Instructables

DIY cool and cheap little dog sneakers or boots from duct tape

Picture of DIY cool and cheap little dog sneakers or boots from duct tape
This winter we spent mucho money on a set of doggie booties to protect our West Highland terrier's feet from the terrors of Vermont snow, salt, and ice. The boots looked hardy, but didn't stay on well at all and our dog hated them and walked liked a robot having a seizure when wearing them.

I read somewhere that sled dogs wear boots that are basically warm fabric held on the paw with duct tape. Sounded like a good idea, but I didn't want to have to duct tape up my dog's feet for every winter walk so I made these cheap dog sneaker-style things that lace up and fit the dog perfectly out of some scrap material, duct tape, and two old laces.
 
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Step 1: Fitting the shoes part A

Picture of Fitting the shoes part A
Cut four scraps of fabric big enough to cover your dog's paw.

Step 2: Fitting the shoes part B

Picture of Fitting the shoes part B
Then cover the dog's paws with the fabric and secure the fabric in place using a piece of duct tape.

Step 3: Covering the fabric with tape

Picture of Covering the fabric with tape
Then chase the dog back and convince it with treats that it's a good idea to continue. Cover all of the fabric with duct tape, taking care not to catch any of the dog's fur in the tape.

Step 4: Finishing off the shoes

Picture of Finishing off the shoes
Then make a small slit in the edge of each shoe (where the edge of a shoe's tongue would reasonably be) and remove the shoes. Then cut the other edge of the shoe's tongue.

Step 5: Trim the excess fabric

Picture of Trim the excess fabric
You'll have excess fabric on the side of the shoes. Trim this out with a pair of scissors as best you can to provide a smooth inner surface for your pet.

Step 6: Extend the tongue, sides and top

Picture of Extend the tongue, sides and top
Now take three smallish pieces of duct tape to extend the tongue, shoe sides near the tongue, and top edge of the shoe. Fold the tape over on itself to avoid having any sticky bits showing. If you need to cover a sticky bit with some extra tape to preserve the shape of the shoe do so. Trip the tongue and edges around the tongue as needed for the shoe to lace up well.
snweky3 months ago

This turned out great for my dog! He's got a bandage on one foot that's supposed to stay clean. We tried putting a baggie on his foot every time he went outside, but it would rip or fall off or both. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on doggie boots since we'd have to buy a size up to accommodate the bandage, and we'd probably never use them once his foot is healed. This way, I ended up with one perfectly sized boot that's reusable for when he needs to go outside. Plus, I won't feel bad disposing of it once the bandage comes off! Just for fun, I added some grommets (leftover from a previous project) to thread the laces through. The grommets might make the boot easier to lace up, but I didn't try lacing it without them. My dog looks like he's wearing a doggie sneaker! I love it! Thank you.

tinyknits5 years ago
If you can sew, I made these for my dog using fleece, duffel bag material, elastic and velcro.
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I bought store-made boots and they were a waste of money.  While these look wonderfully warm, if used for winter weather, they will get wet and refreeze to the dog's foot/leg.  It is -7 degrees here right now and if my dog was going outside, I'd rather her have duct tape boots than material ones.  This is the same reason you don't put blankets or pillows inside an outdoor dog's house in the winter.  They will get wet, refreeze and the dog will have no warm place to go.  Being conditioned to be in the dog house, they will lay on the frozen material and get frostbite or worse.  This project doesn't say to apply the duct tape directly to the dog and hopefully, there aren't any 4 year olds looking for a way to make booties for their dog.
You can always use water resistant material instead of fleece for the entire boot.  In the winter, my dog only walks on the sidewalk or side of the road because the snow is usually too high for him to walk in.  So, these are feasible for protecting him from salt and a frozen ground.  I've used these for two years and haven't had any problems with freezing but then again, I only use them when we go on walks or just to do his business.  I never leave my dog outside and in -7 degree weather he probably wouldn't go outside.  So it really all depends on your lifestyle and what's best for your dog in that particular situation.  I just know that if I put duct tape boots on my little dog's legs, he would have problems bending his foot and wouldn't want to walk anyways which is why I made mine easier to wear.  I'm not saying duct tape boots are bad, I'm just throwing out other alternatives to duct tape.
Good answer! My dogs wouldn't go outside in -7 degree weather, either. You did a great job on the booties.
These are really cute, are you sharing the instructions? I am going to felt a 100%wool sweater I have on hand and make boot's out of that. They should be very warm and I think somewhat water proof. My dog is small (17lbs.) and hates to go out in the winter. This morning it was -22 F. so it is really cold on his little paws.
I have purchased boots in the store and they just don't cut it. They are hard to get on and then won't stay on....Very, very frustrating!
I haven't made an instructable for this but there are similar ones out there like http://domestikgoddess.com/sew-your-own-winter-dog-boots/
alygreen4 years ago
Wow! I, for one, think that these are most fabulous and super kudos to the peeps for making them and then making them available to all.
I live on a river. We don't worry about salt at all. I would need plastic boots to cover my little buddies undercarriage. He loves to stand in the river, unless there is ice. He just doesn't understand that. Thanks for sharing your work.

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If anyone would do this I would guess that they are paying close attention to their dog and is outside with them.
I believe the satin material is in between the dogs fur and the duct tape. Otherwise, there's no way you are going to get it off the dog without hurting the dog and wrecking the project. I don't think the creator of this instructable had any intention of the duct tape sticking to the dog's fur. If you look closely you can see the satin above the tape in the picture.
SUGARLAKES5 years ago
For those of you concerned about the duct tape going on the dogs foot. Click thru all the steps and you will find that is not the case. Always good to read the whole article before jumping to conclusions.
AntonioMDC5 years ago
Hi-- great idea, especially for those of use who can't sew! I have some suggestions that might make this easier: •start with something tubular that is already the right size to fit the dog's feet--a couple of pairs of baby socks, or old sleeves off kid size sweeters, preferably wool for warmth--or, if you can't find something preshapped, use long strips in a spiral wrap (think ace bandage style) to quickly get a perfect fit; •get the sort of medical tape athletes use to support their wrists and ankles--it is narrower (nice for smaller animals) and a bit stretchy when it first goes on so you get a good fit but then it sets and holds (used to get a kick out of cutting foot shaped shells off my sisters after gymnastics,) and most important it isn't as slippery as duct tape. any dog that has to navigate pavement will need all the traction they can get. •also I STRONGLY recommend bandage scissors they have a rounded lip, like a little spoon, that sticks out ahead of the bottom blade to work under the tape without poking. or worse. gymnasts are less furry and less squirmy than dogs and still there were a few ouches before we got them. unfortunately sports tape isn't as tough as duct tape so maybe an outer layer of duct-tape would still be needed on the high wear spots, like maybe the toes and definitely to reinforce the lace holes. though either way these shoes are going to be easy to patch--just put more tape on! definitely going to have to make a couple of sets of these for all the dogs in the extended family.
Sunny1246136 years ago
this is cute!!!
double26 years ago
That's great! I have 2 pair of doggie shoes but neither of them fit my newfies giant paws. I will certainly make a pair of these for her. She has very sensitive paws and the foxtails here are relentless.