Our dogs are big-hearted, lovable friends who truly understand the joy of living. From indoor snuggles to outdoor romps, we love our time with them. We want the absolute best for them. And one of those “best” things: dog boots, to keep them safe, comfortable, and protected. All dog boots are sized differently, so ensure a good fit by measuring according to each manufacturer’s specific sizing guide, but make sure you’re not ignoring his need. Dogs feet are more calloused and have much thicker skin than ours; but they’re not Hobbits. They will still need the occasional protection from the elements.
For tips on how to keep your dog safe in winter, read a guide by Release the Hounds on winter precautions every parent owner should remember.
We reviewed dozens of dog boots to identify the best of the best and found that there’s a dog boot for every canine: ultra-lightweight silicone shoes for slip-and-sliders, doggy rain boots for pups with a serious aversion to wet paws, anti-skid shoes for active dogs who need protection from outdoor dangers, and insulated boots for pooches who spend time in the harsh conditions of a frosty winter.
While researching boots for dogs, one set stood out among its peers as the obvious choice for our top pick honor. The CovertSafe Non-Slip and Waterproof Dog Boots are an ideal set for your dog, no matter your need. They’re comfortable, waterproof, and come with a durable and flexible sole that lets your pup go with you virtually anywhere.
The 5 Top-Rated Dog Boots
|Best Overall||CovertSafe Non-Slip and Waterproof Dog Boots||4.4|
|Runner Up||Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots||4.0|
|Best Budget Buy||WINSOON Australian-styled Antiskid Dog Shoes||4.0|
|Best Waterproof Dog Boots||QUMY Waterproof Dog Boots||4.3|
|Best Dog Hiking Boots||Ruffwear Grip Trex, All-Terrain Paw Wear for Dogs||4.0|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: CovertSafe Non-Slip and Waterproof Dog Boots
My Busy Dog Water Resistant Dog Shoes are rugged, waterproof dog boots that employ tough, anti-slip soles to provide your pup with added traction and stability, as well as protection from environmental hazards like hot pavement, frigid snow (and irritating salt), and even sharp thorns. The boots are sewn, not glued together, to ensure superior performance and longevity. We also like the reflective Velcro closure, which makes for a tight fit and easy on/off for your four-legged friend.
Beyond the rugged durability, you’ll also appreciate the look. The boots are red with black accents, making them one of the most stylish options around. You’ll also have more sizes to choose from than most of these boots’ competitors offer: an all-encompassing seven different sizes.
There are an impressive number of customer reviews for these boots on Amazon, over 1,100 and that makes the rating all the more trustworthy, as well. 4.4 stars is very high. Plus, taking the number of handy features and high quality in mind, the price of $26 is certainly a fair one.
My Busy Dog Water Resistant Dog Shoes Key Features:
- 7 sizes: Sizes 2-8
- Color: Black and red
- Set of 4 boots
Our Runner Up Pick: Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots
Keep your dog’s paw pads safe and protected from extreme heat or cold, as well as harsh surfaces, thanks to CovertSafe Non-Slip and Waterproof Dog Boots. We love the inclusion of foam comfort pads, which help keep your dog comfortable and the boots securely wrapped around his paws. Add the easy-to-adjust closures and non-slip soles, and you have a recipe for dog boots that perform well indoors and out, in cold and hot conditions.
If you’re worried about the sizing for your purchase, the listing includes a thorough description of how to make the right selection for your dog. And with five size options available to you, the chances are good that you’ll be able to find a perfect fit.
With a 3.8 star rating, supported by over 1,500 customer reviews, you have every reason to assume you’d be one of the vast majority of satisfied customers should you choose to purchase these boots. And your puppy’s warm and dry feet with thank you.
Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots Key Features:
- 1 size: Large
- Set of 4 boots
- Color: Black
Best Budget Pick: WINSOON Australian-styled Antiskid Dog Shoes
If your pup likes to be cozy, then he’ll love the WINSOON Australian-styled Antiskid Dog Shoes. Lined with the softest fleece, they’re super warm and plush – perfect for cold winters – and sport rubber soles to provide guaranteed anti-skid traction, even in icy conditions. It’s fashion and function, in one comfortable experience for your pooch.
