Nonslip dog booties can be costly --- especially if you have multiple dogs --- but if you are handy with a needle and thread or a sewing machine, you can easily make boots for your pooch. You may even be able to find many of the materials needed to make them around your house or apartment.
You'll need five basic items to make dog booties --- a pattern, fabric, Velcro strips (varying in size depending on the size of your dog), elastic (the same size as the Velcro strips) and nonslip material (such as vinyl or leather). Before going out to purchase these items at your local department store, you may be able to find them in used materials around your house or apartment. For instance, you may find an old pair of denim or canvas pants you can use for the fabric, as well as an old pair of leather gloves you can turn into the soles of the booties.
Select a Pattern and Fabric
The Domestik Goddess website provides an extremely simple dog boot pattern you can print and follow; the site recommends using a fleece fabric because it keeps your dog's paws toasty in the winter and allows for easy use, cleaning and drying. The UberPest's Journal website also offers a very simple dog boot pattern, but suggests using a variety of fabrics according to climate. The site recommends using fleece for snow, polypropelene for trail hiking and denim for hot pavement conditions.
Find a Nonslip Material
Once you have settled on a pattern, chosen a fabric and found Velcro and elastic, you are ready to find a nonslip material for the soles of the booties. Depending on your preference, you can use vinyl, leather or another nonslip material. You can find many nonslip materials available online and at your local department store, including bath/shower anti-slip tape or stickers, which could work on the soles. Use trial and error to discover what works best for you and your dog.
Measuring Your Dog's Paw
Measure your dog's paw to ensure the booties you make for it will fit well and be comfortable. Place your dog's "foot on a piece of paper and press down on the top of the foot, mimicking how the foot spreads" when walking, says the Your Active Pet website. Using a pen or pencil, mark the paper on each side of the foot or trace the whole foot, then measure the space between the widest marks. Add another 1/2 inch to the measurement to allow room for stitching. The Drs. Foster and Smith website provides a video offering more details about measuring your dog's paw for booties (see link in References section). To figure out the proper Velcro and elastic strip size for the booties, measure the circumference of your dog's ankle and then add another 1 1/2 inches.
Putting It All Together
Cut out the parts. Fold the fabric in half, place the "toe" of the pattern onto the fold, and cut around the boot shape on the pattern. Next, cut out the sole of the boot. If the pattern calls for a nonslip sole, such as the one on the Domestik Goddess site, follow the pattern and cut out the sole from vinyl or leather and sew it to the boot. For patterns without the soles, or if you choose to use anti-slip tape or stickers, cut them to fit the bottom of the boot and attach them to it. Attach the Velcro and elastic to the boot. Slip an end of the elastic strip under an end of the fuzzy Velcro strip. Sew the Velcro and part of the elastic to the ankle of the boot. Next, sew the non-fuzzy piece of the Velcro strip, flat side up, to the top of the other end of the elastic. The boot pattern found on the Domestik Goddess site shows an example (see link in References section). Finally, fold the boot so the sole and Velcro are on the inside. Hand or machine sew the sides together; when finished, you should have an inside-out boot. Turn it right side out, and your boot is complete.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images