How to Put Rubber Booties on Your Dog

With the end of the world hanging over us due to climate change, it is important to consider not only our own mortality, but also the safety and comfort of our pets. Dogs that spend some time outdoors especially need winter grooming, and while their paws have a circulatory system that helps them cope with cold weather, snow, ice, and salt can do a lot of damage. You might think of Musher wax on your dog’s paws or – especially if you live in an area with very salty sidewalks – you might think of dog booties.

I never thought I’d be the kind of pet owner putting boots on my dog, but seeing how uncomfortable salt is for my dog, Izzy, I decided it was time to bite the (stupid) bullet. I first researched which boots fit my breed of dog, because the size and shape of their paws and feet can make a huge difference in how well they hold up.

We landed on Pawz , disposable booties that look like little balloons for your dog’s paws. They do not provide insulation from the cold, but they do not allow the salt to get inside and burn her skin. However, putting on these suction cups can be a real challenge, especially if you don’t have a dog waiting patiently and impatiently for the balloons to be strapped to its legs.

Fortunately, the Internet has been giving forever. A Google search for help led me to articles on using toilet paper or rolls of paper towels to apply boots, but they were too big for my 16-pound rat terrier, whose legs are really skinny. Searching the house, I found something else that was small enough and probably sturdier: an empty medicine bottle. As it turns out, it worked great. Here’s how to do it:

Choose a bottle

Choose a bottle of the correct diameter and length for your dog’s paw and paw. It should slide easily, but not be so wide that when you roll off your boot, it should cling to your dog’s leg anxiously and uncomfortably.

Cut off the bottom of the bottle

(Leave the top alone – this screw cap / protrusion keeps the bottle intact.)

Put the boot

Pull the booties over the end of the bottle you just cut.

Slide the bottle

Insert the bottle in the boot over your dog’s leg.

Roll up your boot

Roll the boot over the dog’s paw, being careful not to snag the dew claws.

Take off the bottle

Slide the bottle off her leg through the boot.

Adjust your ankle boots for a snug fit. Repeat and serve treat as needed.

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