Boots/shoes for dogs

We just had two good sized rugs cleaned and while discussing how to keep them clean, the subject of shoes for the dog came up. Googling the phrase “dog shoes” gave us somewhat over 7 MILLION hits, which blew my mind completely. Now that Marcie knows such things are available, I think she honestly wants to buy some for our little dog.*

So, have any of the dopers ever put boots or shoes on their dogs? If so, how did the dog react to them?

*Og help me but some of the ones I saw pictures of were cute. I think my recent bout with pneumonia fried what few brain cells I have left.

I’ve never done it, but I guess they do it all the time up north, when it’s cold, or for dogs that hunt in rough terrain. I’m guessing that your little doggy’s feet’d appreciate not having to contact hot asphalt/concrete here, too…I have no idea how he’d react, though. :smiley:

We got a set of textured “mittens” for our black Lab when she was having trouble going up and down our Pergo stairs – her paws would slide, and then she’d try to get traction by sticking her toenails out, which just made it worse.

The first time or two we put them on her, Moxie tried to shake them off. Eventually, she realized that she could (gasp!) walk up and down the stairs with them on, and learned to, if not enjoy, at least tolerate, wearing them.

Dogs hate them. HATE THEM. Would rather be in agonzing pain than wear them. Seriously.

For example, I got some booties for my first black lab because of the long walks we’d take in the snow. Snow and ice would push up between the pads of her paws and she’d eventually try limping on all four legs before just giving up and waiting for me to clean her feet out. I got tired of that little routine, so I put booties in her and whoo! No walking was done in them. She’d go literally a yard and then lay down, refusing to budge.

Last winter, my second black lab got a nasty cut that ran across the central pad and one toe-pad on her left hind foot. The dog would have the bootie off in a nanosecond if I let her, so I got to the point of taping it on firmly before each walk. That slowed her down for, at most, three minutes. She’d simply chew it off. No amount of treats, distraction, binding or repetition in putting it on would keep her from removing it.

Waste of money, say I. If you’re worried about the rugs, get used to wiping your dog’s feet before letting it in.

We usually hose the little guy’s feet off every time we take him out; the shoe idea seemed like a way to avoid that chore.

Amen. When you decide to keep dogs, you give up other things. In this house, it’s clean floors and black wool coats. And expensive rugs; ours are all either carpet tile that can be replaced square by square, or cheapo area rugs. Worst-case scenario (like the explosive diarrhea that woke us up one fine morning), you just throw them out and start over.

Having put enough things on dog’s and cat’s feet over the year I think I can say that they are not crazy about having things on their feet. If you’re just putting these on his feet before he goes out and taking them off when he comes in it sounds like you’d be doing the same amount of foot-handling as you currently do by wiping his feet everytime he comes back inside. You could try training the dog to wipe his feet. It might be an interesting experiment at least.

and make a great instructable.

We were having the dog boot conversation this morning. Our dog doesn’t like wet feet. (wimp) We are figuring that snow is going to be hell - and frankly paper training is out. I suspect doggy boots aren’t going to work and we are going to need to snow train him. Or maybe move a plastic kiddie pool to the front door, fill in with sand, and keep in shoveled as a German Shepard Mutt sized litterbox.

After two long mountain hikes left our poor dog so footsore and/or blistered that he could barely walk, we bought some Bark’n Boots. Since he only wears them on hikes, which are very exciting, he forgets about them almost immediately. (Although the prancing steps for the first few minutes are quite hilarious.) They’re not perfect, though. They protect the pads quite well, but can cause friction blisters on other parts of the foot. Also, sand and rocks can get in there and irritate the paw, so you have to stop and empty them out occasionally.

For indoor mud/dirt issues, I’m not sure how shoes or boots would help. Either you’ll have to get them on/off every time the dog goes in/out, or you’ll just have muddy shoe prints instead of muddy paw prints. And once you’re going to the trouble to strap shoes on the dog, you might as well just wipe off his feet with a towel instead.

