The 10 Best Dog Booties

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This wiki has been updated 31 times since it was first published in September of 2015. If you want to bring your canines along on all outdoor adventures — from hikes in the snow to beach walks on hot sand — it's important to protect their paws from extreme temperatures and sharp objects. These dog boots should keep pups comfortable while they trek by your side. We've included shoes for several climates, and in a range of styles, for nearly any activities you have planned. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Ruffwear Grip Trex

2. Bark Brite All Weather

3. Ultra Paws Shoes 303

Editor's Notes

January 26, 2020:

We wanted to create a list that would provide paw protection for canines of every size, shape, and activity level, as well as those that might travel with their owners between different climates and terrains. The Healers Paw Protection caught our attention due to their anti-bacterial fabric lining and quick-drying mesh, which should keep Fido's digits cozy under most conditions. The Ruffwear Grip Trex also got a spot because of their good traction and breathable fabric that manages to keep dirt out, making them ideal for hiking.

We removed the Pawz Disposable because the material is quite thin and they provide almost no cushioning or abrasion resistance. Additionally, we eliminated the Muttluks Fleece Lined to make room for the Bark Brite All Weather, which boast the same great features of a soft, warm lining and quality traction, but add the benefit of the reflective strips for nighttime visibility.

Should style be a priority, perhaps because you want something to match Spotty's rain jacket, we wanted to include some fashionable pairs, too, so the Winsoon Australia Sneakers made the list with their Ugg-like design. We eliminated the Petacc Paws Protector because we preferred a different set of shoes from the same brand — the Petacc Outdoor — which still provide plenty of protection from the elements, while also looking quite sharp.

Special Honors

Saltsox Lavasox Marina Blue If you live with your pets in a particularly warm climate, then you'll appreciate that these booties contain a heat barrier in the soles to keep paws safe on hot asphalt and other road surfaces. Meanwhile, their mesh material should let Fido's paws breathe, while the stretch Velcro straps allow you to get a comfortable fit on your pet. Plus, they're soft and flexible for easy movement.

4. Canine Equipment Ultimate

5. Expawlorer ES001

6. My Busy Dog Anti-Slip

7. Healers Paw Protection

8. Petacc Outdoor

9. Qumy Winter Shoes

10. Winsoon Australia Sneakers

Protecting Your Pooch And His Paws

Imagine your furry best friend having to do the same thing.

Imagine yourself walking on rough terrain in your bare feet in the middle of summer with the sun beating down on the pavement. Not only could the rough ground scratch and injure the skin on the bottom of your feet, but your feet would practically get burnt to a crisp, as well.

Alternatively, imagine yourself walking on that same area of terrain in the middle of December with the ground half frozen. Your feet could still fall victim to sharp objects, and they'd probably feel like icicles within less than a block or so. The point is that you wouldn't exactly venture out into public in your bare feet for very long unless you were on the beach. Imagine your furry best friend having to do the same thing. If you plan on protecting your own feet with a nice pair of shoes or boots, why not do the same for your dog with a pair of pet booties?

Many pet owners consider dog boots as both a practical and functional solution for paw protection in the same way a shoe or boot protects a human foot. It's not just about being stylish or fancy, even though lots of dog boots certainly look attractive.

Commonly made from either rubber, fabric, or plastic, dog booties offer a substantial degree of protection and insulation for your pup's paws that not only help to shield them from the elements, but also to protect their sensitive areas from injury. Consider the anatomy of a dog's paw. While it's a bit thicker than the skin at the bottom of a person's foot, that doesn't mean your pet is any less vulnerable to injury.

Let's revisit the image of walking on an icy road once more. Cold and icy pavement can actually become painful as well as numbing over time. Icy pavement can also cause slippage, whereas dog boots will deliver additional traction to ensure that Fido stays safe and well-balanced. If a neighborhood uses chemical de-icers on the ground, these can irritate the paws and potentially be toxic to your dog.

Although booties have become synonymous with over-attentive pet owners, they also provide a practical application when it comes to other activities like dog sledding or mushing. In fact, dog booties are often required for these types of races and teams typically carry a total of eight booties per dog. One of the requirements of the Iditarod dog sled race is that all racing dogs are equipped with booties for the rough racing trail. This would make sense considering that, like human shoes, booties wear out over time with heavy use, particularly after extended sled races. Today, some dog boots are even designed to be disposable.

A Brief History Of Dog Boots

Although there is debate about the exact origin of the first dog boots, it's a pretty safe bet that protective paw gear has been around since the time dogs were first domesticated and used to pull sleds by humans nearly 3,000 years ago. Boots may have been constructed in rudimentary form by early Native American tribes as well, but this was done to protect sled dogs from thinning their paw pads.

Dog shoes started to become more popular pet accessories by the 1990s with the invention of particular brands of dog shoes. For example, animal lover Marianne Bertrand founded a Canadian, home-based business in 1994, which she called Muttluks. Since that time, Marianne's business has evolved into the production of all kinds of dog booties and other accessories that include coats, beds, and even paw balms.

Continuing the popularity and ease of application for this product, dog booties have also come to serve healing purposes in modern times, using Vancouver resident Terri Entler and her German Shepherd as an example among many others.

Fit Your Pooch Properly

Let's face it: dogs get into a lot of strange things and it can get messy. For that reason, dog boots should be durable and easy to clean. Many brands are easily machine-washable, so take this into account when making an investment to protect your pooch's four paws.

Bright colors will almost always stand out, so definitely look for boots in primary colors like reds and blues, particularly if you want to be able to keep track of your dog wherever he or she may roam in the snow.

For that reason, dog boots should be durable and easy to clean.

Reliable traction is a big consideration for a pair of dog boots, as well. As many boots are constructed from grooved rubber, this type of material delivers excellent traction when the streets become slick in the winter. Such materials will keep your pooch well-grounded and balanced.

One must also consider how easy it will be to put on and remove a chosen pair of dog boots. For this reason, it's important to size your dog accordingly to ensure their paws and toenails will fit comfortably inside the boots themselves. Also, any boots that come with extra Velcro fasteners will be helpful for ensuring that paws stay snug and secure within the boots.

Prepare for some resistance. We can't stress this enough. Dogs are creatures of habit, so when they're introduced to something unfamiliar, they may not take to it at first. Boots are no exception, especially if your dog has never worn them before. There will be a learning curve, but the good news is that your dog will eventually adapt.

Brett Dvoretz
Last updated by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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