Paws for pet protection

By Kim O’Hare

This will go down as one of those “why didn’t I think of that” ideas. Something which on the surface seems silly, but the more you think about it the more sense it makes, especially in extreme climates, or rough terrain.

imageDog shoes. Toronto-based Neo-Paws International has just signed a supply contract with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to provide high performance “work boots” to the RCMP Canine Unit.

These are not cute little hand knitted booties - no sir. These are high performance shoes that provide breathability while cushioning and supporting the pooch’s paws.

Founder Roana Sabeh-Azar says that after 9/11 police realised their dogs needed protection from glass and other potentially dangerous debris.

Apparently the idea has taken off, with police forces in Germany, Texas, and California lining up to order the shoes which start at about $30.00 per pair and go upwards.

Aside from the legal beagles, urbanites are also buying the dog shoes. Roana says people are concerned about their dogs burning their feet on hot sidewalks, stepping on smoldering cigarette buts and broken glass, burs, ticks or having their paws pinched by ventilation grates.

The company has actually been around since the early 1990s but sales have recently taken off hitting about 750 thousand dollars last year.

Of course there are several styles to choose from, including indoor styles designed to give the pampered pooch a little more traction when roaming the slippery hardwood and tiled floors of home. Besides, it also protects the finish of the floor!

The same company also sells a “Bottoms Up” leash. As the name suggests, it’s a leash that goes around the dog’s hips so you can give him or her an extra lift when going up stairs. Designed for pets with hind leg problems, broken bones, arthritis and hip dysplasia.

Then there’s doggles, a sort of sunglasses contraption that protests against UV rays. And of course life vests, handy when you take your pooch out on the yacht, or if you’re nervous about him falling into the pool. And saddle bags, so they can carry their own stuff around. For dog owners who are really safety conscious, there are also car seat belts!

More details at their web site, http://www.neopaws.com

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