How to get your dog comfortable with wearing shoes
Posted by Chelsey Puffer on 4th February 2020
Shoes are a fantastic way to protect your pup’s feet no matter what Mother Nature throws at them. Mud, snow, and hot pavement are no match for the Blaze or Step ‘n Strobe. The soles are made with the same type of material (TPU rubber) that is used in many human running shoes and sneakers, so they can still be used on hot surfaces during the summer months.
Shoes provide an extra layer of protection that elevates your dog’s outdoor adventures; she can spend hours frolicking by the shore or in the snow without you worrying about sharp rocks and paw lacerations. Every dog is different in terms of how the shoes fit and how well she tolerates them. However, there are steps you can take to make sure your pup starts off on the right paw.
Make sure that the shoes are snug (but not too snug!). The key to a comfortable and secure shoe is the proper fit. To do this, you need to measure the widest point of your dog’s paw. Have your dog stand on a tape measure to get an accurate width—her paws will spread a bit when she is standing. Compare this measurement to our size chart to select the correct size. If the shoe fits too snugly, it could rub against your dog’s dew claw or pinch her sensitive paw pads. If the shoe is too big, it could easily slip off or chafe her skin as she walks.
Once you have selected the appropriate size, it’s time to try them on! First let your pup sniff the shoes and get familiar with them. Once she is comfortable, toss her a treat and loosen the shoe’s hook and loop closure and ankle cord. Feed her another treat after you attempt to slide her paw into the shoe. Don’t give up, it may take a few tries! If your pup is uncomfortable at first, remove the shoe and try again later.
After you successfully fit one shoe onto your pup, you should be able to feel the tips of her toes near the front of the shoe. Pull and secure the hook and loop closure and cord tightly so that the top part of the shoe will not shift. Make sure you reward your dog with plenty of treats and belly rubs as you successfully put her shoes on one-by-one. If your pup is having trouble adjusting to the shoes, try just two paws at a time. It will help if you let your dog walk around the house before going outside as well. You can even leave a trail of treats around the room to distract her from the feeling of wearing the shoes.
Feel free to take your pup on a short walk after she masters walking around the house in them. Slowly graduate to longer and longer walks as she gets more comfortable. Don’t forget to praise and give her plenty of treats for the great work!
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