How to teach your dog to walk in booties

Your dog needs shoes. Despite the naysayers and anti-dog shoe advocates, our pet’s paw pads aren’t made of stone and need a little TLC.

Dog wearing booties

Domesticated family pets aren’t used to toughing out rough terrain and extreme weather like their wild-natured counterparts. Keep outings fun and safe by protecting your pet’s delicate paws. Learn all about the art of teaching your pet to walk in dog boots.

If the shoe fits

Find a set of booties that fits your pet in more ways than one. Size does matter but so do other factors like climate and activity level. If you live in a cold weather climate, seek out dog booties with optimum insulation. Avid hikers will want to find booties with sturdy soles to keep up on rough terrain. The more complex the shoe, the bulkier it will feel on your pet’s feet. Be prepared to have more patience with your pet’s learning curve in comparison

Keep a straight face

Here comes the hard part. As your dog stands there seemingly frozen to the ground, the confused expression on his face combined with how adorable he looks in his new shoes will be enough to make you laugh. Hold it in, because it only gets better. The first few steps your dog takes in his booties will resemble a seizure-like spasm of his back legs. Whatever you do, don’t laugh. Believe it or not, pets do get embarrassed and laughing at him will kill his much-needed confidence.

Baby steps

You picked the right shoes and successfully put them on your dog’s feet. Congratulations, you’ve surpassed the toughest hurdles. Now just get your pet comfortable walking in them. Practice walking around the house for the first few days. Once your pup feels comfortable at home, try going for a short walk around the neighborhood. Don’t start off climbing Everest on the first day your pooch has booties on. Taking baby steps will help your pet build the necessary confidence for long-term bootie-wearing success.

Don’t give up

It will take a few days, even weeks, before your pet feels comfortable wearing dog shoes. Yes, there might be moments when you will literally have to chase, pin down and wrestle your pooch to put on his little shoes. When you feel the urge to simply grab the leash and go, have a little faith and keep in mind that your pet will thank you for sparing his feet from scorching hot pavements and rocky roads. Always remember that practice makes perfect and, when all else fails, bribery in the form of treats and love goes a long way.

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Photo credit: ellenm1 via Flickr