Doggie Booties

Update: just learned you can also make booties from duct tape. (Thanks, Deb!) I will try this for patching  these since they are developing holes already (on the top of all places! She’s really dragging her feet).

 

My beloved German Shepherd Cora, who is now 13 years old, has been diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy.

We had a feeling that something was wrong. Cora’s back end just isn’t working like it used to. She stumbles, trips, and can’t make it up the steps sometimes, all symptoms of her condition. There is no treatment for her at this point beyond TLC and today’s post is about one way I am taking care of my dear aging dog.

Because her back legs are getting weaker, Cora drags her feet a lot. For some months now, the two middle nails on both of her back feet have been worn down to nubs. If she walks on a hard surface, she’s in danger of scraping her nails down to the quick and bleeding. This has happened several times in the past, and I walk her as much as possible on grass as a result. But even these precautions haven’t been enough. Yesterday, she scraped one of her knuckles on the walk and bled everywhere. Time to do something more to protect her dragging feet.

I looked at dog booties at the pet store and didn’t like them. They seemed plastic and impersonal, so I decided to make them myself. Here’s the short version of what I did.

I traced her foot and added 1 1/4 inches along the seam line to allow for her foot and a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Then I took a pair of my old jeans and laid the pattern on the leg at the bottom, using the hem for the finished edge so I wouldn’t have to sew one myself.

My pattern pinned to the leg of an old pair of jeans. When I cut this out, I kept the hem, even though my pattern doesn't extend that far.

I was thinking about how to get velcro in the right places for the closure when I came up with a simpler solution: ribbon ties. I cut pieces of ribbon about 10 inches long and pinned them in place so they would be sewn into the seam. If you try this, make sure you don’t catch more of the ribbon in the seam than you want.

Pinned with ribbons on the right side. I tucked the ends through the opening to make sure I didn't catch them in my seams by accident.

After that, I sewed my half inch seam, going over the beginning, end, and sections with the ribbon a few extra times for strength. I trimmed down the seam to more like 1/4 inch wide, clipped the curved part, then turned them inside out and pressed them for good measure.

Tah dah!

 

The last step was to put them on the dog, and they fit just fine. When we went for our walk, I discovered the ties work best if you wrap them past each other and tie them on the far side so that the ribbon goes all the way around the dog’s leg. This gives a snug fit and keeps the booties from sliding off. Cora didn’t seem to mind them at all, and she came in with her nails and feet intact. Success!

 

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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

One thought on “Doggie Booties”

  1. Kit, we’ve been there/done that. I’m guessing that the cart we got Ari would not be large enough for Cora, but it did help. We also got a lot of experience with protecting dragging feet. We also used a variety of supports for Ari’s back end. We have *lots* of tips if you end up feeling like you need them. Hugs to Cora.

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