Yes, my dog may hate the boots but when it gets colder than -20C she refuses to go outside. Her feet get cold and she will try to lift all of her feet at the same time, I find it to be quite sad.
These boots are made of fleece and have a nice grip pad on the bottom and more importantly no matter how much she plays in the snow they will not come off.
The fleece allows them to dry out quickly and the basic design allows for quick putting on and taking off.
All that said each boot takes less than 10 minutes to make. You will need to make 4 in most cases and they can go on any foot. Having made several of these due to wearing out I am able to make 4 in less than 10 minutes.
No dogs were harmed in this Instructable. She does seem to be embarrassed by having the boots on though...
NOTE(FEB15) Due to popular demand (Xena's) and Valentine's Day, I have made a set of booties out of pink fleece and those picture have been added to the steps... Enjoy...
Step 1: Materials and tools
1. You will need several feet of a suitable material, I used black fleece which sells locally for about $6 per meter.
2. I used 4 - 2 inch circles of suede that I had from a previous project. Any durable material will work from canvas to cloth backed vinyl, Just make sure that it will not be slippery in the snow and on the ice.
3. 4 - 6 inch (approx) strips of double sided Velcro. I have found that this offers the best retention of the boot.
You will also need a sewing machine capable of sewing light leather and Velcro. Only if you have chosen these materials. You may have to use canvas or denim of your machine cannot handle the materials.
Standard sewing scissors and heavy duty thread are also required.
A pencil and a regular sheet of paper are also needed.
Step 2: Create the Pattern
It is best to have the boots fit your dogs feet snugly but not tightly. To do this you will have to trace one of yours dogs feet. The front foot is usually the easiest to trace.
After the trace is complete you will need to draw a rough outline which is greater than the size of the foot. This is shown in the third and forth pictures.
The total length of the boot is just short of the your dogs rear leg joint. In my dog's case that is about 6 inches.
The top part of the boot has a slight flare outward, this helps in putting the boot on your dog.
Using scissors you will now cut the pattern out from the full sheet.
Step 3: Prepare the Materials
The pattern in only half of the boot, you will need to fold your material and place the pattern along the fold near the "toe" end of the boot ans shown in the first picture.
Carefully cat the pattern out of the material creating a "bow-tie" shape. You will need to do this for each boot that your dog needs. Mine needed 4.
You will need to create a wear pad for the bottom of the boot for both traction and boot life. The wear pad should be about the same size as the dog's foot, It can be larger but this is not necessary.
I used an old roll of electrical tape as a pattern to cut out the circles of suede material, Again I did this 4 times.
Lastly you will need to cut 4 pieces of the Velcro material that is a least 2 times the width if the narrow part of the pattern about 1 inch below the flare at the top. Mine were about 6 inches in length. This is to fasten the boot.
The last picture is the layout before sewing.
Step 4: Sew the Boots
First you will need to sew the wear pad in the foot area of the boot material as shown. A straight stitch around the perimeter of the material is sufficient, you may stitch across the wear pad if you dog has a huge foot, this will prevent slipping. The placement will be below your dogs foot pads when the boot is on.
You will now need to attach the boot strap in the narrow portion of the boot material above the wear pad. This will place place the strap in the narrowest part of your dogs leg. I like to make a box area with the straight stitch with at least one diagonal. Neither I nor my dog has ever ripped one off.
Now you will need to tightly roll the Velcro strap up to take it out of the way for final seam sewing.
Fold the material over at the toe edge so that the wear pad and boot strap are on the inside.
Sew along one edge from the toe fold to the top of the flare. I use a straight stitch no more than 1/4 of an inch in from the edge. Again neither I nor my dog has ever ripped open on e of these seams. At the flare run your machine in reverse about 1/2 to 1 inch to lock the edge.
Cut the thread and flip the boot around and sew the other seam in the same manner.
Repeat this for the other boots needed.
Step 5: Enjoy the Warmth
Push the toe fold out of the top flare to make the boots right side out.
Your dog's feet should easily slip into the boot. As mention before any boot can go on any foot...
The Velcro strap is wrapped snugly around the taper in the boot. Do not tighten too much or it will be uncomfortable for your dog. She (or he) will let you know by chewing on the strap if they are too tight.
Most dogs do not take to boots right away and prolonged high stepping is common. Try not to laugh as your dog will know and will take to hating the boots permanently.
The cold should no longer prevent the dog from walking and playing in the snow....