Protective Gear Guide
PAWS OR MITTS
These are a great way of giving your pup a more canine feeling/image. They can be especially useful if your pup tends to forget and use their human hands. Mitts can really add to the illusion of paws both physically and psychologically, as your pup becomes truly dependent on you. As with the other equipment, love them, hate them, couldn’t care less either way about them, it’s a personal choice for you and your pup. If you do get them for your pup, make sure they have enough room to flex their hands inside them, this can prevent hand and forearm cramp not to mention positional nerve, tendon or joint damage.
Depending on the way your pup uses their hands to walk on, you may need to consider extra padding. This is especially true if your pup walks on their knuckles (hands in fists and walking on the flat part that you would punch someone with). If your pup uses their palms or the underside of the fist (where the fingertips are folded in) you should consider strapping their wrists. Your pup should take regular breaks from putting weight on their hands in this way, as they were not designed for this sort of action.
The back paws of a pup are especially vulnerable to catching on things or being stomped on by bipeds, and along with the knocks the knees take the shins can suffer too, shin-pads that are used by football/soccer players can help with the shins, while the pads used in some martial arts can be used to protect the tops of the feet. Large padded mitts or socks could have benefits in protecting the feet.
Lacrosse Gloves are have handy padding for those who like walking on their knuckles and extra wrist support.
There are mitts sold by fetish companies that restrict the use of fingers while having an ability of locking a puppy’s hands into them to help with the scene/roleplay/mindset they are trying to achieve.
MMA Training Gloves are have padding for those who like walking on their knuckles and extra wrist support while leaving your fingertips exposed for dexterity.
Cycling gloves are handy for those who walk on the palm of their hands to stop abrasions on the ground.
Boxing gloves have been a popular choice for those who want to experience the sensory deprivation of not using their fingers to have their hands behave more like paws.
Tactical gloves have hard shell protection around the knuckles for extra heavy duty play
At the very least you will need a good pair of kneepads for your pup. These are easily found in DIY/Home Improvement stores. Don’t be afraid to try them to see which will be best for your pup, also you need to make your selection based on what kind of surface the pup will be on. Hard shelled can be the best for hard surfaces such as concrete, but they can slip on some surfaces like tiles or polished wood. The non-shelled kind are fine if your pup is only going to be on carpet or around the house and you can get some great gel cushioned ones now, which can be comfortable and better for your knees. Don’t think that because your pup is only going to be on a carpet and only for a couple of hours at a time, that they’ll be fine… humans really aren’t meant to be on their knees for that long and it will take its toll!
Paintball Kneepads are great as they are designed for regular impacts with the ground and for long duration active use.
Volleyball Kneepads are an awesome lightweight option for mosh and indoor play, especially on a padded floor
Hard Shell Kneepads are great as they are designed for heavy duty and can last a lot of grinding and weathering with all kinds of ground material, especially ashphalt.
Motorcross Kneepads are awesome for the gearheads and extremely active pups wanting that extra protection for their shins as well.