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Going to the French Alpes with my Lhasa Apso I will need to find him some winter boots. With such a large choice on the market I have compiled for you some response’s to help you decide if your dog needs them or not, including a selection of boot types to chose from.
Heading to the mountains and snow we should think about our pets. They are going to have cold paws. Which winter boots for my Lhasa Apso, do they need them? you’re asking yourself. I will definitely get some for my Lhasa Apso. They really do need them in wintery conditions.
I have seen many owners in the mountains with their dogs that have winter boots. I will help you in this post by revealing the positive advantages for your dog when wearing winter boots. With so many to chose from I want to reduce your time searching for the right ones.
At last, my winter holidays are about to begin, I am heading into the French Alpes this year with great excitement as snow has been falling and more is forecast. Ideal conditions for us humans that strap two meter long planks to our feet and go heading downhill at breathtaking speeds all thinking we are as good as Alberto Tomba or your favorite skier.
But have you spared a thought for your pet? How will they see one or two weeks in the cold wintery conditions? they might well be excited to be going away with you, as you are their leader and master you must think of their well being and comfort. We will be warm with our apres ski boots and your Lhasa Apso is really going to need some as well. Read on to gather more information on the types of winter boots available and the reason your Lhasa Apso need them.
Winter walking with a dog.
So, at last, you are off to the ski resort or heading to a calm log cabin hidden away from the world for a week or two, and you are taking along your Lhasa and you will be walking with them in the ice and snow, that’s great to be together with your dog but there are some precautions you must take to protect your pet from the ice and snow. We will cover the clothing later but to start off we need to look at the protection that is available for their paws.
Temperatures that can go as low as -25 degrees or more is not uncommon in some states in Canada. Once when I was in Austria I had -20 these temperatures can vary from one country to another, even so, when we prepare the dog’s suitcase and need to put in some winter boots for our dogs to protect their paws from all the aggression that winter can throw at us.
One very important thing you should do a week before leaving is to cut all the hair that has grown under their paws, this can very quickly get snow build up that eventually turns to ice. Even a quick going for a wee-wee can have a very quick build-up of ice, you have been warned.
Do remember even a quick walk for whatever reason your Lhasa paws will get road salt or road chemicals in them, if you do not put their boot on, do make sure that you clean their paws up with a moist cloth to wipe away this salt or chemical build-up before your dog starts to lick them because if they do the result will be a trip to your local vets. Not to mention the discomfort your Lhasa will suffer.
When walking its good to remember that we have a little dog that is only inches off the ground. We should try and keep them out of deep snow, well in their case anything more than six inches is very deep. If possible try and walk on the road or sidewalk to help stop their tummy dragging in the snow which will bring on hypothermia much quicker.
Once you return from your day on the slopes your pet is going to go crazy when they see you, take this time to praise and cuddle them before going outside for a walk. Maybe the sun has set and the visibility is reduced. Think about buying a reflector jacket like this from Amazon or lights can be attached to your dog’s leash to make them more visible in the morning or evening.
Whilst you are out for the walk, keep an open eye on your Lhasa that they do not eat anything, it could be road salt or chemicals that will have bad effects on our dogs, being so small they will be effected quicker. Do have on your holiday all the health records of your pet in case they have to pass by the vets.
Maybe you are one of those people that enjoys a one or two-hour walks but can your Lhasa endure this time walking with you. One thing that you must be very aware of is they can get frostbite. If you do walk a long-time watch out for these telltale signs that your pet might be getting the start of frostbite. Check their tail, their nose, their ears and paws too, these are all the extremities of their body which will get colder first.
As you are checking, what signs are there that will help in determining if frostbite is setting in? The first sign will be their skin is cold and that is because their blood is flowing less to that specific area. As blood flow is reduced then the result is a skin that will appear paler than normal. It will feel harder to the touch than normal. If you have entered the home and now that your pet Lhasa is getting warmer watch the extremities to see if they glow redder and become swollen.
These are signs that frostbite is setting in so you will need to get in touch with your vet urgently. To help reduce the pain and further problems try and keep your Lhasa warm in a blanket and warm their paws with a warm damp cloth to help moisten the paws. Do not forget to leave the water bowl at hand as the mountain air is dry and your dog will need to rehydrate.
Do they need Boots in Winter?
Have you noticed how your skin and lips dry out when in the mountains or on a skiing holiday? I for one apply a cream for lips to help stop mine from cracking. You will need to keep your pet Lhasa paws hydrated of course, and paw creams are advised to use before your holiday and during. but when out for the walk have you thought about putting some boots on their paws to protect them from the ice and snow?
Let’s look deeper into this then. If you do not put boots on your pet what are the consequences? They could easily slip and have problems walking. They can get snow and ice build-up between their toes. Their feet will get colder much quicker with the chance of frostbite setting in. With the chance of getting contaminated with salt and chemicals.
The advantages are more than disadvantages. We even see the Mushers with their Huskies on trails with the dogs wearing boots and these dogs are accustomed to winter conditions. I would strongly advise you then to buy some boots before you leave and try them on you Lhasa Apso before the holiday so they get accustomed beforehand. If you have a Lhasa that will not wear their boots the alternative is to grease their paws well in advance, to stop them from cracking and to reduce the time walking together.
What size Boots for a Lhasa Apso?
