It may happen to stumble upon an old friend walking his furry four-legged friend and see a pair of stylish booties on his tiny paws.
Is this weird? Our common conception is that Mother Nature took care of everything and gave our dogs all the necessary protections so they won’t need boots, sweaters, etc.
The fact is that Mother Nature did her job and gave them thicker skin on their paws, but then we came along and invented rough surfaces like concrete and grass chemicals. Rough surfaces may hurt your friend’s paws, even though you don’t realize it.
A walk around town with Fido can be pretty unpleasant for him. Also, if you take your puppy on a walk in the park through grass, you may think this should be great for its paws, but the grass is often sprayed with chemicals to keep it green longer, and these get on your dog’s paws and later, on his digestive system.
It may seem odd, but dogs look comfortable in their cute little booties and not annoyed that they have something wrapped around their legs. It’s not wrong to offer our four-legged friends the possibility to protect their paws from rough surfaces and various chemicals.
Now that we raised the problem, you may be thinking about whether you should provide a pair for your pet.
The answer is ‘yes, you should!’. There are two possibilities here: you can be a great owner and make the booties yourself, or simply buy them and be done with them.
On the quest to find out how to make dog booties, our article is going to help you learn all about the DIY booties project.
Why does your dog need booties?
If you are still not sure whether your dog needs something to protect its paws, we have provided the 5 most common reasons dog owners buy or create shoes for their pets.
Cold winter, snow, and ice
Unless you own a Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, or a similar northern dog breed, your dog will not be the happy puppy he used to be when he goes out in cold weather.
Dog paws are sensitive, and winter comes with many potential threats for them. Snow stuck between hairs can turn into ice and cut the area between your dog’s toes. Ouch!
Another problem may be already created ice on the ground that is slippery and sharp for the sensitive pads of your dog’s paws.
The salt and de-icers thrown to melt the ice can be toxic for animals. Your dog may lick his paws when he gets home, and those toxic materials will get into his digestive system, making him feel sick.
Our dog needs the extra TLC during winter, so our guide on how to prepare Fido to get through the icy weather can enlighten you further.
Last but not least, Fido may simply be cold and often refuse to go for a walk in sub-zero temperatures. You would not enjoy being dragged on the ice barefoot, right?
Hot summer asphalt
On the other side of the calendar, we have summer. Wonderful weather, hot sunbeams falling, and everything are green and happy.
However, asphalt and cement can absorb the heat and get extremely hot. Have you ever stepped on hot beach sand without your sandals?
If you did, you might get the image of how it feels like to walk on light charcoal. Don’t torture your dog, and protect its paws from burns.
If your dog has suffered an injury on his feet, like a problem with a nail, toe, or the entire paw, he may need something comfortable to help him step on rough surfaces.
Also, if your dog is scratching himself a lot, and you want to end it, booties will do the job.
Prevention is the best way to keep your pet happy to prevent the injury from happening.
If you go on exhausting everyday activities with your dog, his paws may suffer an injury from numerous possible threats.
Dogs that do agility, bikejoring, sledding, or some other sport, require protection to keep their paws safe. If your puppy is part of this hardworking set, see our piece on working dog breeds to learn more.
Mud and rain
Have you ever seen a dog that watches not to get dirty when playing outside?
I haven’t. Even if the weather is awful, you still need to take your dog out to give him time to finish his business and sniff around a bit.
While he is busy doing that, his paws will collect as much mud and dirt as possible, and you are the only one that has to clean up after all that.
Some pet owners even wonder why dogs lick their paws, and these tips will also help you eliminate the habit, especially when they get their paws muddy.
Making a pair of waterproof boots will save your time from rubbing dirty paw marks your pet left in the house after a muddy walk.
Making the booties on your own: what do you need?
Here is a shortlist with the basic tools and items you’ll need to make your first pair of dog booties:
- Suitable fabric — the choice depends on the occasion. Are you making boots for protection from cold or for walking on hot asphalt? Do you need waterproof boots, or do they need to let the air flow easily? Either way, the material must be durable and comfortable for your dog. Most people that do this sort of booties recommend fleece for the superior part of the shoe because it’s elastic, light, and maintains the paws warm.
- Fabric for the soles – choose the fabric according to the weather, but make sure not to choose slippery or too stiff materials. Vinyl should be just fine for this part of the bootie. Fido must be able to walk easily with these boots, right?
- Suede circles – these are useful to sew the pieces together.
- Velcro – is the perfect way to secure the shoes while Fido is wearing them, and super easy to take them off when the walk is over.
- Elastic — the perfect choice for keeping the booties tight around the ankles that will not cause any discomfort for the dog.
- Scissors you’ll need them to cut out the pattern and all the materials you will use for the boots.
- Sewing machine — the best way to make firm, long-lasting shoes are to use such a machine. If you don’t know how to use one, ask a friend for help or hire a professional tailor to do this for you.
- Large sheet of paper – you’ll need to create a pattern of your dog’s paws before working on the booties.
- Pen & ruler — you need these for marking and measuring your pet’s paws.
And don’t forget about dog treats! Everything is easier to do when your dog is calm and busy with some treats.
In another article, we’ve listed down some of the best goodies for your furry love, so check it out. Otherwise, your dog may not like having his paws drawn on a piece of paper, even though it’s for his good.
