protection for active dogs
started when Elizabeth Alderton's Labrador dog, Scrumpy, went through a paw-cutting phase from
about 18 months to three years. They were competing in a variety of activities including
puissance, and Scrumpy's feet were hampering her career. Yes, there were some dog boots around
but, whilst good of their type, they were either too flimsy, too cumbersome or they fell off!
So Elizabeth set about designing and manufacturing her own.
The aim was to produce a low-cost, durable, lightweight,
waterproof, slip-resistant and flexible boot. Also the boot needed would stay on the dog no
matter what the dog was doing, be it jumping, running, or climbing. A tall order! But, after
extensive material research, prototyping and testing 'to destruction', it was done!
Trial and error
Some of the most testing ground for dog and boot is forestry,
mountain and thick grass or heather. So the proto-typing and testing exercise was carried out
as the dogs worked or played on this sort of ground. The design producing the most resilient,
comfortable, durable boot with 'stay-on-ability', was eventually selected. We made sure that
the dog was able to perform its full range of activities, including jumping.
What can the boots be used for?
Dog boots can be used by competing dogs, including jumping and other agility
exercises. They will not impede your dog but will give his feet protection. Additionally, what
if YOUR dog is lame, on the eve of a big event or just before an important competition? Bruised
pads, torn claws or cuts to paws take days, even weeks, to heal and the accompanying lameness
strains other parts of the dog's anatomy. As you rest your dog, it can lose peak fitness, or
you lose your vital partner in your chosen sport.
Dog Boots to the rescue
Often your dog, once fitted with the boot, will
be completely free of lameness. If this is the case, then the boot's resilient, tough,
'stay-on-ability' will enable you to work, train and exercise your dog in all activities,
whilst the protection the boot provides will ensure that the sensitive area isn't exposed to
dirt or further damage.
Here are just some of the problems that dog boots
help to solve:
of wound dressings, keeping them virtually dry - save money on Vet Wrap!
- Soothing of allergies
- Protection from hot pavements
- Prevention of snow ball formation
- Protection from salt and chemicals used on snow
- Alleviation of lameness caused by bruises and
- Protection of wounds after dressing is removed
How the boots are made
For the main body of the boot, we selected a
waterproof breathable fabric made of tough textured nylon and polyurethane, also used in the
manufacture of jackets for a European police force. The fabric will retain its waterproof
qualities even after abrasion and is very durable. We reduced the number of connective seams to
a minimum, so as to limit potential stress points in the boot. Then we used a waterproofing
tape on the seams to inhibit the entry of water. For the sole and toe cap we chose hide. Not
just any old piece of leather, but carefully dressed cow hide which means that it is supple yet
strong. To prevent wear from the front claws of the dog's paws we incorporated a hide toe-cap,
which has the additional benefit of ensuring the boot stays correctly in position, without
twisting round, on the dog's foot.
We haven't developed anything else yet. We
think a tail protector would be a good idea, but how would you keep it on?
boots are available from Pro-Active Paws. They are washable and re-useable and are fitted
according to the width of the dog's foot. They are adjustable to your individual dog's height
of leg so that a completely comfortable fit can easily be attained.
To fit your dog, print this
page. Please check that the width dimensions are
correct after printing. The correct size is the colour of the line corresponding to the size of
your dog's foot. Remember that a larger size may be required for large dressings and that every
dog is different.
For more information or to order,
contact Elizabeth Alderton at
Tel: (+00 353) 58 47477 Fax: (+00 353) 58 47464
Alderton brought up with dogs in her family and became
seriously involved in competing with dogs in 1991. Prior to that she had a lot of fun with her
Labrador, Scrumpy, who was a superb jumper, jumping 4 1/2 feet at the local fete in July 1993
to win the high jump.
Since then her main involvement has been with working retrievers, and she has
had a number of wins with her dogs in England and Ireland.
By profession she's a software developer, but by nature she's a 'dog person!'
The needs of her own dogs led to the development of the Pro-Active Paws Dog Boots.