Many are wondering how to put socks on their dog, how tight the straps should be fastened and when to use dog booties. Lena Boysen Hillestad, World champion in sled 4-dog, pulka, skijoring, and dryland, shares her best tips.
I use socks to prevent injuries, especially if the snow is soft and the dog tends to step through the surface. The paws can get cracks between the dog's toes under these conditions. I also use socks when it is icy, as the surface can be very sharp for the paws.
If your dog gets injured, you can use Paw Care to soften and heal the paw, in addition to socks.
How to put on dog booties
Lena prefers to stand over the dog with the dog between her legs when putting on socks.
Then I have full control, and my hands are free. Before I put the sock on, I brush away snow or dirt from the paw. The sock must sit high so that even the dewclaw is covered. Tighten the velcro well. If you are going for a short training session, a maximum of two hours, the socks should sit very tight. Then, I rarely lose any socks. If you are doing long-distance mushing or trekking for many hours, you should not tighten the booties as much. That can cause swelling.
What kind of socks should I use during the summer?
For dryland, Lena is using Solid Socks, reinforced dog booties for rough surfaces.
The dogs can get wounds at the front of their toes when running, sometimes also the metacarpal pad. There is no other way to avoid this than using socks.
- Turn the sock when you are halfway
Lena recommends you to turn the sock around when you have completed half your training session.
If you are training on rough and bad surfaces, it wears on the socks and can lead to holes under your dog's paw. That is not a problem if you twist the sock. It does not matter if there is a tiny hole on the upper side. With this trick, you can use the sock for double the distance.