If you own a dog, then there is a chance that at one point or another you may have wondered if you should get them a pair of shoes. Of course, dogs spend most of their time on their bare feet, and it is not out of the ordinary to assume that they don’t need any kind of footwear. Read on to find out if you might need to change your stance regarding dog footwear.
Can dogs wear slippers? The short answer is yes, they can. Dog slippers not only look adorable, but they are also important in providing protection to the dog’s feet when the weather gets cold during the winter, especially if you have tile or hardwood floors. Slippers are also useful in keeping your dog from slipping as it plays indoors.
As you select a pair of slippers for your pooch, it is important to take into consideration the sizing as well as the material of the slipper. For the size, you will need to measure each paw carefully so as to get a comfortable fit. When it comes to the material of the slipper, the purpose of the footwear will determine what type you will go for. Getting your dog to put on the slippers may give you a hard time, especially if you have never tried to get them to wear them any kind of footwear. It is important to be patient with your furry friend as they get used to the slippers and adjust to walking in them.
Dog slippers are quite common today, and you will find a variety of designs available in the market. Here are the various aspects to keep in mind if you are considering getting your pooch a pair.
Why your dog needs slippers
There are different reasons why you may need to purchase a pair of slippers for your dog:
- To keep their feet warm – Just like humans, dogs’ feet get cold too when the weather is chilly. Your dog might even need slippers even if it is not particularly cold, especially if you have tile floors that are not carpeted. If you notice that your dog is having a hard time walking when the temperatures drop, then it might be time to get it slippers.
- To keep their feet clean and safe – Not too many think about the safety of their dog’s feet when they take them out for a walk. However, if you spent most of your time outside and barefoot, then you would probably be very aware of where you step. You would be careful not to step on broken glass, loose rocks, metal grates that might be unexpectedly cold or warm, and so on. Your dog could be experiencing the same exact thing. Slippers are meant to make walking easier, and your dog should be able to walk around comfortably without worrying about every single step it takes.
Additionally, dog feet get dirty really easily as a result of being outside. To maintain cleanliness in your home, you might want to invest in slippers that your dog can wear when it is outside.
- Protection against rough terrains – Taking your dog out for a walk to the park might not have much impact on its feet, but some terrains are much harder on your pooch than you may expect. If you go on hikes with your dog, they could have a hard time walking on steep slopes, loose ground, or rocky surfaces. Not all dogs have thick pads to protect their feet from such terrains, and even if they do, they might still need slippers just to ensure that don’t get unexpectedly hurt. Slippers that have thick soles can be helpful in preventing potential injuries.
- To prevent your dog from slipping indoors – Dogs get excited quite easily, and it is not uncommon for them to slip and slide as they run and play indoors. Slippers are great for providing the much-needed traction to prevent them from constantly sliding and potentially hurting themselves.
- Prevent continual paw licking or scratching – If you have hardwood floors, you might notice that your dog has caused some damage as a result of scratching. Your dog may also have the habit of licking their paws excessively which might end up causing them discomfort. Investing in a good pair of slippers might help to alleviate these issues.
- Simply because they look cute – There is no denying that dog slippers look cute. If you love dressing up your dogs, you may want to add a pair of slippers to their ensemble.
How to choose the right slippers for your dog
If your dog has never worn any kind of footwear, you might have a hard time picking a pair that will best suit them. Here are some tips on how to choose slippers for your dog.
Sizing is important when you are selecting slippers for your dog since it will determine how comfortable your pooch will be.
If you are buying shoes from the store, ensure that you try the shoes on all the feet at the same time. This will help you determine the best fit as dogs tend to avoid exerting pressure on the foot that has the shoe on. Since you will have the help of the store assistant, this should not be too hard to accomplish.
If you order the slippers online or you are unable to take your pooch to the store, you will have to measure your dog so as to ensure that the slippers fit comfortably. Remember that you will have to measure the whole part of the foot that is in contact with the floor, from the edge of the toenail to the back paw pad. Ensure that your dog’s toenails are trimmed so that your dog does not experience discomfort when the shoes are on. It may also be best to measure your dog’s feet while it is standing so that the paw is fully splayed. Below are techniques you can use to measure your dog’s paws.
- Help your dog stand still on a blank piece of paper, and then start by marking the front and back of its paw (ensuring that you include the toenail) to measure the length. Measure the resulting distance between these lines. Repeat the process on the right and left sides of the foot to measure the width. Avoid tracing the paw.
- Alternatively, you can use a tape measure to determine the measurements of your dog’s paw. Hold your dog’s paw in your hand and measure the length and width of its bottom. You can also use a ruler to measure your dog in the same way. In both cases, if holding your dog’s paw doesn’t work, you can try putting the ruler or tape measure on the floor and letting our dog stand on it.
- Another technique you can use in measuring your dog’s foot involves making a paw impression. Wet your dog’s paw and then press it down gently but firmly on a piece of paper. As with any other technique, ensure that the foot is fully splayed, and don’t forget to include the toenails. Measure the width and length of the impression carefully. Do this for every paw.
Once you have all the measurements, use a dog foot size chart which you can print out to make comparisons. Keep in mind that you will need to use a particular size chart that corresponds to that specific dog slipper. If you notice that your dog’s shoe size falls between two sizes, go for the larger of the two so as to ensure that the slippers don’t end up being too tight or uncomfortable.
Dog slippers come in a variety of material options:
- Rubber – Rubber slippers are adequate at offering protection as well as keeping your dog’s paws dry. They are great for when you want your dog to have more traction or to control their allergies.
- Leather – Leather dog slippers are ideal when you want to keep your dog warm. Most of them come in non-chafing, non-sweaty designs that feature cozy fleece lining. Leather slippers also ensure comfort, and some designs even have adjustable straps to ensure that the shoes remain fit and secure.
- Nylon – This is another common material that is used to make dog slippers. They are comfortable and warm, which makes them great for protecting your pooch from cold and rough surfaces. They are also quite flexible, which makes them ideal for walks or playtime with your dog.
Putting slippers on your dog
Put the slippers on while your dog is standing so as to make sure that they are secure with the pooch’s weight fully on the feet. Ensure that the slipper is fully open before you place your dog’s paw in it. Squeeze the front of the slippers to feel for the dog’s toes in order to ensure that the paws are at the front. You might want to try lifting the opposite leg of the slipper you just put on in order to force your dog to put its full weight into the slipper.
Getting your dog used to wearing slippers
For most dogs, any type of footwear feels foreign, and it might take a while to adjust. Therefore, once the dog slippers are in place, go out straightaway and engage your dog in its favorite activity in an effort to get its mind off the slippers. After playing for about 20 to 15 minutes, check the slippers to see if they are still secured on the dog’s feet. It is only fair that you exercise patience to allow your dog to adjust to the footwear on daily walks as well.
Dog slippers are a great option that is definitely worth your consideration. Just ensure that you don’t leave your pooch unattended when they have the slippers on especially if it is their first time wearing them. It is worth noting that dogs tend to sweat through their feet, so to prevent overheating or irritation, don’t let your dog wear the slippers for too long.