The best way to determine what size of boots to buy for you Lhasa is to measure their paws. This is easier than it sounds. You will need a piece of A4 paper and a pen, Place the paper on the floor and put your pet’s paw onto the paper, pressing down on the top of the paw to get a true measurement, then draw a line each side of the paw. This will give you the width which can be measured to obtain their boot size. The paw size should, of course, be smaller than the boot. For example, if you measure the distance between the two lines and you have 1.1/2 inches then the boot needs to be bigger than that, so go for a boot of1.3/4 inches. There are many paw charts on the web to help you.
Which type of boots for my Lhasa?
This can be so hard to decide on, as there are so many out there on the market to chose from. Firstly though you need to know for what purpose your pet dog is going to need boots. Let us break this down a little to help in your choice. Below are some types of boots available. These can be found on the ”products for your dog” drop-down menu on the home page
- Waterproof dog boots
- Winter dog boots
- Silicon Boots
- Soft sole breathable boots
- Wear resistance boots
- Warm winter boots
1 Waterproof boots will be ideal if you are in an area that is constantly humid, or in the snow. Made from sturdy materials they will keep your dog’s paws dry and warm,
2 Winter boots fall in the same group as the waterproof boots, including antislip soles that help traction, perfect in the snow and ice conditions.
3 Silicon boots, as you would expect will be waterproof too but may well be too hot to wear all day without breathable materials in the make . perfect for a walk in the rain.
4 Soft sole breathable boots are best in no snow and ice zones as they are not compleatly waterproof, ideal on cold dry days.
5 Wear resistance sole boots, If you plan to hike in the mountains when snow is absent then these would be an excelent choice.
6 Warm winter boots, as they say, are fleece lined and will have your Lhasa so happy to wear.
How to Keep Dog Boots On
So now that your choice has been made and the boots have arrived, the fun starts! You need to introduce your Lhasa to their new boots to let them smell and check them out. Take time in fitting them and watch their reactions when they first wear them. There are two types of fastening for dog boot. The choice is either straight pull-on boots, like socks, or boots that have velcro fastenings. These later models would be more secure when out walking your Lhasa, the pull on boots would be ideal inside the house on cold concreat floors.
Can I Take my Lhasa on a Walk in the Snow
Now that your Lhasa is comfortably wearing their new boots which are perfect for the snow and ice, you are all set to go walking together. If this is the first time out in winter weather plan to start with a short ten minute walk and keep an eye on their behavior. Once back home check the extreme parts of their body to make sure they are not suffering from frostbite signs mentioned above. If there are no ill effects after this first walk of ten minutes then you can start to increase the time out walking. Do not forget after each walk to check for frostbite. Now that you are both enjoying this time out be careful your Lhasa does not get excited with the new smells and territory and goes running off and pulling you as you could slip and break a bone
Do Dogs Paws Get Cold in The Snow?
Following a recent study by a Japanese doctor, Hiroyoshi Ninomiya his study has proven that dogs do not suffer from cold feet due to a special layer of fat built inside their paws pads. This extra fat in the paws is the reason that they can endure the cold on their paws more than we think. Fat has a tendency to freeze less than other body tissue, reducing the risk of frostbite in this sensitive paw zone. Doctor Hiroyoshi Ninomiya found during his research that inside the paw pads, he noticed that there were many arteries that had more veins closely associated with them. This finding helps us to understand more.
As blood that has been warmed by the heart comes down to the paw pads it exchanges this heat with the small veins thus allowing warm blood to circulate the rest of the body. This heat exchange system allows the body temperature to remain warmer for longer periods. Essentially the paw pads. Mother nature had made a heat exchanger before man even knew what it was!
Dogs are not the only animals that have this system of heat exchanging via their own blood, animals such as the Antartic Fox, a long-ago descendant to our domesticated dogs of today. Along with the Antartic Penguins where it has been found to exist in their wings and legs and it has also been found in Dolphins in the fins to exchange heat. This would lead us to think then that our dog’s ancestral roots could have been from very cold climates
Even though our dogs have this inbuilt system it has been thousands of years since their ancestors roamed the cold winter lands and they are now mostly indoor pets so when you go to the mountains and there is snow on the ground, do make sure they do not suffer, using winter boots for your Lhasa Apso is a good alternative to seeing them in pain from the sub-zero temperatures.
How Cold is too Cold for your Dog
As the mercury falls below -20F you and I will be no doubt tucked away nice and warm somewhere. If you have to venture outside in this subzero climate you will wear adequate clothing. One of the joys of owning a Lhasa Apso is to go outside and play but what can you do to keep your Lhasa Apso warm when the freezing times are installed for months on end?
Apart from keeping their paws warm with a quality pair of winter boots, you should also consider purchasing a body warmer. As the name suggests, this will help retain body heat for your pet, and an added factor that is advantageous is that it helps keep the hair clean and dry. If you are too cold outside then I personally think it is too cold for your dog.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Winter Boots for your Dog
Clearly wearing these boots help maintain heat in the dog’s paws and they keep salt and chemicals out, thus reducing the risk of your Lhasa ingesting these dangerous products.
Disadvantages would be first of all getting your pet to wear them. Keeping them on their paws for sustained periods, and the need to wash and dry them
Taking into account the pros and cons of these winter boots. The relatively small cost in purchasing them, the added benefits of staying with your dog in the snow, protecting them from the chemicals used to clean roads and footpaths. The pros outweigh the cons, so I will be searching out the right pair for Lucky and our winter holiday together.
For a winter holiday together with your Lhasa Apso check out my post about it here