Hurt paws spark idea for protective pooch boots

Hurt paws spark idea for protective pooch boots »Play Video
Terri Entler takes her dog, Oden, who's sporting his protective booties, for a walk.

VANCOUVER, Wash. – In an effort to rescue her dog's paws, Terri Entler turned her idea for shoes for dogs into a business.

They're little booties wrapped around the paws of dogs to help heal or protect them. Entler got creative when she couldn't find the right product for her own dog, and the former engineer is now a dedicated entrepreneur.

She created the little boots a few years ago when her dog, Jake, injured his paws on a hot hike.

"Every pad on every paw was gone, just gone," she says. "It's the heat; it melts the pads right off."

But constantly changing the gauze was too much of a mess, and she couldn't find any other options. So she stitched a solution herself with her sewing machine.

"You should see my first one was so crude. It was made with some netting and terry cloth bathroom towels," she says.

It was good enough to get kudos from the vet.

"They'd healed up better than she's seen in the past," Entler says, realizing then there was something to her idea.

Now Entler's business, Healers Petcare, is getting off the ground, and she's constantly creating new products and getting new customers. One large account kicks in next year and will bring a couple million dollars in sales.

"So with that account we have to be producing 8,000 units a week starting in September," Entler says. Right now her company makes between 500 and 1,000 units a week.

Entler only recently quit her day job as a high-tech engineer to pursue this unexpected passion full time.

"If you're really passionate and you love what you're doing, and you can put the hours into it, you start seeing it come back. It is very rewarding," she says.

Entler plans to open a manufacturing site in Portland next year and hire up to 10 employees.

In the future expect to find the booties on store shelves like Target and Petco. Plus, there will be new products like coats or boots for horses.