The Dirt on Yorkie Boots

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With winter weather now upon most of the country, many Yorkie owners, like me, are dreading outside potty trips and cold, wet, icky paws. Have you considered dog boots for your Yorkie? We recently got our first set of Yorkie boots and want to tell you all about our experience and give you some advice for choosing the best boot for your Yorkie.

I recently decided it was time to change Catherine from indoor potty pads to outside potty. All was going well until we got our first snow of the winter. It was a light snow that melted away quickly, but it left the ground muddy and every time we went outside, Catherine’s feet were soaked and her beautiful hair was grimy. I know lots of people use pet wipes on their Yorkie’s feet after walks, but Catherine absolutely hates having wet paws, so I started looking for a solution that would keep her clean and dry – enter the dog boot.

Dog boots are a great way to keep your Yorkie’s feet clean and dry during icky weather – snow, rain, ice, mud, and more. I asked around for the best boots and the best place to get them and I was directed to Karen at Karen has a reputation for being THE dog boot expert and is known for her attention to her customers.

First I asked about which boot to get for my Yorkie. Karen said, “It’s necessary to think about why a dog needs a winter boot. Is it a quick potty run? If, so you’ll want boots that are very easy to take on or off. Are you going hiking? You’ll need to make sure you have a very durable boot. Lots of ice? Be sure the boot has a fair amount of tread.” So, I decided on a Velcro closure boot with a rubber sole and good tread, because the weather here is unpredictable. The one I chose is a faux leather and suede waterproof pink winter dog boot.

After deciding on which boot, I needed to know which size to get. All dog boots are sized differently, so if you get a size “2” in one boot, you may need a size “1” in a different boot. Check the size chart for the boot you plan to buy to make sure you are getting the proper size for your Yorkie. I asked Karen about sizes and she said:

The absolute most important part of purchasing dog boots is properly measuring the paws. There are a number of ways to do it, however the best way is a good old fashioned ruler. You want to measure the length from the back pad up to and including the toenail. Also measure the width of the paw from side to side, using the widest part of the paw. For smaller breed dogs it’s not necessary to measure the rear paws, but oftentimes with medium to large breed dogs the back paws measure smaller.

When shopping for winter boots most smaller breeds need a fitted boot. A fitted boot is a boot that resembles the shape of a shoe. A mitten shaped boot will fall off a small dog because they don’t have a large enough paw for the boot to properly stay on. The boot should be fairly pliable and not too stiff so the dog is able to walk. Also make sure the boot has a strong closure system – dual Velcro straps, zippers, drawstrings, etc.

So, I measured Catherine’s paws, found the proper size, ordered her new boots and waited anxiously for them to arrive. The day our package from arrived, we got more snow – what timing! Now for the fun part – getting Catherine to wear the boots.

I had previously asked Karen about that part and she said, “At first your dog may not adapt too well to having paw-wear on it’s feet! It may be helpful to put the front 2 boots on and let the dog get accustomed to 2 at a time. Once the 2 boots are on, have the dog engage in their favorite activity without trying too draw to much attention to the shoes. It’s also a great idea to put the shoes on where you groom your dog. If you get down on the floor to put the shoes on, your dog may think it’s playtime and their new boots are a toy!”

I put the first two boots on Catherine’s front paws and she didn’t protest. It did take a few minutes to figure them out – it’s more difficult than I thought, especially with all her hair hanging everywhere. I made sure they were securely on her feet, just like with my kids, by feeling the toes to be sure the feet were all the way in, not too loose, not too tight. I then put her down on the floor and got out her favorite toy, throwing it around and letting her play without thinking too much about her feet. It was hard to hold back the laughter as she high-stepped around and pranced like a show horse. We took off the boots after about 5 minutes and gave her a break, then did it again a few hours later. We practiced in the house for a little while, then we did our first outside trial. Catherine donned her new boots on her front two paws and her Monkey Daze snowsuit. Catherine didn’t seem to care what-so-ever that she was wearing the boots, she ran around and did her business with no issues at all. It was absolutely wonderful to come in from her walk outside with clean and dry paws!

We are looking forward to putting boots on her back paws and getting her used to the idea of wearing dog booties for every trip outside. If you are thinking about getting dog boots for your Yorkie, I urge you to try them! For us, it’s been absolutely amazing and one of the best purchases I have made for my Yorkie.

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