Our mischief today consists of one very unhappy dog who was forced to wear boots. This past weekend I took Cairo and Siren out to a local park that has some trails. They have biking, horse and hiking trails here and some of them are pretty wide. I wanted to try the Ruffwear Grip Trex Boots on Cairo since she is smaller than Rama and they didn’t seem to fit my big girl so well.
Ruffwear products are a favorite among folks who hike with their four-legged friends. Their name has become synonymous with quality and durability. I asked people on a few different hiking forums what company they would recommend as having good, sturdy products for dogs, and the Ruffwear name came up again and again. As we have only ever hiked here in Florida, the dogs aren’t used to the terrain they are going to encounter when we go north for some hiking I am planning for the Fall. I knew the dogs would need some durable boots. I’d tried a few cheaper brands for the hot sand we encounter here, but they were not well made and kept coming off. I was also worried they wouldn’t hold up to rocks and any kind of rough terrain, so I decided to see what all the hubbub was about and order some Ruffwear Grip Trex Boots.
There is a video guide to correctly sizing your dog’s paws here. I don’t know what happened, as I thought I’d measured correctly, but when the boots came they were difficult to get on Rama’s paws and they wouldn’t stay put. It seemed they weren’t the right size for her. I decided to try them on Cairo (they fit her perfectly) and will need to order larger ones for Rama.
From the Ruffwear website:
- Protective dog boots with a rugged outsole that provides traction on varied terrain
- Vibram® non-marking outsole with rugged lug design provides traction and flexibility
- Tightly woven air mesh is breathable while keeping dirt and debris out
- Adjustable closure strap customizes fit
- Low-light visibility with reflective trim
- Made in Vietnam
- Secure fasteners
- Wash in cold water
- Gentle cycle
- Mild detergent
- Air dry
You can also order single boots, which is awesome in case you lose one, or your dog’s front paws require a different size than the rear paws. The difference between these boots and the cheaper ones I’d tried before are obvious when you open the package and feel how well-made these are. I was immediately impressed with the construction and it took no time at all to get them on Cairo’s paws.
The boots fit well but she didn’t care for them. She didn’t so much do the funny boot dance as she just completely slowed down. She normally has a very good pace, but she just drug along, walking veeeerrrrry slooooowwwwly. She was not digging those boots. Rama’s pack is too big for her (it was pulled as tight as it would go on the chest section but you can still see so much room) but it was the only one I had in the car so I just kept straightening it. Rama is 4 this year and Cairo is almost 1, so there is quite a difference in size. Poor Cairo, pack’s too big and Mom made her wear those weird shoes! The fit was good, though, and that made me happy. In time she will get used to them.
She didn’t enjoy having them on her paws but she did walk. This particular park has a lot of sand and it gets really hot on sunny days so the dogs do need protection on certain trails. On this day it was very overcast and drizzly so little Siren isn’t wearing any boots. I touched the sand to make sure the temperature was alright before proceeding.
Normally Cairo is happily trotting along. Siren kept circling back to see why the heck she was moving so slowly. When it became obvious that we were heading back to the van, she picked up the pace considerably. Not one boot was lost. They stayed on and I didn’t have to reposition them, either. I was very pleased. When we head north, these boots will be coming with us and I will be blogging about all of our equipment and how it worked/held up so if you haven’t already, subscribe to our blog today so you don’t miss anything!
I took some video but you couldn’t see any dogs (what’s the fun in that?) because they were both behind me–Cairo dragging her butt and Siren circling around as if to say, “Why so slow? Let’s go!” It was a bit of a mess, really. There was one part where Siren nearly tripped me and some language happened, so we’ll just skip that video today. 🙂 Instead, we thought we’d share this one (click the link below) of Cairo happily moving along (not wearing boots) at a decent pace on one of our hikes last weekend: