The winter season has been extreme across most of the U.S. this year. Here in New England, we’ve seen our share of snow accumulation and bitter cold temps. These weather events have created a challenge for travel, keeping our homes warm and especially for many dogs and their parents. Long exposure to cold snow can harm your pet in many ways but when they must go outside for bathroom breaks it’s hard to avoid having them walk through frozen, cold snow. Over time this can dry the skin out and cause painful cracking and bleeding.
One option for protecting their paws is to have your dog wear dog booties or dog shoes. If you’ve ever tried getting your dog to use this, perhaps you have seen how funny they walk or unsure they are about taking steps while using them.
In this post, we’re reviewing some important tips for teaching your dog how to wear shoes and feel confident while they do.
First, it’s important that you choose the correct shoe size and type for your dog. There are numerous options on the market, from soft bootie style shoes to rain-resistant material and shoes with rubber soles for better grip. Understanding which shoe you’ll need should take into consideration your dog’s age, activity level, and the surfaces where they’ll likely be walking.
Choosing a proper fit for your dog is also important. You don’t want anything too tight or even too loose that slides of their feet as they are walking. There are some online guides you can use for measuring the span of your dog’s paw and length but trying shoes on for comfort is best.
Once you are trying shoes on your dog, or the first time they actually wear them, be sure to be overly excited and happy with them and give them a treat so they know this new behavior and accessory is a positive thing.
If you’re slowly working on getting your dog used to the new shoes you can even try putting just the hind shoes on first so they still have their front footing and can ease into the feeling of wearing and walking with shoes on. After they show comfort and ease with the hind shoes on you can slowly start adding on the 1 front shoes and continue to provide positive reinforcement as they do.
The most important thing is to be consistent, and keep trying. Some dogs will jump right into using their shoes with no problem and some will need to slowly become comfortable with using them. Trust the process and most importantly have fun!