How Do I Keep My Dog's Socks From Falling Off?

How Do I Keep My Dog's Socks From Falling Off?

How Do I Keep My Dog's Socks From Falling Off?

One of the most frequent questions we get asked about our non slip dog socks is how to keep them from falling off. It is a very important question because if you can't keep dog socks on your dog then there is no way that you or your dog will reap the benefits that dog socks can provide. Here are 6 tips you can use to help keep your dog's socks from falling off.

Why Use Dog Socks?

Before I dive into the tips for keeping dog socks from falling off I wanted to take a moment to go over why dog socks are used by pet parents. There are many different reasons dog socks can be a big help.

Traction on Slippery Indoor Surfaces

Why use dog socks?

For me, the most important reason to use dog socks is to provide your senior dog with grip on indoor flooring such as tile, hardwood, and laminate. Before I had senior dogs I would have never thought of using dog socks but once you witness the trouble indoor flooring can cause, you will see exactly why you need them. As dogs age and mobility issues set in what was once an easy floor to travel across is now a safety hazard.

Often a senior dog will start sliding on floors such as tile and hardwood but then this can escalate and eventually result in painful falls and for some dogs, a complete loss of confidence and a fear so strong they may refuse to walk across these surfaces. By providing your dog with something as simple as non-slip dog socks you can give them back their stability, and restore their confidence.

Paw Protection

Another very common use for dog socks is as paw protectors. Preventing burns to the pads of your dog's paws caused by hot pavement is a major reason you should consider dog footwear. Dog shoes are one option but they are often too hot for your dog to wear in the summer months making dog socks a solid alternative. 

If your dog is allergic to things such as grasses or you are trying to avoid harmful plants such as foxtails or burrs, which can cause a lot of damage to your dog's paws, then using dog socks can be very helpful. Dog socks are also effective for preventing excessive paw licking.

Floor Protection

Though I personally am not a fan of using dog socks for this purpose many people do find them very helpful in preventing scratches on your hardwood floors caused by your dog's nails. I get it, we pay a lot for floors and if you bought a house and were not able to select the flooring yourself you need to find ways to protect them from damage. The larger the dog the greater the risk of scratches and anti-slip dog socks can certainly work well to prevent damage by covering those nails while maintaining their grip. 

How Do I Keep My Dog's Socks From Falling Off? 

Ok so now you know several reasons why dog socks can be super helpful for your dog (and you) so let's talk about ways to ensure you have success keeping your dog's socks from falling off. Here are 6 tips for keeping your dog's socks on!

1) Find the Right Fit for Your Dog's Paws

The first step you need to take to ensure you can keep dog socks on your dog is to find the best size. Fit is very important because if the socks are too big or too small then they will slide right off and none of my tips will be able to help. The first thing to know is that a dog sock does need to fit snug much like a well-fitted glove. The second thing I will point out is that dog socks will stretch so it is important to anticipate that when assessing fit.

With our Grippers dog socks, we size things a few different ways which include breed, weight, and paw width. When measuring we recommend one of two ways 1) While your dog is standing (this is key since a dog's paw will spread when standing) measure flat across the top of your dog's paws without bending the tape down either side or 2) you can have your dog stand on some paper and then you can take a pen and make a line on each side of the paw which you can then measure the distance between to get the width measurement.

We are typically terrible paw measurers but we are usually pretty good when it comes to our dog's weight so if in doubt go with weight. What I typically tell customers is that if you measure your dog's paws and it falls within the range for XL as an example but your dog only weighs 10 pounds then something is very wrong and I would select size based on weight. If your dog is at the end of the range of one size I suggest going up a size especially if the weight is more than suggested for that paw size. 

2) Use Hook and Loop Fasteners (Velcro®) for Better Sock Support

How do I keep my dogs socks from falling off?

If you have the right size and you still find that your dog's socks are falling off a popular way to keep them on is to use a hook-and-loop fastener that wraps around your dog's ankle over the sock. The best placement for this is mid-way down on the ankle and not at the top. I would also avoid dog socks that use a plastic buckle to adjust the hook and loop because these can dig into your dog's ankles - just think if your own socks had buckles, would you like that?

The key to success with any form of dog footwear is comfort otherwise your dog will not accept wearing these and will likely try and pull them off if they cause them discomfort so dog socks that either sew the hook and loop into the sock or provide the sock straps separately are best. You will not need to have the straps tight if you have the right size; the strap is just there to help.

3) Vet Wrap Works Wonders and Looks Great

How do I keep my dogs socks from falling off?

Another great way to help keep your dog's socks from falling off is to wrap them with some vet wrap, also called cohesive bandage. I am a huge fan of vet wrap because it has many uses so it is always great to keep a few rolls on hand. The beauty of vet wrap is that it is very stretchy, sticks to itself, and is breathable making it ideal for helping to hold dog socks in place. I personally use it and I just wrap a small piece around the outside of the sock mid-ankle and it works beautifully. You don't even need to wrap it tight, just enough to give the socks a little help staying put.

I love using vet wrap also because it does not damage the sock in any way and because of its stretch, it is often more comfortable for your dog than using straps. I also love that you can find it in so many super cute designs like camo making it a fun way to accessorize. It is also very affordable and widely available either through your vet or on sites like Amazon

I have also had some customers share with me that they use the vet wrap underneath the socks with great success claiming that the stickiness of the bandage helps to hold their dog's socks in place. So instead of wrapping the cohesive bandage around the outside of the socks, you could also try placing it around the ankle before putting your dog's socks on.

4) Fold the Tops of the Dog Socks Down

How do I keep my dogs socks from falling off?

If you prefer to not wrap anything around your dog's ankles but find that the dog socks are sliding down you can also try rolling the top of each sock down to make them a little tighter. As I mentioned socks will stretch so this little trick is useful when that stretch has happened and you just need them to be a little more snug in order to keep the dog socks on your dog.

5) Give the Dog Socks Time to Work In

Like with most footwear when you first put it on it can be somewhat stiff. This is the case with our Grippers dog socks, which have a rubber coating covering the enter paw. We designed them this way so that if the sock twists your dog will still have all the grip they need to stay stable on your flooring. The downside of this design is that they are a bit stiff at first and need to be worked in. The more you work in the dog socks the better they typically fit. Also as they stretch out a little bit you will find them much easier to get on your dog. In the case of Grippers, they will actually start to mold to your dog's paws so I recommend always using the same set of socks on the same dog so they adjust to their specific paws. 

When you first put the socks on your dog they will probably walk funny or refuse to walk altogether so getting them walking is the best way for them to forget they are wearing the socks and help to work the socks in. Holding out a treat and walking backward as your dog walks forward is a great way to take their focus away from their feet.

6) Use Only What Your Dog Needs

When it comes to dog footwear less is often more. If your dog is only slipping because of rear leg issues then you may only need to use dog socks on their back paws. The same is true if you are using the socks to prevent licking - if it is only their front paws then I would only put socks on those paws. Your dog is more likely to accept the socks if you are only using what your dog needs. It is also a great way to start getting your dog familiar with having something on their paws without overwhelming them.

So there you have it 6 tips to keep your dog's socks from falling off. In a perfect world with the right fit, you wouldn't need anything but the sock itself, however since every dog is unique sometimes you do need to get creative.

Ann-Marie Fleming is the Founder & CEO of Dog Quality, a provider of innovative assistive products focused on improving the quality of life for older dogs and the families that care for them.

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