9 Tips To Help Your Dog Get Used To Its Booties

If you are a dog owner, then you have probably considered buying booties for your dog. Whether you live in a snowy or sunny climate, booties can be a great way to protect your dog’s feet. However, many dogs do not like wearing shoes and will resist allowing you to put them on their feet and may even become aggressive. 

We have put together a list of tips to help you get your dog used to wearing booties. Keep reading because by following these tips, you will be setting both you and your dog up for success by reducing their fear and making them more comfortable. 

Get The Right Type of Booties For Your Climate

Depending on where you live and your typical activities, your dog might need tall snow boots or simple shoes to protect its feet. You might even need a pair of each to use in different circumstances. 

Tall snow boots are useful during the winter if you live in a snowy climate and take your dog on long walks where they need to walk through the snow. Short boots or shoes are fine to use in the winter as long as you aren’t outside for too long or walking through several inches of snow. These shorter boots are used more to prevent the salt on roads and sidewalks from irritating their paws than to keep them warm.  

Contrary to popular belief, dog booties are not only necessary in the winter months; dog boots or shoes are also helpful in the summer to prevent their feet from getting burned on hot pavement. Whether you live in Antarctica or a sunny beach town, your dog will benefit from having some booties. 

Make Sure They Are The Right Size 

The first step in making your dog comfortable with wearing shoes is to make sure the footwear is the right size. If the boots are too small, they will be tight and uncomfortable. If they are too big, then they will fall off as soon as they start walking. 

Before you buy your dog some booties, measure their paws using a soft tape measure. Be sure to measure the height, width, and length of the paw. Then, you can follow a sizing chart from the dog boot manufacturer to make sure you are purchasing the right size. 

Get Them Used To You Touching Their Paws

Some dogs don’t like it when you get in their personal space or touch them in certain areas. You will need to be able to touch your dog’s paws not only to measure their feet to get the correct boot size but to put on their shoes as well.

Get your dog used to you touching their paws by slowly working your way towards their feet when you are petting them. Start by simply touching their paws, and over the course of several days, work your way toward picking up and holding their feet. Once you can approach them and hold their feet with no reaction, you will be ready to introduce them to the boots. 

Let Them Get Used To The Booties

Before putting the booties on your dog, give them enough time to get used to the booties. If they are familiar with them, then they will be less worried about wearing them. 

Try leaving the booties on the ground and letting your dog approach them. They will likely give them a sniff to investigate them. At some point, your dog will likely determine that these boots are okay and will leave them alone to do something else. 

At this point, you will be ready to start putting the boots on your dog. 

Put Them On One At A Time 

In researching dog booties or even looking through social media, you might have come across videos of dogs lifting their legs high in the air and walking differently when they have boots on. While these videos are cute and funny, they are usually moments of fear or discomfort for the dog. They have just had a strange fabric put on their foot that they can’t get off. 

To prevent your dog from panicking when wearing boots for the first time, try to put them on one foot at a time. This will allow your dog to get used to wearing the shoe while they still have three paws on the ground for stability. With this method, your dog can take its time getting used to the boots and walking in them without getting scared. 

Reward Them

Throughout this whole process, your dog will be in training to get used to wearing boots. This is something that will likely be completely new to them, so they will need to know that they are doing everything right. You can encourage your dog to be comfortable with their boots by rewarding good behavior. 

You can use positive reinforcement to reward your dog for wearing their booties and being comfortable in them by giving them praise and small treats. For example: 

  • First, when your dog interacts with the boots, give them a small treat. 
  • Then, when they are comfortable and ignore the boots, give them another treat. 
  • Finally, when they are trying on the boots and wearing them well, you can give them another treat. 

This positive reinforcement communicates to your dog that the boots are not hurting them and that the footwear is okay to wear. 

Practice Inside First 

Once your dog has mastered wearing the boots on all of their feet, they will be ready to try walking around in them. When they are first trying on boots, dogs sometimes walk differently to get used to them. While they are getting used to walking in the boots and returning to their normal walking pattern, we recommend you only have your dog wear them inside. 

By practicing with the boots inside, you are not committing to walking a long distance with the boots on. If you notice your dog becoming uncomfortable with the boots, you can easily take them off and try again after a break if you are inside. Additionally, your dog will likely be more relaxed and comfortable in your home, which is the best environment for trying something new, like boots. 

Don’t Worry If They Look Uncomfortable

Even if you take every precaution to prepare your dog for wearing booties, they might still be uncomfortable when wearing them. If your dog looks uncomfortable in the shoes, try to give them a few minutes to get used to them while walking around inside your house. If the discomfort continues past a few minutes, then take the shoes off to give them a break. 

If your dog continues to be uncomfortable with the booties, don’t worry. Take this process slowly, and they will most likely eventually be fine with wearing them. Try to have them wear the boots for a few minutes at a time while inside your house. Give your dog plenty of rewards for wearing the booties and, in general, try to make them feel comfortable in them. 

Eventually, your dog will become comfortable with wearing and walking in booties. By taking the proper time and energy to help your dog feel comfortable, you will work through the discomfort until your dog barely notices that they are wearing booties. 

Take A Short Walk With Them On

Now that your dog has become familiar with the booties and has been wearing them around the house, you are both ready to try them while walking outside. Take your dog for a short walk while wearing the booties. At this point, your dog should be walking normally and barely paying attention to the shoes. 

As long as this step goes well, you can feel confident that your dog can wear its booties comfortably at any time. If this step doesn’t go well, you can take several short walks with them and continue to practice wearing the booties inside until they are a pro at wearing shoes. 

Wrapping Things Up

Even though some dogs don’t like to wear booties, they are important for protecting your pup’s feet in extreme cold, hot temperatures, and difficult terrains. By following these steps, you can ensure that your dog can be protected without having any discomfort when wearing booties. 

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