Winter Nylon Dog Coat - Tutorial on How to Measure your Dog
How to Fit a Dog for Winter Boots
Winter boots can be an essential item for your dog’s seasonal wardrobe. They look cute, plus they keep your dog’s paws dry; warm; and free of ice, salt, and other hazards of winter walks. They also offer much-needed traction for icy sidewalks.Winter boots must fit your dog well to work well; if they don’t fit properly and twist while wearing, your dog can be injured.By carefully measuring your dog’s paws and using manufacturer’s literature to choose the right size, you can ensure a proper fit for your dog’s winter boots.
Measuring Your Dog’s Paws
Trim your dog’s nails.Before measuring, clip your dog’s nails to a comfortable length to assure the best fit.
- Avoid cutting the quick, which is a vein that runs into your dog’s nail. It can be painful and bloody if you accidentally cut it. When you see the beginning of a circle on the nail surface, you’re approaching the quick.
- Dogs typically do not like to have their paws handled too much or their nails clipped. Try to handle your dog's paws every day and give it treats so it's more comfortable with you clipping its nails.
Gather your equipment.You will need a pencil, a measuring tape, and plain white paper or a paper bag to mark on. Dog treats are an additional essential item, as your pup may need to be coaxed and bribed to participate in the measuring.
Place the paw on the paper.Gently put your dog’s paw on the paper and try to get your dog to put all of its weight on that paw.
- This is a good time to offer treats and encouraging words.
- Be sure to measure all four paws. Sometimes, there is variation in the sizes of a dog’s paws.
Spread out your dog’s toes.Press down gently on your dog’s paw so that it spreads out, similar to how it lands when your dog is walking.
Mark the paper.Make a mark at the front (including toenail) and back of the paw for the length. Also mark the outermost edges of the left and right sides for width. Let your dog walk away, and then measure the distances between the lines. These measurements will give you an accurate sense of the length and width of your dog’s paw.
Account for wiggle room.Add ¼ inch to your measurements for both the length and width to allow extra room for your dog to spread his toes while walking.
Use the wet paw method.If your dog is not cooperative while you try to mark around its paw on paper, you can try to estimate a measurement by wetting your dog’s paw. Have your dog step with a wet paw onto a brown paper bag, then measure the paw print. This won’t be as accurate as the other method, but it will be a good guide to tell you which size would work for your dog.
Finding a Proper Fitting Boot
Figure out how the manufacturer sizes the boots.There is no standard for setting the size of dog boots. Some companies measure from the heel of the pad to the tip of the toe, while others include the length of the toenail as well. Other companies use the weight of the dog to gauge the size of the boot/foot. Check to see how the manufacturer you’re interested in sizes its product.
Check for a measuring chart.Some manufacturers offer printable measuring charts on their websites. You just need to print the charts at 100 percent and then align your dog’s foot next to the measurements. Then, you know the size to order.
- This would be particularly useful if the website you’re ordering from does not offer a return policy.
Look at online reviews.Some brands consistently run large or small, which is usually noted in the reviews. Having this information handy will help you make a better selection for your dog once you’ve made your measurements.
Trying on the Boots
Select some boots to try on your dog.Look for self-tightening straps to help the boots fit securely and leather soles for flexibility.You can also consider taking your dog directly to a big-box pet supply store (like Petsmart or Petco) to try on the boots in person instead of ordering a few sizes.
- The ideal boot for your dog should be flexible enough to be comfortable, but tight and durable enough to stay on. It should also fit snugly at the ankle and have a bit of room at the toes for wiggle room.
Open the boot completely.Once you’ve chosen a boot and selected an approximate size, loosen the straps or fasteners and open it completely before placing it on your dog.
Insert your dog’s paw gently.Carefully place the boot on your dog and tuck in all of its fur to make sure none is being pulled by the boot.
- You can use your finger as a shoehorn to help nudge your dog’s toes to the front of the boot.
Have your dog put all of its weight on the boot.Once your dog’s paw is completely in the boot, fasten any straps. Gently press on the front of the boot to feel the clearance for your dog’s toes to see if there is any wiggle room.
- Try the boots on all four paws, since they may fit differently on each.
- A properly fitting boot should be easy to slip on, but not so loose that it slips off.
Reward your dog for wearing the boot.Praise it and give it treats once the boot is on, and repeat after you put on each boot. Rewarding your dog for wearing the boots will help it associate the boots with positive feelings.
- It may also help if you put the boots on your dog before you feed it its meals.
Check your dog's paws for sores after the first few walks with the boots.Like human shoes, dog boots need to be broken in. If you notice sores on your dog's paws after it wears the boots, take shorter walks. Gradually increase the length of your walks until your dog gets used to wearing the boots.
Tips and Warnings
- Since dogs perspire through their paws, do not leave on the boots once you’re indoors. This can cause irritation and overheating.
- Once you’ve selected properly fitting boots, give your dog time to break them in. Only use them for 10 minutes or so during the first few days.
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