Shoes and Boots for Dogs: This is What You Need to Know
Dog parents often may hear about boots and shoes for dogs. As odd as it sounds, sometimes boots and shoes can be very helpful for dogs' feet and actually protect them. There are a few things to consider when thinking about getting shoes for your dog. Some of these things include how to get your dog comfortable with wearing shoes, how to find the right shoe size for your dog and what kinds of shoes to buy.
Follow these tips if you're thinking about getting some footwear for your dog:
Why would my dog need shoes?
Certain elements can actually hurt your dogs feet, the Daily Puppy notes. Fertilizer, ice, snow and other chemicals can damage his paws and make it hard to walk or run. If you like being outside no matter the weather and enjoy bringing your pal alongside you, then consider investing in a pair of dog booties. Dog booties often keep your pups foot warm, while a rubber sole protects his paws from becoming damaged.
How to get your dog used to wearing shoes:
- When you first get shoes for your dog, you want to make sure he's in a happy and submissive state. Don't wait until he's excited to go outside to try and slip on a pair of these booties. They won't last long. Instead, while he's calm, ask him to sit or lie down. Then put each booty on one at a time. Put on each strap, and make sure it's not too tight but also not too loose. The last thing you want is to lose a shoe on your first go with them.Make the test positive - reward your dog with a treat for wearing them even if it's only for a few minutes.
- You want to practice with your dog to make sure he's comfortable walking around in the shoes. Dogs have a way of walking oddly when they first are wearing the shoes. Let him walk around and feel them out - after awhile, he'll adjust to them. After letting him walk around for awhile, praise him to let him know that you are happy about him wearing shoes. When he takes his first steps, praise him joyfully and in a happy and high-pitched voice. Instead of verbal rewards, you can also feed your dog treats as he goes so he knows to keep the shoes on. Practice this multiple times after you first get the shoes, don't immediately throw them on before planning to face the elements and expect it to go smoothly.
Finding the right shoe:
You also want to make sure you find the right shoe for your dog. Like human shoes, every dog shoe may fit a little differently, All Dog Boots states. Measure from the heel of the pad to the tip of the toe, the Whole Dog Journal suggests. You want to find a boot that fits snugly but also provides ample room for your dog's foot. Remember - his foot shape and function are a little different than yours.
What kinds of shoes to buy:
There are a few different types of shoes owners can buy and they vary on what you want to do. There are winter boots that help keep your pups feet insulated from cold weather, ice, salt and so on. There are summer boots for the avid hiker that keep your pup's feet safe from brambles, burrs and rocks. There are shoes made to keep your pup's feet dry in rainy and muddy weather. There are also shoes for protecting hardwood floors and other surfaces inside. Every dog owner has their own reasons for getting dog boots and shoes, so you'll have to decide on your own.
Regardless of what shoes or boots you choose, make sure they are the right ones for your dog. No one wants to walk out of the store with an item they'll never use. These are just a few things you should know if you're considering buying boots and shoes for your pup.