Spanky I have continued to use the  Ruff Wear shoes on my very old dog, Spanky, to help give him traction when he needs to get up from a sitting or lying position. They are working pretty well for him, but there are some shoe management issues that are not unlike the problems we face with our own tennis shoes! Not only do they get dirty on the outside, they get a little gross on the inside too, from a dog’s sweaty feet! 😛

I only have him wear shoes on his back feet, as that’s where he needs traction the most. Using only two shoes at a time allows me to wash and dry the other pair, and change them out weekly. I wash them in our front loader washing machine with a regular load of laundry. I have found that putting them on my boot dryer works well for drying them quickly so they don’t get a mildew smell inside (I’m not sure if the clothes dryer is too hard on them, so I haven’t used it). The little shoes look funny on the tall boot dryer, but it works! Before I put them on the dog, I sprinkle a little Gold Bond foot and body powder inside the shoes, to help keep them dry and discourage fungal and bacteria growth. BootDryerI was finding at first that Spanky was getting blisters on his hocks, at the point where the shoes strap on. The straps are tricky, as you want them loose enough to not constrict blood flow, of course, but tight enough to keep the shoes from turning upside down or sliding around and causing friction. I found that wrapping his hocks with a couple of turns of vet wrap was enough to protect them from blisters. But I still have to monitor this, as after a few days, the vet wrap can slide down inside the shoe and quit doing its job. VetWrap I spoke with the vet about his rear end weakness, and the vet was saying how if an old dog “does the splits” with his back end and struggles to get back up, that action tears all of the muscles on the inside flanks, and this injury is very slow to heal. The vet said something like, “so it would be very bad if he were to do the splits.” I was thinking “ok, he does the splits about twenty times a day! Oh no!” This is definitely a common problem in older dogs though. I guess the best you can do is try to manage their traction with shoes and/or rugs on slippery floors, and prevent them from falling as much as possible.

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