When I heard about Power Paws for dogs with hip dysplasia (or even just dogs who need help getting around on slick floors), I had a few questions for the Power Paws creator, Lorraine Walston. She’s the CEO of Woodrow Wear, the company that makes the specially designed doggie socks. Lorraine she was glad to answer my questions about this new product.
How are Power Paws different from regular cotton socks?
Lorraine: They are different in 3 ways… first, they are anatomically designed for the dog’s foot (not a human foot which is shaped differently). Second, they have a soft, rubbery grippy material on the bottom to provide traction (ok, some human socks have this so it’s not entirely unique). And third, they are made with cotton and elastic, lots of elastic, which ensures the socks stay up and stay on without the use of uncomfortable buckles, belts, and Velcro (and those are the reasons most dogs hate having things on their feet).
Why did you develop Power Paws?
Lorraine: I developed Power Paws for my dog Woodrow. He was a Rottweiler who, at the age of 14, developed hip dysplasia. Essentially, the muscles in his hips went away leaving him without strength or muscles needed to hold his legs under him – especially on slippery floors. In short, the vet suggested we put carpet in our entire house (carpet would give him the traction to stand up and move). This wasn’t a viable option. The pet stores tried to sell me heavy, bulky hiking boots. Realistically, how could my dog go hiking if he couldn’t stand in the kitchen, and if he could lift his legs with a 5 pound weight on it, we wouldn’t be looking for a solution. So, out of desperation and the desire to NOT struggle to stand in the house, I invented a solution. It worked so well for him, I decided to do for other dogs what I did for Woody.
Have Power Paws been tested on dogs of all sizes, from small to very large?
Lorraine: Absolutely. I’ve done testing on more than 200 dogs over a three-year period. Testing started with the original prototypes Woodrow used, and continued through a couple of revisions to the current production socks that I have now. Testing has been done on dogs as small as 3 and 4 pound Chihuahuas, all the way through 225 pound St. Bernards and Bull Mastiffs, and everything in the middle!
Do dogs really tolerate wearing socks on their feet?
Lorraine: It’s amazing, but yes! In Woodrow’s case, he had never had anything on his feet before. When I put the socks on for the first time, he looked at me like I was crazy. A couple of donkey-kicks later, I stood back and called him. When he stood easily on the floor, he realized what they were, and proceeded to run through the house. If he ran too fast, he’d get outside with them on and surely find a puddle, or the wet grass, or some dirt to wander through.
After he was safely inside and on his pillow, I’d remove them and throw them in the washer. While waiting for them to be cleaned, he’d literally tap his foot and give me an impatient look like he had somewhere to go! Essentially, when he realized what they did for him, he wanted them on, and wouldn’t move in the house without them. Of the 200+ dogs that have tried the product, 90-95% of the owners said “oh, my dog will never tolerate having something on his feet!”
Those that need them to move (the senior dogs of all sizes, and the larger dogs with hip dysplasia, etc.) have adapted as well as Woody did. After a couple minutes of the “broken leg” look, or refusal to move, or the kicking, they had no issues and didn’t take them off. Honestly, there have been two dogs that I know of that chewed at them until they came off, and another four that didn’t appear comfortable after a couple minutes. But that’s about it!
How well do Power Paws hold up to machine washing?
Lorraine: Power Paws hold up VERY well to washing. Of the 200+ sets that are out there now, I don’t know of any (even the handmade ones we started with) that have been worn out or damaged by machine washing. I know I had my original sets in the wash 50+ times, and they were fine.
How can pet owners purchase Power Paws?
Lorraine: Power Paws can be purchased directly from the Woodrow Wear website, or from a growing number of pet retailers, groomers, veterinarian offices, etc.
(Images via Power Paws)