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Getting your dog used to wearing boots

So, you’ve determined your dog does needs boots.  You head to the store (or order them online), open the box, call your dog over, and reluctantly they hand over a paw as you outfit them in their new boots.  And then…the boot dance. The paw shaking, high-stepping, boot dance.

If this happens to you, don’t be alarmed. Remember this is probably the first time your dog has ever had something on their paws, and just like humans have a break-in period for their shoes, dogs will too!  Here are a few tips to keep your dog from doing the moonwalk in their Ruff Wear boots (or at least keep the moonwalking to a minimum!).

  1. Don’t laugh. This may be difficult, but laughing is likely to cause your dog further anxiety.
  2. Engage your dog. Immediately engage your dog in their favorite activity to distract them from the boots.  For example, a walk, a trick, or fetch with their favorite toy.  Eventually, if you are consistent, they will associate the boots with this activity and will have a positive reaction when the boots come out.
  3. Break in the boots. Dogs will need to build up a tolerance to the boots just like human shoes.  Take your dog for short walks prior to your first long adventure with the boots.
  4. Make sure the boots fit. Measure your dog’s paw width (front and back) carefully prior to purchasing the boots.  A good fit maximizes comfort and will ensure the boots stay on the paws through rigorous exercise.  Many of our customers are surprised to find out that a 100 pound dog can actually fit any size from  X-Small to Large, so don’t assume you know your dogs foot size. Overall dog size doesn’t translate to paw and boot size. 
  5. Use boot liners. Boot liners will not only enhance the fit of the boots, they will help keep your dog comfortable by softening any potential abrasion spots, insulating the boot, and wicking moisture away from the paw.