If you think that dog shoes and dog boots are just a bit of a fashion fad among doting pet parents, think again. Dog shoes actually exist for the same reason human shoes do, to provide protection for the feet, or, in the case of your pooch, paws.
Although we don't always thinks about it, there are lots of things that can damage your pup's paws as he goes about his daily routines. Hot pavements in the summer, icy sidewalks in the winter, rocky roads and more. So while yes, a dog in boots is very cute there are also other very good reasons for buying dog boots and dog shoes.
But if you want to find the 'pawfect' pair for your pup, where do you start? Here are some tips to help you get started.
Finding the Right Fit
Just like humans, your pup will need shoes that fit well in order for him to be able to walk in them - and enjoy doing so - and for them to even stay on. And it can be a little bit of a challenge to find a dog shoe that is flexible, comfortable and suited for purpose. However, it's not as hard as you might think.
When shopping for dog shoes you'll usually find that they are offered in sizes that may range from XS-XXL (or something similar) or they may be sized in inches. These measurements are based on paw width. To measure your pup's paw for his new shoes place his paw on a piece of paper and press down gently to mimic the way his paw spreads as he walks. Mark where both sides of his paw are with a pencil. You can then use this to compare to size charts as you shop.
Actual sizing aside there are some other fit considerations to keep in mind: You should look for dog shoes that are snug around the ankle and leave a little room at the toes (that may mean sizing up a little) The shoes should also be relatively easy for you to get on and off your dog, as if there are too many straps and snaps it is the rare pup that will stick around long enough for you to do that.
Dog Shoe Usage Considerations
Just when your pup will be wearing his dog shoes is something else to keep in mind as you shop. If you are buying shoes for wear in the summer they will need to have good protection on the sole and yet still be cool and breathable. If you are likely to be headed to the beach you may want to look for waterproof dog boots options in case your pup wants to go paddling.
If you are buying dog boots to be worn in the winter you will need to look for shoes that offer good traction on the sole and that also offer warmth, as can you imagine walking barefoot on ice and snow? It's ruff - pardon the pun - and wearing his warm boots really will help make those winter walkies a lot more enjoyable for your dog.
There are also dog shoes available that are more like slipper socks. These are great for everyday indoor wear, especially if yours is a home with hard flooring surfaces like hardwood or tile. Wearing these dog socks will help prevent slip and slide accidents while also protecting your floors from scratches and scrapes caused by sharp doggie claws.
Dog Shoes Style Considerations
Does your pup really care what his shoes look like? We don't really know, as it's rather hard to ask, but we do know that you do. So once you've found the right fit, and the right dog boot for the occasion style is certainly something that you will also want to take into consideration.
One of the great things about dog shoes and dog boots in terms of pet fashion is that you can easily match them to your pup's personality. Is your tiny Yorkie a little bit of a diva? Is your German Shepherd a bit of a tough guy or your Border Collie a runner of world class caliber? Then use their shoes to reflect that. Dog shoes and dog boots are available in styles that range from very classic to quirky, fun and even a little bit punky.
Getting Your Pup Used to Walking in Dog Shoes
When they buy them many pet parents do wonder just how they are going to be able to get their pooch to walk in dog shoes if they have never worn them before.
The 'trick' is to get your dog to like walking in his dog shoes and that calls for a little positive reinforcement. After placing each shoe for the first time give her a treat. When all four shoes are in place, offer some toy time and play before you try and get him to walk. Let your dog learn to equate his dog boots with fun and he'll be far keener to wear them.
Some pups do struggle to walk in their shoes at first (we've all seen the funny videos on YouTube) so you will need to be patient if that is the case. It may take several sessions (and please don't keep them in shoes for too long if they are struggling with them) but most dogs do get used to wearing them, and even look forward to doing so, as putting on their shoes means it's time to do something fun.
Now that you know a lot more about dog shoes, dog boots and what you should be looking for when buying them it's time to go shopping. We offer a wide range of them, so we are sure you'll find something that is just right for your precious pooch.