You won’t want to get these for your large breed, full-grown dog, but for a puppy or a smaller breed dog, there’s plenty of range in size to fit them just so. They’re set for a perfect winter boot and you can even pick a color that will match your own winter boots.
There is plenty to love about the numbers that go along with these boots. It has an overall rating of 4.0 stars on Amazon with right around 400 customer reviews. And that’s not even the best number related to these boots. You can snag a pair for just $17!
WINSOON Australian-styled Antiskid Dog Shoes Key Features:
- 15 sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
- Colors: Black, Dark Brown, Light Brown, Pink
- Set of 4 shoes
Best Waterproof Dog Boots: QUMY Waterproof Dog Boots
Tired of wiping your dog’s muddy feet or coaxing him out on a cold winter’s day? Enter the QUMY Waterproof Dog Boots. The molded rubber bottoms are non-slip and waterproof – a must during slick and wet winters – and they’re also rugged enough to ward off warm-weather problems, like hot pavement or sharp thorns. The easy on/off design also makes it simple to secure a good fit, and the reflective Velcro can be a literal life-saver when walking your pup at night.
They come with a cute paw embroidered along the side of each the four boots and you’ll have your choice of black or red. They’re easily washed by hand and air dried, so you can wash them in your sink or just hose them off and let them lie on the drive to drive – your call.
With nearly a thousand customer reviews on Amazon and an overall rating of 4.3 stars, you can trust the accuracy of the rating and the quality of the boots. And they’re available for right around $25.
QUMY Waterproof Dog Boots Key Features:
- 5 sizes: Size 4: 2.5”x 1.9”, Size 5: 2.7”x 2.2”, Size 6: 2.9”x 2.5”, Size 7: 3.1”x 2.7”, Size 8: 3.3”x 2.9”
- Colors: Black or Red
- Set of 4 boots
Best Dog Hiking Boots: Ruffwear Grip Trex, All-Terrain Paw Wear for Dogs
Ruffwear is a big name in the dog shoe industry, and for good reason. Ruffwear Grip Trex, All-Terrain Paw Wear for Dogs sets the standard for pup-friendly booties that blend comfort and performance. These durable boots are rugged and resilient, providing protection and traction on all terrains, but they’re also supremely comfortable, thanks to flexible mesh that keeps debris out while remaining breathable, even during hot summer months.
You can slip them on easily and secure them safely with the adjustable Velcro straps and they definitely get bonus points for the reflective trim, so you can keep an eye on your dog, even at night. Which is a big safety feature that you’ll really appreciate around dusk and dawn or should he get away from you and you need to find him.
There are just under 200 customer reviews on these boots and that’s plenty enough to build your trust in the overall rating of 4.0 stars. And consider how much your hiking boots are compared to his; you can pick up these tough addition to his wardrobe for just around $40.
Ruffwear Grip Trex, All-Terrain Paw Wear for Dogs Key Features:
- 8 sizes: 1.5” to 3.25”
- 3 colors: Obsidian Black, Blue Spring, Red Currant
- Available as sets of 2 or 4 booties
Who Should Buy Dog Boots
If dog boots sound like an unnecessary accessory for your four-legged friend, think again: today’s dog shoes are extremely useful, whether your senior dog has traction troubles or your super-active pup runs until his tender paw pads bleed. Every day and every season, keep your dog’s paws dry, warm, and well protected, whether your adventures send you hiking into the mountains or just sitting by the fireside. if your dog doesn’t like going outside in the rain, dog boots can be incredibly useful – especially paired with a good dog raincoat.
In order to take your dog with you hiking, or running (even in the park), you’ll want to look carefully at some sort of protection for his feet. His paws are evolutionary designed to tolerate natural ground and, should you consult the habitat of his wolf-y ancestors, you’ll find they didn’t venture too far into mountain territory if they could help it, either. Nor were they beach-goers. So if you’re expecting your dog to walk on anything from icy cement to hot sand, rocky terrain or a hot boardwalk, he’ll need protection. He can’t tell you when he’s uncomfortable, you have to know your dog and his limitations and no matter how tough you think he is, there are conditions which he simply cannot handle. You love your dog and part of the responsibility of caring for him is giving him the protection he needs.
