Dogs usually have pretty tough paw pads, especially if they are active dogs that run and play frequently outdoors on rough surfaces.
However, some situations might wreak havoc on your pooch’s sensitive paw pads, making booties a must-have.
If you are wondering are dog booties a good idea, let’s take a look at why you should use ‘em.
By Adeline Ee.
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When Are Dog Booties A Good Idea?
While dog boots are generally not needed to protect Fido’s paws, there may be times, places, and situations where dog boots are crucial, including:
When The Weather Is Too Hot
Extremely hot weather that might cause discomfort, pain, and even burns from concrete or asphalt.
The rule of thumb is that if it is too hot for you to walk on the surface barefoot, it’s definitely too hot for poochie.
Another way is to hold the back or your hand onto the surface.
If you cannot keep it there comfortably for more than seven seconds, it is way too hot.
When There’s Loads Of Snow And Ice
Snow and ice can accumulate and get stuck in between the paw pads, causing discomfort and pain.
In addition, some de-icers can irritate the paw pads of animals who live in a region where de-icers are used to melt snow and ice.
Booties provide protection against ice and snow during the cold winter months.
The snow crystals can also be sharp and can make walking uncomfortable.
For sled dogs running long distances in snow and ice, booties are often a must-have.
If You Spend Lots Of Time Outdoors
Going on a long hike over rough terrain might lead to sore paws, so you might have to bring the booties with you, and if the pooch gets footsore, break them out.
Strong, well-treaded boots can help protect against the pain that rocks and rough terrain might cause, especially after prolonged periods.
Carrying your pooch out of the forest isn’t very much fun!
If Your Dog Has An Allergy
If your dog has an allergy to certain chemicals or other allergens, you might want a protective barrier over the paws, the primary contact point to the ground.
In addition, grass can be extremely irritating to some dogs.
Even though booties will not keep the paws from being exposed to airborne pollen, they can help protect the paws from grass and weeds that can irritate the paws.
If Your Dog Has A Cut Paw
If your dog has a cut paw that might take time to heal, booties can protect the paw and speed up the recovery process.
Dry, clean wounds heal more quickly, and your dog can avoid opening the wound again, especially when running and jumping.
How To Get Your Dog To Wear Dog Booties
Wearing boots isn’t naturally something dogs do, so training them to wear them can be tricky, and lead to hilarious situations where your dog refuses to put their paws down, or frantically try to get them off.
When putting booties on, start real slow.
Here are my tips that can help acclimate your pup to their new gear if your dog is fussy.
Get Your Dog Used To Having His Paws Handled
Ideally, you will need to make sure you have trained your pet to be able to accept you handling his or her paws before you introduce boots.
You can try to touch and hold one foot at a time, treating and praising lavishly when they are relaxed.
This exercise should be done frequently, and being used to having their paws handled will come with numerous advantages including easy nail clipping.
Get Your Dog Acquainted With His Dog Booties
If your pooch is used to having the paws handled by you, it’s time to introduce the boots.
Let your dog sniff the boots and new gear first, praising them when they show some interest.
Practice Putting On Dog Booties At Home
Practicing having them wear their booties around the house and for short periods of time is a good idea before you take your dog on an all-day adventure wearing their new gear.
Be really patient and go very slow.
Although it can look funny when your dog freezes up when the booties go on, it can actually be a traumatic experience for them and lead to much more resistance in the future to booties.
Whenever Necessary, Go Back To The Basics
The first couple of times you put on the boots, some dogs may not take to them.
I know the first time I put booties on my Rottie girl, she comically walked around the house with the strangest gait, legs all splayed out and looking utterly confused.
I did the very thing that I KNEW I shouldn’t – laughed my butt off!
Note of caution: In her case, she is a confident, even-tempered dog, but if your dog is insecure, confused and suffering, the last thing you’ll want to do is laugh.