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How To Get The Right Size Shoes For Your Dog

January 29, 2018


Dog shoes might sound silly, but once all the numerous benefits are known, even the most skeptical of dog parents will see they are needed.

Who wants to walk barefoot on an ice-cold sidewalk or through the cold, wet snow? Or walk on the hot beach sand in the summer? Certainly not humans and your dog doesn’t want to either.

A dog isn’t meant to be treated as an accessory, but there are instances when dog shoes or boots could be very beneficial for your dog. If it has a problem with its paw which needs causes it to need protecting, or if you live in an extreme climate, a vet may suggest you try some protective shoes

If you are putting shoes or boots on your dog, remember that it is very unnatural and a strange experience for the dog. To size him for shoes, you’ll need to determine the width of the widest part of his paw. You will also need to determine the length of each paw as well.


There are a few different  ways dog owners can measure their dog’s paws for shoes. Keep in mind you need to measure the entire part of their paw that touches the floor or ground, from the back paw pad to the end of the toenails.  

Also, make sure the dog's nails are trimmed to ensure the best and most comfortable fit. It is ideal to measure the dog's paws while it’s standing so the paw is completely splayed because when the dog is stands, you will get a wider and more accurate measurement than when the dog lays or sits.  

4 Ways To Measure Your Dog's Paws

Place the dog's paw on a blank sheet of paper and mark the front and back of the paw, including the toenail, for the full length measurement between the two lines. Repeat for all 4 paws. Do not trace the paw itself.

  • Place the dog's paw on a blank sheet of paper and mark the front and back of the paw, including the toenail, for the full length measurement between the two lines. Repeat for all 4 paws. Do not trace the paw itself.
  • Hold a ruler or tape measure on the bottom of the dog's paw and measure the length    and width, including toenails.
  • Place a ruler on the floor and let the dog stand on it.
  • Wet the dog's paw and press it against a blank sheet of paper, measuring both the length and width of the impression, including the toenails.

The first method on this list is regarded as the most effective.  

Incorrectly sized dog shoes or boots will not be comfortable or perform well at all.  

Success varies depending on the surface which the dog walks or runs. Shoes will show wear and tear and the material used, while quite durable, is still a fabric. The more abrasive the surface is, the faster the shoe will show wear. Wear includes any tears, holes, etc.  

Most dog shoe makers, and their websites, have pictorial paw charts available for downloading and printing. These charts have outlines of paws of different sizes which correspond to the size of dog boots they manufacture. You can hold your dog's paw down against the various images to find the size that is the best fit.

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