Muddy Paws Testers
Review of Ruffwear Summit Trex boots - C2C Walk
Posted on: July 01 2014
My name is Emma and I work as a part time small animal vet as well as studying for a masters degree at the University of Nottingham's Veterinary School. I will try almost anything so long as it gets me outside and moving!
We all know our fur baby is special, but Mouse my rescue Jack Russell terrier is a fur baby with a few special requirements.
Her history is unknown, but when we met she was very poorly with suspected poisoning. Fast forward a few months and Mouse was back to fitness and very keen to get out with me on my adventures, but she has a tendency to 'forget' where her front feet are and drag her toes on longer runs and walks (she doesn't really know where they are).
An extended walk
After my mum was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition at the end of last year, I decided to walk the famous Coast to Coast walk, 190+ miles from St Bees on England's West Coast, across to Robin's Hood Bay on the East, to raise funds for the charity Vasculitis UK who are simply brilliant.
One foot in front of the other with a rucksack would be a challenge for us not to get blisters, but how best to take care of Mouse? Would she be able to go? Luckily the lovely folks at Muddy Paws were only too happy to advise and help us with a set of Ruffwear Summit Trex boots. I started by measuring Mouse's feet (this was very easy - she stood on some paper and we marked the edges with a pencil, repeated the process three times and found an average). And in lightening speed a set of boots arrived on the door step!
First steps in the Ruffwear dog boots
When a dog first has a foot bandaged they're not too sure and a short 'dance' follows and boots cause the same little dance. We made sure Mouse had lots of positive encouragement and slowly built up the time she spent wearing them, and she soon learned that picking up the boots meant walkies!
Initially we found the boots slipped a little down over her dew claw - but following the advice from Muddy Paws a set of baby socks and continued 'breaking in' soon prevented this. The boots were pretty easy to get on, we simply widened the elasticated gaiter over her toes and took care to include her dew claw. It helps that Mouse is very trusting with her feet!
So the day dawned and I was happy to take Mouse and her boots for the longest Walkies ever!
Testing the boots on the Coast to Coast walk
To be honest the boots were brilliant, particularly for tarmac and roads even normal dogs' claws will wear down very quickly, and pads become sore and for Mouse the tops of her feet were at risk when she drags them. The boots protected her feet beautifully. She certainly had less foot trouble than we did with a collection of blisters!
The boots proved to be very durable - she didn't wear them the whole 200 miles but after 10 days of wear and tear on some very rough ground the boots have many hundreds of miles left in them,and Mouse's feet finished in much the same condition as they started.
The design of the gaiter was a brilliant addition and stopped any grit or sand and peat getting down inside the boot and causing problems. There's even reflective stitching in the strap. The tread on the bottom is pretty flexible to help paws spread out and grip effectively. They also dry out quickly even when camping and handily easily fit into either Mouse's Ruffwear Approach pack or a combat style pocket for storage.
As a small dog with very short legs I suspect Mouse's boots took a little extra care and attention to fit and break in than a larger breed such a Labrador would. We took a pair of boots on the walk and left a pair at home, when we returned you could certainly appreciate the difference - they really do 'break in'!
Mouse's next adventure will see her join me canoeing the Great Glen Canoe trail across Scotland! In the meantime I'm still getting funny looks when I suggest "walkies?" - last time I said that we did 16-25 miles a day for 11 days!
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