≡ Menu

Sew Your Own Winter Dog Boots

greyhound-wears-boots

greyhound walking in homemade winter snow bootsNow, don’t make fun of my greyhound in his little red boots! It’s not a fashion statement, dog boots are a necessity in the darkest pit of the Canadian winter.

Paw protection is especially important for the short-coated dog breeds like greyhounds, and especially when the weather is as brutal as it’s been here lately — we’re talking about -28°C, with a windchill factor that makes it feel like -40°C (that’s the same as 40 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, for my American friends). The snow squeaks when you walk on it, and exposed skin can begin to freeze in less than one minute!

So, my latest sewing project has been to sew up some new polar-fleece dog boots. These are quick to make and easy to put on the dog, but they don’t shake off very easily. I’ve made these boots with non-slid vinyl soles, elastic at the ankles, and Velcro fasteners, and the dogs don’t hate them too much.

I based this pattern on an old set of store-bought dog boots that I borrowed from a neighbour, and used some scraps of fleece, elastic, and Velcro that were left over from other sewing projects.

free-dog-boot-pattern

Feel free to use my pattern to make your own dog boots — just right-click to save the image to your computer.

It’s not very fancy, because I just sketched it out on a piece of scrap paper and then did over in a simple Paint program, but it works just fine!

And you can size the pattern up or down on your printer, to fit the size of your dog’s paws.

For the large male greyhound, I printed out my pattern so that it was 4½ inches wide, measured across the sole. Those large boots fit the Golden Retriever, too, while 1½ inches was plenty wide for boots for a mutt of vaguely Beagle-Chihuahua ancestry.

sewing project - fleece dog boot with elastic and velcro fastener I love fleece fabric for dog boots because it sews up easily, keeps the paws as warm as possible, doesn’t stain too badly, and dries quickly to be ready for the next outing. For large size boots, I used ¾-inch Velcro and the same width of elastic. For smaller boots, obviously, you’d use a narrower size.

Sewing Instructions:

• Place the “toe” of the pattern on a fold of fabric and cut out around the boot shape. When you unfold the fabric, you’ll have a sort of hourglass shape. Don’t sew up the sides until you’ve done the next steps!

• Following the marks I’ve put on the pattern, place a circle of vinyl or other non-slip material on the sole of the boot and sew it in place.

• Sew on a piece of Velcro at the ankle position, using the softer fuzzy half, and catching a piece of elastic underneath it, as shown. The stitching for the Velcro will hold on the elastic.

• Sew the other half of the Velcro strip (the part with all the tiny hooks) securely onto the free end of the elastic. Make sure that the hooks are facing down when you’re looking at the sole of the boot.

• Finally, fold the boot in half with the right sides together (so that the vinyl sole is inside) and sew up the sides. Turn it right side out.

Because I knew that I was going to sew my dog boots from fleece fabric, which doesn’t fray or ravel, I didn’t add much of a seam allowance to the pattern — about ¼” around the edges — so you might want to count in an extra bit of width for seam allowance if you’re planning to use a woven fabric like a waterproof nylon or such. The other thing I did that’s different from the pattern is adjust the height of the boots — ankle boots are of limited use for a country dog, so I extended the tops up a little bit to better handle the snow-softened farm lanes where we like to walk.

close-up of dog wearing a fleece winter bootie
To put the boots on the dog — just turn the boot so that the sole is to the back of the dog’s leg, and slide his paw into the boot. Wrap the elastic around the front of the leg, as shown, and fasten the Velcro. (If your dog has never worn boots before, see also How to Teach a Dog to Wear Boots.)

This lazy greyhound was napping in his crate and refused to get up to model his boots, in case I was going to make him go out in the cold, so this picture shows the view you get when a dog is lying down… but you can get the idea…

So there you have it: my pattern and instructions for sewing dog boots. Feel free to use it as you like!

Oh, and I’d love it if you could let me know if you come up with any improvements to the design. I’m thinking, for example, of making an even taller pair (with two fasteners) for when the dogs are walking in a real bit of snow…

225 comments… add one
  • Candice Hewett 2016/02/03, 7:33 am

    Okay I get the measuring the widest part of the foot for proper width; I want to know if there is a width to length formula so you know how to draw the pattern for cutting out and have the widest width in the right place and where you come inward to where the ties should be placed and then how far up above the ties area to reach the proper length. I’m asking because your pattern is not straight on either side…it starts at the fold smaller than the width(so how do you know how wide the fold line should be?) and how far apart is the fold line from the widest width point/line? And how far apart is the widest width line from the ties line where the pattern sides come inward again? And how far from the ties line should the top of the boot be? And how do you know how wide the width should be at the top of the boot? Shouldn’t you specify one measurement for length? And four different measurements for width (1.the fold line/2.the widest width across the paw/3. the width at the ties line &4.the width at the top of the boot?). How would I calculate all of the above measurements in order to draw a boot pattern that was sure to fit? My animal will not stand still for these measurements as she is a squirmy puppy.

