Tips and news
How to choose booties for your dog?
Created Article April 2020 – Updated June 26th, 2022
Learn in this article when it is advisable to put booties on your dog. In addition, we give you tips to choose the ankle boots of his size, and that best suit the activity you want to do.
The theory says that during the development period the pads become stiff when walking. When they reach adulthood they are already tanned and should not need extra protection (nature is wise). So why should you put your dog on boots?
When do I have to put booties on my dog?
Your dog has sensitive pads
Dogs that live in urbanized areas tend to spend most of their time at home; they do not walk enough on hostile terrain (sandy, stony, etc). Consequently, the pads do not harden in the same way as in nature.
Check your dog’s paws. Normally, the hair that grows between the pad wears out when walking. If the hair sticks out, it is a sign that your dog is not walking enough. Cut it because it makes them lose grip on the floor (especially on slippery floors like parquet).
Hot hours in summer
Even dogs with “tanned” pads can suffer when visiting environments they are not used to (eg a snowy outing or a water route). In addition, the temperature reaches the asphalt in summer is very high, and it can also damage the pads.
You go out for a walk to areas where there are spikes or mountain areas
Another danger that stalks your dog’s paws are spikes. The spikes dig into the legs, and it is difficult to remove them. On many occasions, veterinary assistance is needed.
Walks in the water
If you are going to hike on water, put on waterproof boots. A long exposure to water softens the pads of our dogs, and when walking on some stony ground it is common for them to suffer cuts.
Most urban dogs are not used to snow, and prolonged contact can burn their pads. If you have planned a snow trip with your dog, it would be good to buy your dog some snow boots.
Snow boots are waterproof, and usually have protection that extends beyond the ankles. This protection is so that your dog does not end up with the ankle joint soaked by snow.
What is the difference between protective cream and booties?
There are creams that can be put on the pads for protection. However, they are not always sufficient for specific activities with a lot of friction.
When doing a specific activity where there is a risk of your dog damaging the pads, consider putting boots on. We especially recommend wearing boots for snow activities, when you have to walk on rocks or there is water friction. Also in summer in hours of high temperatures to avoid burns, or in areas where there are spikes.
In our experience with intense snow or water activities, people who have put protective gel end up having pad problems, maybe in 1 leg… 2 legs… we don’t know if it’s because it doesn’t really work for intense activities or the dog handlers have not made a meticulous daily routine of applying the gel a week before the activity.
How to choose boots for your dog?
You probably need to buy the boots in an online store, since it is not common to find them in physical stores. Still, visit your regular store, just in case. In some Decathlon stores there is a section dedicated to canicross and mushing, where you can find boots for dogs.
Depending on the quality, you will find that they are sold in packs of 4 or 2. The higher quality models are usually sold in packs of 2 or individually because the front and rear legs tend to have different sizes.
Review the specifications of the boots well and choose the one that suits your needs. Keep in mind that you need snow boots are not suitable for summer (and vice versa). If you are going to do a water or snow route, make sure they are really waterproof or water resistant.
What shoe size does my dog need?
Trying on your dog’s boots makes it much easier to find the right size. But if you buy them online, we also give you some guidelines to help you.
When choosing sizes, the specifications per centimeter are more reliable than the relationship by breed or by size. Take measurements of both the front and back legs, as it may need different sizes.
Remember that the pads expand when the dog supports its weight on the legs. If you take the measurements with the legs in the air, you would be taking a size smaller than what your dog needs.
To be able to measure your dog’s paws without problem, ask him to rest his paw on a sheet of paper. Once the paw is supported (and the dog has put the weight on), mark the silhouette of the paw on the paper. Repeat the process with each leg and take the measurements on the paper directly.
How to put booties on a dog?
Take advantage of the time at home to work on the process of putting your dog’s boots on. It has to be a gradual process and with positive sessions for your dog. Keep in mind that you have to work a lot before the activity if your dog is not used to it.
When sliding the boot so that the leg enters, be very careful with the spur. We recommend that you secure it with your hand while you put the boot on it. Then tie the boot tightly around the ankle. If we do not tie the boots well, it will be a matter of time before a boot loses in the activity.
To check that your dog is not going to lose the boot, stretch from the tip to see if the boot moves, since in cases of white snow or water trekking there are chances of losing them and not finding them.
Adaptation to boots
Put a boot on your dog and reward him with prizes while he has the boot on. Take off his boot and for the prizes. Repeat the process until your dog associates positive experiences with the boot. Gradually increase the number of boots you put on him until you can put them all on.
The next step is to put the boots on to go out. Especially
short walks until you suit the feeling of wearing boots.
It is normal for the first few times to feel a strange sensation, and have a strange walk for a few minutes.
After the first use, it is recommended that you mark which boot goes on which leg with a permanent marker. So they will always have the same wear.
How to mark them? Draw 4 hollow circles (one for each leg) as if they were the corners of a square. On the boot that corresponds to that leg, paint the inside of the circle!