January’s nominee for Stupid Plastic Crap is something that caught my eye the last time I was in the pet store. As I passed the dog aisle, I noticed disposable doggie booties. Come on! Footwear for dogs?
When I looked into this “issue” I learned that some dogs do need protective footwear. Some dogs need boots to protect their feet from salt or other chemicals that melt snow. These would be urban dogs. In another environment, hunting dogs sometimes need protective boots to guard their pads from rough terraine, like rocks or plant stubble. So dog boots or booties (depending on how big your dog is) can be useful. But disposable ones? Not necessary.
Some are natural rubber, some are vinyl or other types of plastic. One website called them fashionable. Really! Dog fashion? One website warned that prolonged use could interfere with your dogs natural cooling system, since a dog’s paws are one of the places that it sweats.
Convenience is the driving force for the disposable booties. One website said “Simply put the bootie on, take your dog out for the 20-30 minutes and then throw away. Depending on outside conditions, multiple uses are an option.”
The more eco-friendly way to deal with dirty dog paws is to keep a towel near the entry door and clean your dog’s paws before it has a chance to track dirt on the floor. If you dog needs paw protection, buy reusable ones. There are many brands on the market.