Father and son duo Michael and Gary Friedland created PawZ Rubber Dog Boots to keep your dog healthy, protect paws from injury and keep your house clean. The boots, made of a durable natural rubber, provide a strong barrier between the dog’s paws and potentially dangerous substances such as harmful snow melt chemicals, searing hot pavement and dog run bacteria. The boots are the brainchild of Gary Friedland, a retired art director in the New York area, who studied at the LaGuardia School of Music and Art, the inspiration for the hit movie Fame. Gary, who enjoys taking his Jack Russell Terrier, Huckleberry, for walks in the city, tried a number of boots to protect his dog’s paws from hazards such as salt and chemicals but kept running into a problem: he couldn’t keep the boots on Huckleberry’s paws. Somehow, they’d manage to slip off and frequently be lost. Losing one boot meant buying an entire new set of four, an expensive proposition.
Our Story - PAWZ Dog Boots.
“It’s a “feel-good” business. Our customers love the product and it solves a problem that they had.”
Frustrated, Gary drew on his creative background and set to work designing dog boots that would stay on Huckleberry’s feet. After numerous inventive experiments, Gary contacted a friend who ran a latex factory. His initial efforts progressed into a carefully engineered design, one that would hold up on the sidewalks of New York City. Gary, however, is not the entrepreneurial type. He is passionate about the boots but not about marketing. This is where his son, Michael, steps in. Like his father, Michael is artistic, having studied at Ithaca College in New York, a top school for film and media, and he works as a photographer and graphic designer. Unlike Gary, Michael has a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He also has a law degree and a head for business.
Michael just so happened to be looking around for a new business venture when he learned about the excitement his father’s new boots were creating. He understood the need for the boots, having first-hand knowledge of the peril to paws that lurks on busy urban streets and roads. Michael has a Husky/Lab cross, a beautiful white dog with striking blue eyes. “One time, I found him whining in what I thought was a puddle of water,” Michael recalls. “It turned out to be liquid chloride, a chemical used to melt ice on the roads.” Gary and Michael decided to turn the boots into a business and in 2005, they started PawZ, with Gary as primary designer and Michael as primary marketer.
“It’s a “feel-good” business,” Michael explains, adding, “Our customers love the product and it solves a serious problem. I see people smile when I walk down the street with a dog wearing brightly colored boots—it makes everyone’s day.”