  • virginia june 2016/01/28, 2:17 pm

    We live in Arizona and have the issue of the heat. These are an excellent idea to use for my puppy using a light weight material on the top and a thicker material for the pads of the puppy. Our winters are mild but still cold for daily walks. Thank you for the excellent ideas.

  • Ann Hopp 2016/01/13, 11:16 pm

    I make my dogs’ booties for the snow. they just can’t function in the snow when it is around zero. I have found though to put the velcro as close to the top as I can. Otherwise the cuff gets full of snow and they are so cold. I like the shape of yours though.

  • Pamela 2015/12/16, 8:19 pm

    I need to make these for both my dogs. We live in Colorado……my 80 lb. dog came in today (after getting 8″ of snow the day before. 19 degrees) and was having a hard time walking on his frozen paws….I felt soooo bad…and my 11 lb. dog doesn’t even want to go outside in the snow…

    • Melanie Friedemann 2016/01/12, 5:19 pm

      You could avoid all this frozen snow / ice between the toes/pads by cutting all the fur in this area away. I have a small mashine to trim the paws.

  • Myra Nagy 2015/12/13, 8:10 pm

    Do you think this would work for a Shih Tzu?

  • Geri 2015/11/25, 1:55 am

    I’m making these out of waterproof baby fabric and then using an inner lining of a layer of cotton quilt batting. I suppose you could just line them with the fleece. Thanks for the pattern. It will make my cousins dogs much more comfortable this year.

    • Domestik Goddess 2015/11/25, 4:21 pm

      You’re very welcome, Geri – sounds toasty-warm for your cousin’s dogs! Just don’t forget to leave extra fabric for the edge if you don’t use a fabric that is ravel-proof. :)

  • Wrenn 2015/10/09, 12:05 pm

    Thank you so much for this. Yesterday our Greyhound mix escaped and while tearing through the woods cut the bottom of a paw. Our vet recommended covering the paw with a soft boot, but warned us they might not be available locally. So I found your pattern and stitched up one with a scrap of heavy fleece. In less than an hour he had a protective bootie.

    I added an extra layer of the soft fleece for more cushioning and hand-stitched a bit of perforated, non-slip shelf liner for a grippy sole. It works perfectly–as soon as I put it on he was willing to put more weight on the paw. Yuxi & I both thank you!

    • Domestik Goddess 2015/10/09, 1:13 pm

      Oh, I’m so delighted that our pattern was helpful to you and Yuxi – thank you for letting me know!

  • Tarina 2015/01/23, 11:55 pm

    I have a pair kind of Ugg–like boots whose soles have worn out – there wouldn’t be enough to make 4 full dog boots, but would fleece hold up hand sewn to bottoms made of the heavy lined suede?

    • Domestik Goddess 2015/01/24, 12:26 am

      What a clever recycling idea, Tarina! Your old Uggs would make some nice thick soles to protect your dog’s feet, sure enough. A good-quality fleece should work if you use the best quality fleece fabric you can find, not one of those thin bargain-basement fabrics.

      Do get out your thimble, as it may be hard work to punch a needle through the suede and hard on your fingers! In fact, you might want to use a small pointed instrument like a fine awl to help make the holes for your needle and thread to get pushed through. And you know, I almost would think about going with a mid-weight upholstery thread for this, to give lots of strength… but that’s just a thought, not an actual suggestion. I’ve never sewn fleece to suede for dog boots, though I’ve used suede with different other fabrics in various other projects, and you may find that just a good strong polyester or poly-blend thread will stand up to the added weight of the soles just fine.

      Another option to consider might be to use a fabric glue under the suede sole, just to give the hand-stitched attachment a little bit of extra help in staying on – especially if your dog happens to like dragging his feet when he’s tired at the end of a walk, like one of my pups does. I’ve found the biggest risk of losing the sole patch is when the thread gets put under extra strain from the dog scuffing along the ground.

Leave a Comment