This idea came about from a need to protect my dog from getting snowballs all over her fur. Every time she came into the house, I needed to wash off the snow with warm water. Now, when your dogs go outside to use the bathroom every 3-4 hours, that gets to be nearly how long of time out of your day that is spent having to wash off those snowballs. Needless to say, that is a lot of time wasted, money wasted in having to use warm water to wash them off, etc. So I was trying to figure out one day, how possibly could I make sure that I could get the snow to stay off in the first place? I love the idea of snow boots that you can buy from almost every store, to protect their paws from the ice and cold, but what about the legs? That's more than a few inchees that is bare on their body, if like me, you do put a t-shirt on the dog when they go outside to keep them warm. The t-shirt, plus the snow boots would be a start, but again, they would have plenty of bare spots. Now, you can't have a full bodysuit also because then how would they use the bathroom? Then you've got an issue of having to clean that as well. Well, for a male dog, their stomach area can't be covered because they will just ruin the shirt and what's the point of having them go outside to stay clean and dry if you're going to place a shirt on them and get it all soaking wet when they go potty?
I realized that my ankle socks were a perfect height to get my littlest Amber (my model) and the main focus of this idea, covered from foot to body. My first try was to simply use safety pins and place them on the top of the sock and pin them to the shirt. Great idea, but she kept coming out of the sock and would end up just running around the yard with the socks attached, but her legs would still come in covered in snow. Aggravating to say the least. Unless I wanted to use a lot of safety pins in a link fashion, I realized that it would be uncomfortable for her and may even be painful, so I had to think of something different. Her comfort was also a major concern for me. If she couldn't walk properly, was uncomfortable, or it would be painful, I wouldn't do it. Basically thinking that if I wouldn't want use it, why would I make my pets?
|Start with a shoelace. Size depends on dog and how you shall use it.|
|Next, find yourself whichever socks will work for you. I also have baby socks that I can use, but my ankle socks are the best. Get yourself a safety pin and attach it the way the photo shows, to the side of the sock that will face out when you put it on.|
|Next up comes the shirt you want use. Now for the male dogs, you don't need this part. For the males, you can use my other method of attaching the socks, but when you do it the way I started with, you need the shirt to attach a safety pin at the end of the shirt, then you will string the shoelace (or other string) through that pin so that the lace doesn't just fall off their backside.|
|The next couple pics show you how will will thread the lace through the safety pins once on dog. Obviously you'll need four socks ready for this task and only one or two strings. Depends again, how long of lace you're working with and the size of you dog.|
|Now the next two show you how it will look once on your dog. It's hard to see in the images I take with my model, Amber, actually wearing the set up, so I've taken pics of how it will look before it's on her. You see in the pic of the back of the shirt, how I have strung the lace through the safety pin, then tied it up. Simple bow tie works. Then, it can be undone quickly and easily once the dog comes in. Also notice how the second shot shows baby socks. Just wanted to show how to use both, but I typically use all four of my ankle socks, or four baby socks.|
|Here, I am showing what it looks like [with the baby sock] as the sock is on. Notice how the safety pin is on the oustide of the leg. (Note: I am not using a shirt purely for demonstration. I usually have a shirt on her when she goes out in the cold.)|
|Here, I am showing how it looks when it is strung up with the lace, and how it will hold on the legs. Refer to the pics above to see how I've strung it through the safety pin. Notice that the string is strung through the inner part with the safety pin. The second image shows how not to string it simply from the outside. The way the pin is on the sock, and the lace is strung just makes it hold on the leg much easier, and more comfortable (I would assume) for the dog. Plus, it keeps the lace locked against the sock, rather than, as the second image shows, that lace is barely holding part of the sock. More susceptible to ripping the sock and lace that way. (Note: I am not using a shirt purely for demonstration. I usually have a shirt on her when she goes out in the cold.)|
|Here, I am showing what it looks like with my ankle socks, when it's strung up correctly, and how it will hold properly when strung correctly. Notice how secure that pic looks, compared with the way not to do it in the image directly above. Less secure. My girl is an escape artist when it comes to clothes so I have to do things comfortable, yet secure :) (Note: I am not using a shirt purely for demonstration. I usually have a shirt on her when she goes out in the cold.)|
|How it looks all completed. In this instance I've used the baby socks and two shirts since it was so cold outside. See how the socks cover her legs up completely.|
Final product. Video of her outside with everyone in the outfit shown in the last picture. Tried adding images of the dreaded "snowballs" that get stuck on her legs, but pictures aren't uploading, so you can see them in the vid on Chewbacca as he plays.
I should point out the variations for this are to use longer socks (bigger also) for a bigger dog, if you want to. As with my Australian Shepherd, I only have to check her pads when she comes inside from using the bathroom, but other than that, she don't have problems with snowballs usually. However, if I wanted, I could use my knee-high socks on her in the same fashion. With that comes the third method of doing this for the dogs. Use the same method as what I use above, but use longer shoelaces and cross them across the body. I do that for Chewbacca. Same entire method, but you don't need the t-shirt and you make an X across the back of the dog, with the laces.