Is your dog new to wearing shoes?

1. Make sure your dog's nails are trim before wearing Air Pups. Too long of nails will prevent a secure fit and may cause discomfort for your dog. 

2. Start slowly. Allow your dog to sniff the shoes and reward with a treat and praise. Each time your dog shows interest in the shoes, more treats and praise. The purpose of this exercise is to desensitize your pup to the sight, sounds (opening and closing the velcro straps), and smell of Air Pups while creating a positive association (shoes = treats). 

3. Once your dog becomes familiar with the shoes, put two shoes on the front paws only. Allow your dog to take a few steps in the shoes while giving lots of treats and praise. It is normal for your dog to walk funny in the beginning. Your pup is not used to not being able to feel the ground beneath their paw pads. Don't worry, this reaction will lessen with time. 

4. Try to distract your pup from the new sensation of wearing shoes with treats or their favorite toy and get your pup to walk around the house for 5-10 minutes before ending the first session. If your dog seems overwhelmed after a few minutes, stop for today and try again tomorrow. It is important not to overwhelm your pup and to keep the training sessions short. 

5. Once your pup responds well to having two shoes on the front paws only, add the back shoes, and again give treats and praise. If your pup attempts to take them off with his or her mouth, we recommend keeping your dog on a leash and guiding him or her on these short training walks. Repeat these training sessions every day for a week before going on your first walk. 

6. Just as humans have to break in their shoes, dogs do, too. Walks in Air Pups should be built up slowly so your pup can get used to wearing shoes, break the shoes in, and reduce the chance of hot spots or irritation. We recommend using dog socks or boot liners for added comfort. 

7. Remember that patience is key. Your investment into training your dog to wear shoes now will pay dividends in the health and well-being of your pup. 

There is no right way to put on a set of Air Pups. However, here are some tips that may make putting them on your dog a little bit easier:

1. Have your dog lay down on his or her side. Winston has two spots he goes to when I tell him it is time to put his shoes on: the bed or the couch. Having him elevated makes it easy for me to bend down, open the shoe's gusset, grab his paw, and slide on his Air Pups effortlessly. 

If your dog is not used to wearing shoes, he or she may not be comfortable lying down while you put shoes on, and thats OK! Air Pups can be put on your dog's paws just as easy while they are standing up. Using the weight of your dog as they step into the shoe may also be helpful to make sure their paw reaches the bottom of the shoe. 

2. Undo the straps, open the gusset all the way, and pinch the top of the shoe. This creates a large opening so you can use one hand to handle your dog's paw, and the other to put on the Air Pup. 

3. Once your dog's paw is inside the shoe, gently twist the shoe back and forth to make sure your dog's nails reach the end of the toe box. Gently press down on the toe box to make sure it is not hollow and your pup's paws reach the bottom. 

4. Once the paw is in place, secure the bottom strap first, then the top strap.

5. Please note that the fit and flexibility of Air Pups will improve with each wear as your dog breaks them in and they mold to your pup's paws. If you have any questions regarding the size or fit, please don't hesitate to contact us at info@airpup.com