When you think of accessories for your dog, you probably consider collars and leashes. Some people even consider their dog to be an accessory. Have you ever considered buying shoes for your pet? No one is suggesting that your pooch parade around town in high heels. However, dog booties can protect your dog's feet in extreme weather. Dressing your dog in cute accessories can also show your pooch that you love to pamper him. Read below to learn when your dog might need boots and how to make sure they fit properly.
Cold Weather Dog Apparel
When the temperatures start to drop, do you reach for your coat, hat, and boots? Many people forget that their dogs aren't necessarily equipped to deal with the elements. Sure, your dog has a built-in coat. Lucky him. Unless he has thick fur and a desire to be a sled dog, though, he might need just as much protection as you do, says Vet Street.
Dogs with thin coats may feel uncomfortably cold in the winter. If you go outside for a short walk, you don't have to worry about protecting him. Nor do you have to bundle him up if he is exercising intensely. Dogs have higher body temperatures than humans, and your pet will create sufficient heat during a jog or brisk walk.
If your pet won't be moving around too much, he could benefit from wearing a light sweater or coat. The need is greater when there's snow or cold water on the ground. Who wants to have their tummy splashed with ice water? That's no fun for your dog. Vests, coats, and sweaters protect your dog's sensitive belly and genitals when it's freezing outside. Canines with short legs have a greater need for protection because their bodies are so close to the ground.
Dogs with hairy toes tend to collect ice and snow in their paws. These animals can be more comfortable when their feet are covered. Boots for dogs also protect the pads from the sand and salt that may be used to de-ice the streets. Sharp pieces of ice and chemicals that build up on the roads can hurt your pup's feet. Keep them protected with insulated footwear.
Hot Weather Foot Protection
Does your dog need summer booties? Pavement can get scorching hot under the sun and burn your dog's paws. How hot is too hot? When the air temperature is 77 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of asphalt can reach 125 degrees. At that temperature, skin damage can occur within one minute. If you can't leave your hand on the sidewalk for ten seconds or more, neither can your dog.
Dogs can also damage pool liners when they're clambering to get out of the water. Boots can protect your backyard oasis. They can also prevent your pup's feet from getting cut while he's wading in a river, walking on the beach or swimming in the ocean.
How To Choose The Best Dog Booties
Where can you buy booties for your dog? Purchase them online or at a pet store. You'll often find sales at the end of each season. You can find boots for your dog in just about every shape, color, and size. Choosing the right ones depends on your needs. Will you be doing a lot of hiking or taking long walks? You'll need a sturdier option that's made of durable materials. Will you be heading out in wet weather? The boots will need to be waterproof to provide adequate protection.
Winter boots should be made of thick material. They'll need to repel water because they can do more harm than good if they hold wetness against the animal's skin. Rubber booties will keep your canine's feet the driest. They also tend to have soles with decent traction. However, they might not be insulated enough to prevent burns or frozen feet. Leather boots are warm and cozy. They're often lined with fleece, and the material is naturally waterproof. However, they may not stand up to getting soaked by puddles as rubber does. Nylon boots are also available. They can keep your dog's feet dry in the winter and tend to be more flexible than leather and rubber.
Fitting Your Dog For Boots
Just like you're a size 7 in some brands and a 7.5 in others, your dog's sizing may differ depending on the shoe. Trying the shoes on all four paws at once is the best way to determine the perfect fit. If you put on one shoe at a time, your pet might avoid putting his weight on that paw, and you won't be able to check the size properly. Measure your dog's foot if you can't bring him to the store with you. Trace the paw on paper, and then measure the width as well as the length.
Boots that fit properly leave room for your dog's nails. They should slip on easily and stay on until you want to take them off. If the shoe flies off when your dog flicks his foot, it's too big. If the paw is constricted, the shoe is too small. You may need to adjust the straps a few times before finding the optimal fit.
What If Your Dog Won't Tolerate Boots?
Some canines just aren't into style. Even the plushest boots can feel uncomfortable on Rover's paws just because the animal isn't used to them. If your dog won't wear booties, you might not want to take him for long hikes in the snow. Keep him on the grass when you go for walks in the dead of summer. If his pads crack or bleed, rub them with petroleum jelly every day.
Dogsaholic says that almost every dog seems to hate boots at first. Get him used to them by offering high-value treats as you try them on. Work up to leaving the shoes on for longer periods of time. In a few days, your dog might just love his new style.