Beyond protection, there’s a matter of your dog and home’s cleanliness that dog boots will greatly improve. Your dog has to go outside for his bathroom needs; that’s not his fault, nor is it yours. It doesn’t change when it rains or is muddy, either. And if you want to avoid giving your pup a bath or thoroughly wiping his paws every time he goes outside, a pair of rain boots is absolutely the best wait to avoid destroying your home.
Important Features to Consider
Dog Boots should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a set of boots for your dog:
- Soft soled. If you need to offer your dog some protection from the weather but maybe not necessarily a rough terrain, a soft soled shoe will be more than enough for your pup. In fact, a soft sole may be the only type of boot your dog will wear. The balance changes ever so slightly when you put a hard sole on your feet and it’s the same for a dog. A dog, though will have a much more difficult time reasoning the why of it, and as such, may just think he’s not supposed to walk with the boots on. Each dog’s struggle will be different but softer soled boots may help ease that struggle some.
- Shoes. Of course whatever boot or shoes you put on your dog will be adorable. It goes without saying. Anytime you put traditionally human attire on a dog, it’s funny or cute or both. Putting shoes on him will get him compliments and make you enjoy the shoes as well. If you’re going to give your dog some protection, give him that protection mixed with some style; some human style. You can even get him shoes that match yours, if you’re into that sort of thing. We also like the idea of a dog with even better style than his owner.
- Velcro, bungees and zippers. Dogs have four feet. That’s twice as many shoes as you have and it makes absolute sense that you won’t want to tie his shoes every time you put them on him. No matter how well trained your dog is, he’ll never be able to put those boots on himself. So anything you can do to make the process easier or faster is a win. Velcro, bungees, or zippers will be your best bet for closures. But you’ll also want to keep in mind how secure they fasten in relation to your dog’s personality. If he’s an active dog or particularly stubborn, he may get those shoes off before you get out the door. A bungee will be the easiest for him to get off, and zipper close behind. A Velcro strap that is tightened and then secured will be the most secure of the three, but even better would be some combination of these.
- Winterized. If you’re buying the boots to keep your dog warm, you’ll want those boots lined with something warm. Heat escapes from your dogs feet so you need insulation to prevent that. (Keep in mind, heat won’t be released as easily as it is through your feet because of his calloused paws, but it can still escape some and the sensitive skin in between his toes is much more vulnerable to cold, particularly if snow or water gets between his toes.) Fleece is a popular and effective lining in dog boots and fur is another alternative that will keep him warm. Added bonus for fur (or faux fur) lines boots is that you can get him to match you and that way you’ll know if your feet are cold, his are likely cold, as well.
- Waterproof. The element your dog will need his boots to give protection from the most will probably be water; in one form or another. Of course he’ll need the protection from the puddles and rain, but keep in mind those aren’t the only form of water to contend with. Ice and snow will melt, if only just slightly under your dog’s step. If he doesn’t have a waterproof boot on his paws, then his feet will get wet. Wet will lead to cold and tracking in what is very likely dirty wet feet, so best to just avoid it altogether.
- Hiking. A hiking boot for a dog means a harder sole; maybe not hard but at least a durable and flexible rubber. Something that will allow your dog the ability to grip onto uneven surface without piercing it is what you’re looking for in the sole of a hiking boot. You will want the boots to breath well, because you may be working up quite a sweat and since he doesn’t sweat, you won’t want to completely eliminate one of the ways heat escapes his body. That being said, just as you’d benefit from a bit of protection, your dog may appreciate a bit of padding to keep the debris you encounter from hurting him. A thicker, padded mesh that will allow air to escape and still keep anything falling from damaging his feet is ideal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are dog boots and how do they work?