How to make the pattern?
It is time to measure those paws. Remember that you will need to measure each paw as they may have slight differences in size.
The size of the boot needs to be large enough to be comfortable to wear yet, tight enough to stay on after running, jumping, rotating, and all other possible moves your canine can make.
Start by putting a large sheet of paper on some hard surface so your dog can step on it.
Use a treat to lure your dog to step on the paper and gently grab his right paw. This will make the dog use his left paw for balance so all the toes will spread as much as possible.
While in that position, put a mark on places inside and outer toes of the paw and on the front and rear end of the paw.
Use a ruler to measure the width and length, and then write it down. Repeat the process for the right paw.
In order to measure your dog’s rear paws, put a pile of kibble in a place that will make your dog step on the paper with its rear legs and repeat the process for both legs.
Above is a YouTube video tutorial that explains the paw measuring technique if you need more explanations on this step of the process.
Get to work!
The first step
Use the scissors to cut out the pattern from the paper. The pattern is just a large portion of the boot, so you will need to overlap your material and spot the example along the fold close to the end of the boot where the toes are meant to be.
Cut out the pattern from the fabric and repeat the process 4 times (or less, if you do not need all 4 boots). Still, given that your doggie has 4 legs, he should have 4 boots.
You will need to make a wear cushion for the base of the boot for footing and also for the durability of the shoe. The wear cushion should be about the same size as the pooch’s foot, or you can make it larger.
Finally, you will need to cut four bits of Velcro that are a slightest two times the width of the slender piece of the pattern around an inch beneath the flare at the top.
We do this to ensure the boot is attached well once we put it on our dog’s paw.
The second step
Time to use the sewing machine! We start by sewing the wear cushion in the paw area of the shoe.
A straight join around the edge of the material is fine; you may fasten over the wear cushion if your canine has a huge foot; this is done to avoid slipping.
The arrangement will be underneath your dog’s foot cushions when the boot is on.
Then attach the vinyl material to the wear cushion. This will make the bottom of the shoes waterproof and slip-proof.
Sew it with a double stitch as it is the most exposed part of the boot.
The third step
You will now need to connect the bootstrap to the slender part of the boot material over the wear cushion. This will put the strap in the tightest piece of your dog’s leg.
You will need to firmly move the Velcro strap up to take it off the beaten path for last crease sewing.
Fold the material over at the toe edge so that the wear cushion and bootstrap are within. Sew along one edge from the toe fold to the highest point of the flare.
Cut the string, flip the boot around, and sew the other crease in the same way. The process is repeated for every boot needed.
It is good to make a box area with a straight stitch with at least one diagonal to make it almost impossible for your dog to tear it.
The final step
Try them out! The paws should slip in without a problem. Fasten them with the Velcro and let your dog walk around for a while.
He will act strange and funny (try not to laugh too much) and probably try to take them off.
The good idea is to distract the dog with a ball, a treat, or something else to make him run and forget about the booties.
You can even try our tips and tricks on clicker dog training to help you out.
You have probably chosen the machine washable material, so you will not face a problem when the time to wash them comes.
Because we know that video tutorials are ten times better than written tutorials, above is a fantastic YouTube video on how to make your dog booties.
If you follow our indications based on the video tutorial, you should have a fantastic pair of boots for your pooch.
The lazy section
Of course, some of you may be too lazy to do it or just lack the time or skill to create these booties for your dog on your own.
Again, we can help you by selecting the best possible choices of dog booties for you to buy.
- Set of 12 Pawz waterproof dog boots — made in the USA from 100% natural materials, these disposable, reusable boots come in the package of 12 booties. They are waterproof and protect from ice, snow, salt, lawn chemicals, and hot surfaces. A great plus is that they also assist with traction control and allergies. The boots bend with the paw and stay on, and the price is extremely affordable at only 8.93$.
- Ultra Paws Durable dog boot – these boots come with split seam sides that expand — making it easy to put on the boots and two Velcro straps with slides to fasten the boots in place. Generous foam at closures creates a secure grip & cushions the dog’s paw when the boot is tightened. The manufacturer specifies that these boots are the best protection for senior dogs having trouble slipping on hardwood or tile floors. These cost just 2$ more than the previous product — 34$.
In case dog boots are not a solution for you, there is always another solution you can try. Musher’s secret protects paws from sand, hot pavement, ice, and salt with all-natural 100-percent wax-based cream.
It is said to be perfect for mushing, hunting, walking, or before any outdoor activity that your dog will accompany you in.
The easy-to-apply formula contains vitamin E to moisturize and help heal wounds and keep paws healthy. All this comes in a pack of 7 ounces for 19$.
So, as you can see, you can make your choice. You can either spend an hour or two at max to create the most amazing dog booties, or you can order an entire set online.
We recommend the DIY project! First of all, you’ll be spending time with Fido, and the satisfaction of doing something with your own hands is definitely worth the time you have to invest in this activity.
For busy dog owners, don’t fret — our list of the top dog snow boots will ensure that your beloved pooch gets all the protection he needs.
Only think about how cute your furry friend will look in those beautiful and cozy new boots you made him.
And you’ll be proud to say you are the one that made them when friends and people on the street are going to ask you about them!
Walks will be so much more pleasant now that you know Fido’s paws are safe and that he is comfortable and happy.