So we got a dog.
After years of children begging us, and 10 months of searching Petfinder for just the right pup, we brought Chester — a six-month-old Chihuahua and Manchester Terrier mix — home from a rescue in Virginia.
And our house has, predictably, exploded with all-things-dog. Dog sweaters, dog coats, dog boots, dog poop bags, dog socks, dog treats, dog vitamins, dog beds. You name it.
Much like what happened when children entered our lives, I’ve been down the many-travelled road of dog purchases, returns and exchanges. Because just like products for kids, products for dogs don’t always work out the way one hopes. Which means, obviously, here comes Doggy Gearest.
On the road to find the perfect pair of doggy booties to protect Chester’s paws from the industrial salt littering our sidewalks and roads, we’ve been through several pairs that just wouldn’t stay on. There I was complaining about the dog boot market with some dance moms, and one of them said “you have to try Neo-paws; they’re the only boots that stay on my dog’s feet.”
Fast forward a weekend and we found ourselves getting Chester fitted for his very own pair of Neo-Paws booties at the bricks and mortar shop in Toronto’s east end. Of course, while we were there we were also tempted by the full-body fleece suit and matching hoodie. Because Chester hates the cold and I was willing to try anything to get him to walk farther than five houses away from our own in this horrifically cold winter we’re having.
Big thanks to Neo-Paws for letting us try out these three products (Neo-Paws high-performance outdoor shoes, Neo-Paws fleece body suit and Neo-Paws fleece hoodie) …because dog stuff is bankrupting me as much as kid stuff ever did.
Every product works the way it’s supposed to. The fleece keeps our pooch really warm, and the detachable hoodie allows you to attach a leash in a few different spots and lets your dog wear it with his ears in or out, depending on just how darn cold it is out there. The booties really do stay on, even at Chester’s top speed as seen here:
The Neo-Paws booties have a good, hard rubber sole (rather than soft suede like many of the dog boots on the market), so they’re built to last more than just a season or two.
Plus, they’re highly water resistant. I haven’t yet had to wipe off Chester’s paws after a walk.
Oh, and they come up nice and high, which seem really supportive of lower leg joints.
The fleece hoodie attaches and detaches from the fleece suit perfectly, and on extra-cold days, we’ve been able to do a reasonable walk because it keeps Chester quite protected from the elements.
Neo-Paws offers so many sizes in each product that you’re guaranteed to find the perfect fit. Chester, for example, isn’t just an extra-small in the body suit — he’s an XS-plus. And for a dog who’s been a challenge to fit for clothing because of his skinny but long frame, it’s amazing just how well these products fit him.
The hoodie has a rather annoying drawstring that needs to be tucked in, lest your pup awkwardly get himself all caught up in it during a walk. I could totally do without the drawstring entirely on this particular product. In our case, anyway, it serves no purpose.
The booties present a learning curve. They just do. But that’s the reason they stay on — because there’s a whole layering and fastening system that you need to master. The first time I tried to put them on by myself, it took about 15 minutes. Now I can do all four paws inside of three minutes. (Hint: when you’re first getting your dog used to this process, give him a treat before and after each completed paw; we now don’t use any treats to get them on and Chester fully co-operates.) They’re still not something I do if we’re going out for a quick pee, but for longer walks it’s worth staying with it to get it right.
Neo-Paws’ fleece body suit fits Chester’s front legs perfectly but leaves about an inch of exposed leg at the rear once paired with the shoes. (And not just when lying down like in the picture to the right.)
- Neo-paws booties = 4/5
- Neo-paws fleece = 4.5/5
- Neo-paws hoodie = 3.5/5