Dog boots are, just as the name suggests, boots for dogs. There are several types, but they all have the same intent: to protect your dog’s paws. (And maybe looking adorable is a really nice benefit, too.) You can use a soft soled boot for just creating a barrier between the ground and your dog, and a rugged sole will make him better able to join you on your hike. If you live in an apartment and take him on walks as his exclusive way to go potty, he’ll need rain boots. They even make fur-lined boots for him to enjoy the long winter months without freezing. No matter what type you get him, though, you’ll want to find a way to secure the boots to his paws. He’ll need them looser to slip them on easily, but in order to keep them on, you’ll need to find a way to tighten the tops. Velcro, zippers, and bungees will likely be your options and each have their own pros and cons. You may need to try and see what works best for your dog.
Do dogs really need boots?
Whether your dog needs dog boots is dependent on his lifestyle. If he goes outside only to potty in inclement weather or if you live in a temperate climate, then maybe not. But for the answer to be “no” when the weather isn’t always perfect, he’ll have to do his business right outside the door and come right back in for cold temperatures and snow. (And we all just love when our dog poops on the porch, so this is maybe still not a definitive no.) Even in this scenario, though, you may have mitigating circumstances that will require boots for your pup. If the cold ground has been treated to prevent ice, there’s a good chance that can cause burns for your dog’s paws. Even just salt can cause pain and discomfort for your dog.
For hot weather, unfortunately there’s no real way for the answer to be “no, they don’t need boots.” The sun can and will heat the ground, and unless the only surface he’s walking on is a shaded grass, there’s no way to guarantee his feet aren’t burning while he’s walking. Even if you think he’s fine; even if he’s acting fine, his feet may still be burning. Dogs don’t always show discomfort the same ways humans do – you have to take preventative steps to protect him without him telling you to do so. The bottom line is that your dog will probably need them at some point and almost definitely could benefit from having them sometimes.
How do I get my dog to wear boots?
It’s not a natural feeling to wear boots if you’ve spent your whole life barefoot. If you are familiar with it, even toddlers walking with and without shoes and trip all over when they adjusted from one to the other, and the same will be the case for dogs. You’ll probably need to do a bit of convincing to get your dog to wear his boots. As with any dog training, your main tool will be a surplus of treats and rewards. You can start by just rewarding him for looking at or smelling his boots. This will give him the idea that, “Boots mean good things!” Then next step is one boot at a time. Try one on for short bursts of time – without tightening the closure (zipper, Velcro, or bungee). Reward him well for each attempt and don’t push it. Even if he’s doing great, don’t do more than one the first go and don’t tighten it. Repeat this process with each additional boot and make sure you’re giving him plenty of praise once you get all four boots on. And repeat the praise pattern by fastening one boot at a time, too. Lots and lots of treats and rewards will help this process and when you finally get to the point where all four boots are on and secured, let him play a bit inside before making trips outside. As with any convincing, you start with baby steps. Short trips and lots of rewards is the key to convincing your dog to wear the boots without resistance.
What temp do dogs need boots?
There isn’t a definitive temperature that all dogs will need boots to be out in. The truth is, different dogs have different tolerances. A big, beefy mastiff may not need to put on their boots as quickly as a chihuahua. But they will both need boots at some point. You may need to do a bit of trial and error to make sure your pup can handle it and when in doubt, it’s probably better to err on the side of caution. Furry feet will collect ice between the toes and drop their body temperature, if not also cause frost bite. Short haired breeds will not have any barrier to the hot ground; the wood of a deck or board walk, pavement, black top, even sand, become dangerous for them to walk on at certain temperatures.
If the temperatures are freezing, he’ll need boots to be in it for more than just a few moments. That means the low temperature you’ll need to get boots on your dog is roughly 32 degrees F. Due to the ability of direct sunlight to heat a surface higher than air temperatures, there isn’t a temperature we can tell you that will be too hot. If the temperature feels hot to you, then you’ll need to test the ground to see. If you can hold your hand on the ground for seven seconds or more, then it’s okay for your dog to walk on it for a bit (but that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be comfortable, so bear that in mind).