Make Your Own Dog Booties!

If you are looking to help the NYC/WTC SAR dogs, click here.

I put up this for traildogs in general… though if you want to use it for other dogs that’s great too. It’s been up since some time in April 2001.

Uses for booties:

-Icy trail conditions.

-Protect feet from road chemicals and salt.

-Protect feet from rocky trails and surfaces.

-Protect against formation of ice balls in between toes.

-Keep dressings on wounded feet.

You can color code the booties if you like, so each size is a different color, or have a separate color for each dog. There’s no ‘industry standard’ on this, just pick what works for you. This can help on the trail so you can tell at a glance which bootie goes on which dog. A permanent marker can also write out the size or dog’s name on the velcro band.

If you secure the booties too tightly you can cut off circulation in the foot. Be careful.

If your dog begins to limp while wearing booties, stop and inspect his feet. A bootie that has worn through may cause more problems than no bootie at all. If there are holes worn in the bootie, discard it and replace if the foot still needs covering.

Proper foot conditioning- toughening the pads- can prevent most needs for booties.

When sizing the bootie make sure the foot is bearing weight fully. Too small can limit the foot’s expansion inside the boot leading to circulation problems.

Make sure the material you use is strong enough for the job you want. Fleece is too light for rough surfaces and cordura too much for snow.

Cordura (a kind of heavy duty nylon packcloth) is strong but abrasive on the foot, fleece soaks up water in warm situations. Polypropelene stretches, doesn’t absorb as much water as fleece, isn’t as abrasive as Cordura. Often the best choice for booties.

In snow, fleece is the best material. On rough pavement, rocky trails and so on heavy cordura will work, but watch the pads for some wear. There is some mid weight cordura (330 denier) that is a good balance for a normal trail outing.

Where the pavement is really hot… cordura and fleece are essentially plastic and can melt. For this case- and anywhere heat is more a factor than water absorbtion- regular denim is a good choice. I’ve used it on my own dogs when we had to do road work on tar roads in August. (as a plus, you get rid of torn up jeans and don’t feel so bad pitching dead booties).

Use Velcro sewn directly into the booties or VetWrap wrapped around the top of the boot for fastening. In a real pinch use electrician’s tape or the ever-present duct tape. Just be sure to not tape directly to the fur.

(thanks to TikkiWeb for cleaning up the pattern for me.)

Materials:

  • selected fabric
  • 3/4″ or 1″ Velcro

I appologize for my inability to draw. You may need to adjust the pattern to your individual dog’s foot. This is the pattern for a medium-sized bootie, enlarge the pattern to print at 6″ tall and 4″ wide. This should be close enough to get you started. Allow 1/2″ on each side of the dog’s foot. This gives room for seam allowance and foot expansion (the line drawn is seam allowance, but not expansion).
Measure the circumference of your dog’s ankle. Add 1 1/2″. This will be the length of Velcro needed.

Instructions:

Place the specified edge of the pattern on the fold of your fabric. Cut, making sure you don’t cut the fold.

Sew Velcro in specified location (the rectangle). There should be about 1 1/2″ of hook side. This side is up. The rest of the distance, about 3″ should be loop side down. Overlap the ends of Velcro about 1/4″ and sew in place.

Sew bootie together with a 1/4″ seam allowance, Velcro on  the ‘inside’.

Turn right-side out.

Congratulations! You’ve just made your own dog bootie!

Questions? Comments? email me!

COPYRIGHT Amanda Tikkanen 2001.

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