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Winter Weather Gear

  • Heidi

Getting Your Dog to Love Wearing Boots

Anyone who’s lived through a Minnesota winter knows that it can get really cold here. Fortunately, we’ve also gotten pretty good at thriving in it by dressing right – and let’s hear it for battery-powered, heated gloves!

While most of us will happily lace up a pair of boots, that’s not always the case for dogs. But they can be just as useful for our four-legged friends, so it’s worth it to keep trying, even if you don’t succeed at first. That’s because booties offer more than a layer of protection against the cold. They also prevent ice and snowballs from forming between toes, and they create a barrier between sensitive pads and salt or ice melt.

If your dog is new to boots, we recommend taking these steps.

Keep Them Comfortable

It will be easier to get your dog to accept wearing boots when they fit right and don’t rub or restrict movement. It’s also helpful to think about where your dog will wear the boots – while running through deep snow? Strutting down the sidewalk? Indoors away from the elements? All of these questions can help while boot shopping, and don’t forget to measure your dog’s feet according to the product guidelines.

There are several great bootie brands to choose from, but we love the simple and affordable options from

Take Your Time

Patience is truly a virtue when it comes to introducing your dog to strange new things, like wearing boots. We recommend starting with one bootie and dole out the treats, then take the boot off. Repeat this step until they look happy to have the bootie on.

Not having any luck? Then take a step back. Start by introducing the boots without putting them on your dog. You should also practice handling your dog’s feet until they grow comfortable with the sensations. Once they seem okay with having their feet handled and the boots nearby, then you can graduate to putting one on.

Make a Test Run

When your dog seems content in their single bootie, encourage them to move around while offering high-value treats. If they seem happy, add another boot and repeat the entire process until they are walking around the room with booties on all paws like it’s second nature. When you reach this stage, you’re ready to head out to enjoy the great outdoors!

Can’t get your dog to wear boots no matter how hard you try? Don’t worry, you can still protect those sensitive paws during winter! First, remember, if it’s too cold outside for you, it’s too cold for your dog – even if they’re wearing boots. Next, pick up a pot of Musher’s Secret Paw Protection Wax. This product is a 100% natural, food-grade wax that creates an invisible layer of protection against ruff things, like snow, ice, salt, and melting chemicals – and it works on hot sidewalks during summer, too. Plus, Musher’s Secret also soothes dry or cracked paws, and you can use it on other hot spots, like ears and elbows.

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