A rubber mat isn't going to wear out his shoes. If anything he is going the wear the mat. Now dirt and sand I way move unforgiving, like sand paper. Rub a shoe on a rubber mat. Two things will happen... You will be dead before the shoe wear through or the mat will wear first. Rub it on sand paper, now that's another story. It would probably be easier on legs too since the rubber is going to help absorb the shock
He would also probably have a hell of time pawing if you fed him in a pan or moved the bucket close to the floor. Just a thought.
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