Fact or fiction: are dog shoes useful?
Guide

Fact or fiction: are dog shoes useful?

Translation: machine translated

In winter, it's not unusual to see dogs wearing boots to keep their paws warm. But is this really necessary? Have you ever wondered?

I find the look of dogs wearing booties peculiar. They make them walk as if they were disguised as storks in the snow.

Are dog shoes completely devoid of interest?

As is often the case with this sort of question, it depends. If the shoes don't fit properly and have soles that are too thin, they're useless. As a general rule, young, healthy dogs don't need shoes either. On the other hand, they are recommended for your quadruped in the following cases.

1. For road salt and grit

Winter roads can be very hard on your dog's paws. Gravel and de-icing salt dry out the pads and cause micro-lesions and even wounds and inflammation of the paws. Dog shoes can help prevent this problem. You can also apply a treatment balm to your dog's paws before taking him out.

Swisspet Pfotenschutz Balsam (Cat, Dog, 100 ml)
Animal care + Supplies
Quantity discount
13.70 CHF per piece for 2 units 137.– CHF/1l

Swisspet Pfotenschutz Balsam

Cat, Dog, 100 ml

Swisspet Pfotenschutz Balsam (Cat, Dog, 100 ml)
Quantity discount
13.70 CHF per piece for 2 units 137.– CHF/1l

Swisspet Pfotenschutz Balsam

Cat, Dog, 100 ml

2. For long or snowy hikes

On long hikes in deep snow, your dog can easily catch cold or get frostbite. Dog shoes can also prevent injury when hiking over rough, rocky terrain.

3. In case of injury

If your dog's paws are already injured, booties can protect against dirt and germs, and this reduces the risk of infection.

4. At a certain age

Senior dogs slip or sprain easily in certain situations, especially on slippery floors. In this scenario, dog shoes are a significant plus.

5. In hot weather

It's not just winter walks that bring unpleasant surprises. Summer walks do too. Hot asphalt often burns our canines' paws. The tarmac can exceed 45 degrees even when the air outside is only 25 degrees. Here too, booties come in handy.

Choosing well

Once the decision has been made to buy shoes for your dogs, the question is how to find the right ones. Your best bet is to get advice from a specialist shop. In addition, the following tips can help you choose the right model for you:

  • pay attention to the material: neoprene and softshell are particularly recommended. In addition, footwear must be non-slip and waterproof, insulating and breathable to prevent the build-up of moisture;
  • To find the right size, place your dog's paws on a sheet of paper and circle them with a pencil. Compare the drawing with the manufacturer's size chart. If only one measurement is shown (e.g. 5 centimetres), this usually corresponds to the length;
  • beware, the front legs are usually slightly larger than the back legs. So don't just buy four identical pairs, but make sure for each shoe that the dog is well supported and safe;
  • if your dog has long hair, it's best to buy a model with hook-and-loop fasteners rather than a zip. Or use socks to prevent it pulling when you zip it up.
Trixie Paw Protector Walker Active Gr. XS-S
Dog clothing
–25%
16.70 CHF was 22.15 CHF

Trixie Paw Protector Walker Active Gr. XS-S

Swisspet Snow and veterinary dog shoe (M, Dog shoes)
Dog clothing
30.45 CHF

Swisspet Snow and veterinary dog shoe

M, Dog shoes

Trixie Paw Protector Walker Active Gr. XS-S
–25%
16.70 CHF was 22.15 CHF

Trixie Paw Protector Walker Active Gr. XS-S

Swisspet Snow and veterinary dog shoe (M, Dog shoes)
30.45 CHF

Swisspet Snow and veterinary dog shoe

M, Dog shoes

Habituating your dog to shoes

Once you've made the purchase, you still have a bit of work to do. Dogs need time to adapt to their new shoes. For example, they try to take them off, lift their feet in an unusual way or refuse to walk because they can no longer judge the length of their steps correctly. So it's best to go gradually.

1. Touch

Initially, you can regularly lift your dog's legs. Then reward him with a treat so that he associates the touch with something positive.

2. Smell

You can let him smell and inspect the booties. Here too, the reward is important.

3. Slip into it

The next step is to put the shoes on the dog for the first time, but without tying them. It's best not to start with all four shoes at once. One or two are enough and you can reward your pet. You can finally put the booties on and take them off once your dog has become familiar with them.

4. The trial run

It's best to take the first walk in the living room. Make sure your dog is comfortable in his shoes. I advise you to allocate each shoe to a paw and mark it accordingly, so that they adapt to the shape of the foot.

5. Running-in

As soon as your dog is comfortable and walking without question, you can go out with him. Ideally, not for too long at first. As with us humans, it's important for our dogs' paws to get used to their new shoes before going on any real hikes.

Despite this, be aware that some dogs only reluctantly put on shoes, even after a long period of training. See if it's really worth going through all these steps or if you'd be better off giving up.

Conclusion

Maybe they look weird, but dog shoes are quite useful. It's important to get your pet used to them gradually and not make them wear their booties all the time; only in situations where it's necessary. To avoid pressure points or even bad posture, make sure you choose a quality product and fit it properly. If, despite everything, your dog doesn't want to hear about them, he certainly won't resist the following model:

Kerbl Thimbler (2 pcs., 46 g)
Quantity discount
4.– CHF per piece for 4 units 86.96 CHF/1kg

Kerbl Thimbler

2 pcs., 46 g

Kerbl Thimbler (2 pcs., 46 g)
Dog food
Quantity discount
4.– CHF per piece for 4 units 86.96 CHF/1kg

Kerbl Thimbler

2 pcs., 46 g

What do you think of dog booties? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

Headline photo: Shutterstock/Al More

19 people like this article


User Avatar
User Avatar

I like anything that has four legs or roots. The books I enjoy let me peer into the abyss of the human psyche. Unlike those wretched mountains that are forever blocking the view – especially of the sea. Lighthouses are a great place for getting some fresh air too, you know? 


Pets
Follow topics and stay updated on your areas of interest

Fashion
Follow topics and stay updated on your areas of interest

These articles might also interest you

Comments

Avatar