Winter Boots and Building Community

Hello, everyone. I’m excited to be a new part of the Pampered Pooch Playground team. Several times a month, I will be here, talking about one of my favorite topics—my first baby (I mean dog), Leo. Granted, my Goldendoodle may not be your favorite pet, but I’ll bet that all of us can agree that we love and want the best for our dogs. With that in mind, my ultimate goal is to help build community among the parents of the pooches of the PPP and to help make this a place where we can share information and advice about caring for our canine friends. Who am I? I am an enthusiastic fan and loyal customer of Pampered Pooch Playground and Bubbly Paws. My name is Birgitta Hughes, and as I mentioned, I am the proud “mom” of my dog, Leo. He is sweet, fun, and will be two in February. My husband, Allen, who has a passion for brushing our doodle every night, and I have been married over five years, and we have a nine-month-old son, Rhys (pronounced Reese). We moved to the Twin Cities from Boston over two years ago for my husband’s job at Best Buy headquarters. Before Boston, I was born and raised in California. In case you were wondering, I really like it here—even the winters! I love how active people are, regardless of the season. And truly, this is a beautiful place to live.

As the temperature drops and the snow comes, it’s time to start thinking about winter gear for Leo. I bought my first winter coat just four years ago, so all things winter remain new to me. Last year Leo loved the snow! Running through the snow and sticking his nose into it were two of his favorite activities. Because he enjoyed being outside so much, we bought booties to protect his paws from the elements. It took him a little while to get used to walking with them, but ultimately he adapted and was able to walk in a normal manner.

Booties worked for Leo last year, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything as we prepare for the winter months ahead. After checking with Leo’s vet at Glen Lake Animal Hospital and Roxy’s (Keith and Trycia’s dog) vet at Lake Harriet Veterinary, I learned that we must be extra diligent about checking the state of our dog’s paws after each walk. Salt, melting solvents, and snow accumulation between doggy toes can cause cracking of the skin. Each time you come in from a walk, clean out the snow that is stuck between your dog’s toes to limit any irritation. If you enjoy walking your dog during the winter and your dog can handle them, booties are an excellent solution. In fact, Bubbly Paws offers some great booties in a variety of styles and range of sizes.

Before I leave you today, I’d like to share a little video of the first time Leo wore his booties. After a couple times, he got the hang of it, and we enjoyed many walks with him in his “pawtectors.” Hopefully, he’ll get the hang of it again this year, too.

How do you protect your dog from the winter elements? We’d love to hear your ideas and advice!