Sled dogs wear booties to protect their pads:

<<To protect the dogs’ feet from trail hazards, mushers use special dog booties. These sock-like booties keep feet from being cut by ice, rocks and other hazards and, in turn, keep each dog running at full potential. Iditarod rules require mushers to use dog booties in certain conditions and each musher must carry at least 128 of them with them on the trail.>>

My mom likes to relate the anecdote about how one team knows that they get fed when they’ve stopped and have their booties off, so they pull off their own. Perhaps it’s just them not liking them, though.

For a few years, I regularly shod a +70 pound Ibizan. For a big dog like that, slip a shoe on the front left foot, lift up the front right foot so doggie puts his weight into the shoe. That was the easiest way to fit and adjust his shoes. He did not like them, but during the winter with lots of snow on the ground (and salt), they protected his feet.

I’ve dealt with some dogs wearing shoes, and you know what? They’re a lot like people: a few abhorred them and simply wouldn’t take it. A few acted perfectly fine instantly. Most fell in-between and generally grew used to them over time. It’s the same with anything on a dog: sweaters, rain coats, those post-surgery Elizabethan collars, etc. Generally speaking, if your dog can’t stand any of the above, it probably won’t like shoes, and vice-versa.

I put little boots on my dog (10 pound rat terrier/chihuahua mix) and he did NOT like it at first and i guess never really ever liked it but he got over it. In Chicago when they salt the sidewalks it was making his paws bleed. The snow and ice never bothered him it was those huge chunks of salt. It was tough love. Now that I live in SF I wont use them again.

We went by PetSmart this evening; Marcie looked at what they had in stock and decided against it. So, we stopped at a local liquor store where they had J. Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon on sale; we bought two bottles, stopped at Publix for some bread and cheese and we both fell off the wagon in a big way. I’m gonna really regret it, I know. Its the first time in a long time for me, but what the hell. Marcie is, at this very moment, discussing the clean feet situation with Sweet Pea. Life is good.

My brother’s rescue greyhound always cuts up her feet on ice when she runs madly in the park in winter (as greyhounds are wont to do). He bought her some booties. Now, she flails about, shaking each paw high up off the ground in rapid succession, while simultaneously still running in mad circles around the park. Her feet feel better, but she looks like an idiot, and her antics have been the source of a great deal of mirth by both my family and random strangers. The dog, not possessing a sense of shame, does not seem embarrassed, but she sure never gets any more used to the damn booties.

I dunno - the hilariousness of watching a dog take its first steps with booties on might be worth the price of the booties.

Although rubber-banding some lunch bags to their feet might get you the same effect for much cheaper…

The first winter we had Mojo, we lived in an apartment that salted the parking lot. We had heard that the salt was hell on pawpads, so we got a set of felt booties for him, thinking we were doing A Good Thing.

I wish we’d had a video camera. I laugh til I cry just thinking about watching the poor little guy try to walk in them. He absolutely HATED them.

He eventually ate one. He’ll eat anything that doesn’t eat him first.

Yup, when it gets really cold I have little boots for my dog, otherwise the poor things feet just freeze and she can’t stand outside long enough to do her business. She doesn’t like them, and occasionally manages to shake one of them off, but she does appear to be at least somewhat aware that they’re helping keep her feet from freezing.

She does look funny when she walks in them, she lifts her feet and they make funny noises on the stairs.

I am not sure how much cleaner your carpet will be though, my dog has long “feathers” and underbelly hair and it gets wet when she has to walk on just rained on pavement, or during “break up” when the snow is really wet. I towel her off when she comes back in the house, but she’s still a bit damp.

Lots of videos on youtube about this. Here’s one :

If you live in a major metro area, see if you can find booties which offer a level of electrical insulation for your pup.

This isn’t the first article I’ve encountered, just the most recent. Particularly in the winter, when salt and chloride treated roads mix with water, metallic surfaces can be inadvertently energized owing to breakdown of insulation on conductors beneath the street. Ordinary street shoes offer bipeds a fair measure of safety not enjoyed by critters.