. High temperatures when associated with intense humidity make our summer a true open-air oven.
Owners, in an attempt to alleviate the impacts of this climate on their dogs, put boots on their paws so they can walk them through the streets, and take them wherever they go. Living near Orlando, I'm a huge fan of theme parks. Disney, Universal, and Sea Word are my favorites, and spending a day in one of those places in the middle of summer can be a challenge. And every time I'm there, I come across many people walking in the relentless heat with their dogs wearing booties.
The dangers of the booties
Most people don't know, but dogs, unlike us, don't sweat from all over their bodies. They sweat through their mouths (which is why they pant when they are hot) and between their toes. The act of sweating has the fundamental reason for thermoregulation. In other words, when the body is very hot, we sweat to lower the internal temperature and consequently not explode with heat inside.
Now imagine what happens when in the middle of infernal heat, you have the great idea of putting a damn boot on your dog's paws, preventing him from performing thermoregulation. The dog's internal temperature increases significantly, and the possibility of this dog suffering thermal exhaustion is very high. Instead of helping, you are just making things worse.
Another important fact is that it completely unbalances the animal's walking, compromising joints, bones, and ligaments. After all, I don't know if you know, but dogs evolved without wearing shoes.
Unlike us, the plantar or palmar areas of dog’s paws, is one of the most resistant areas of an animal’s body. It's simply the result of thousands and thousands of years of evolution. Unlike us, who evolved to use more fluffy and comfortable shoes, canines evolved to adapt their paws to different types of terrain.
Of course, we know that excessive heat (especially the Florida summer) can eventually hurt dogs' pads (the areas under their paws), but if the weather is too hot for your dog to walk, perhaps you should think a little bit more about him. Leave him at home and go for a walk at another time of the day.
Marco Magiolo is a bestselling author, trainer, and speaker. Connect with Marco on social media and subscribe to future newsletters and updates.