Lots of dog owners quickly realize that their dogs need a bit more protection throughout the winter. The salt, ice, snow, and sharp items underneath the snow can harm your dog’s paws.
Instead of stressing yourself and worrying about whether something will happen, you can protect your best friend with dog shoes. It is the best way to ensure nothing happens to your dog’s paws during the winter seasons.
However, the issue is that most dogs aren’t actually rushing to put booties on. As a result, it can be challenging to get them used to this kind of equipment even though it’s helpful. Dogs simply don’t feel natural when wearing something on their feet.
Why Your Dog Needs Shoes
The overall health of your dog is deeply connected to the current state of their paws. For example, walking outside in the winter can lead to various tears, abrasions, cuts, damaged nails, and infections. Dogs can also have skin inflammation called Pododermatitis that is difficult to treat.
Dog booties can help prevent all of the causes of these issues. There are many chemicals out on the street hiding beneath the snow, and dog boots will ensure your dog’s paws don’t get in contact with them.
Even if your dog doesn’t cut its paws or gets in contact with some chemicals, it doesn’t mean that snow and low temperatures don’t cause it pain. When dogs walk outside, snow can get stuck on their paws, especially if they have hair.
This snow can turn into ice, reduce circulation, make it difficult to walk, and even cause Canine Osteoarthritis. Look for the best dog boots that can give adequate protection, prevent snow and water from getting in, and warm up your dog’s paws.
Below are six practical tips to help you get your dog used to wearing snow boots.
Start With Baby Steps
The first step is to introduce your pet to dog booties. Take the boots out and show them to your dog, but don’t try to put them on right away. Instead, let them smell the boot, look at it, and get near it. If your dog is happy to come close and see what you’re showing, a treat reward is a good idea.
This is a critical step because if you simply take out the boot and try to get your dog to wear it, they will instantly create a negative perception. You can do this a couple of times and make the dog associate the shoes with treats.
Put a Single Shoe on Your Dog’s Paw
After you’ve relaxed your dog and made him associate the shoes with treats, it’s time to try and put them on. Simply take the boots and put them on your dog’s paw. Slip it in quickly, and let your dog wear it for a couple of seconds, then remove it and give your pup a treat.
Continue to do this until you can be sure that your dog forgot about the boots altogether. The goal is to make the dog focused on the treats. Each time, let them wear the boot for a bit longer until they seem entirely comfortable.
Slowly Increase the Number of Booties
You can start with just one shoe. Once your dog is used to one shoe, start putting on two at the time, then three, and so on. It’s essential to take the time to do this gradually. You might become impatient at times, but you must stay composed. This is the fastest way of doing this successfully.
It’s crucial to get your dog comfortable with each foot separately. Just because they don’t mind having a boot on one paw doesn’t mean that you can put all of them on right away. Many dogs can have freakouts when they try out shoes, and with this approach, you will make sure this doesn’t happen.
Secure The Boots One at a Time
Start securing the boots in a similar fashion. Tighten them up one at a time and see how your dog reacts. Reward your dog with treats after strapping each shoe. Do this over a week slowly while monitoring how your dog is behaving and whether it feels uncomfortable.
Again, don’t try to push things too far and traumatize your dog. The goal is to make your best friend understand that wearing shoes won’t do him/her any harm.
Play With Your Dog Indoors
Once you’ve tied all of the shoes and your dog is reasonably comfortable, it’s time to play inside! Give your pup the time it needs to get used to wearing snowshoes inside before you go outside. After all, this is an entirely new experience for your canine, and it can be strange for them to walk even on a flat surface.
Do whatever you usually do at home with your dog. Play your favorite games, walk around the house, chill out on the bed, or whatever. Make sure to give your dog treats along the way to distract him/her if they try chewing on the shoes.
Taking Your Dog Out
When you are confident that Fido is comfortable wearing its winter shoes, you can start going out. Put the booties on all of its paws and go out to your favorite places. Of course, make sure to bring treats and your dog’s favorite toy to reward good behavior.
Play fetch or any other exciting game with your dog while in boots. Also, consider putting on the snowshoes before feeding the dog. This will further build positive reinforcement in your dog’s mind.
In the end, remember to find dog booties that are a perfect fit for your pup. If they are too tight, they might stop blood circulation and cause pain. On the other hand, loose shoes will likely fall off while your pet is running outside.
Consult with the vendor about shoe size and what will work best for your dog. Also, consider talking to your vet if he or she can share some valuable information.