Should I buy booties to protect my dog's feet when hiking?
I would say no, but there may be some exceptions. Dog's foot pads are designed to cope with the wild tundra, rocky mountain ranges, and desert sands. They are composed of thick, keratinized skin that is the next best thing to shoe leather. If dogs need boots then cows need raincoats. That said dogs do occasionally get cut pads that necessitate veterinary attention. The offending object is often a shard of glass or razor-edged piece of metal. So, if you plan on taking your dog for a jog along a beach strewn with man-made waste - broken bottles and barbed wire you might need to take extra care. In such instances, Velcro-fastened, leathery dog boots may be just the ticket if your dog can be persuaded to wear them. Satisfactory booties for such hazardous excursions may be obtained from any one of a number of specialty pet outlets should there be danger afoot.