Do Dogs Really Need Boots?

April 28, 2020 // 6 minute read

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Have you seen those clips of dogs wearing boots that walk funny? They are one of my absolute favorite videos online. Funny as it may be, some people ask me if dogs really need boots. In this article, we will discuss which dogs need to wear boots and what benefits these boots can provide for your dog. If you have been struggling with the idea if your dog needs boots, you’re in the right place.

dog wearing protective dog booties

Types and Uses of Dog Booties

The main reason that we let their dogs wear boots is for protection. Dog boots are made with high-quality material that can protect your dog from almost any harm. There are a lot of other situations that you might need your dog to wear booties. Here are some examples:


Active people with active dogs often go hiking. Along the trail, there may be harmful elements that may cause injury to your dog’s paws and limp for days. Dog boots are essential to these hiking dogs so they may go about their hike freely. There are dog boots that are made for hiking and other outdoor activities


As the cold can cause discomfort for your hands and feet, so can it cause the same discomfort with your dogs. There are snow dog boots made specifically to keep your dog’s feet warm and make them comfortable in the snow. Although there are some dogs like Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes that may not need these boots as they are made to be sled dogs that can keep up with the cold weather.

Hot Pavement

If you are like me and live in a state where the summers get really hot, you might need to get your dog some boots to protect his paws from the hot pavement that we walk on during this season. Most boots are made with protective rubber soles that can avoid to your pooch’s precious paws.


As dogs grow older, their bodies start to deteriorate and make it hard for them to walk on different types of surfaces. This can be very problematic for you and your dog if not managed properly. Non-stick soles are equipped on some dog boots that can help your dog walk around while recovering from illness.

Dog Booties: Pros and Cons

For a long time now, the dog world including owners, trainers, and veterinarians have been debating on whether dog boots are essential for dogs or not. Whatever the answer is, there are some pros and cons to wearing dog booties.


Allowing your dog to wear dog boots in certain conditions may be beneficial in the long run. It can avoid injuries long-term injuries that would make it harder for your furry friend. Here are the advantages of wearing dog boots:

  • Provides protection for rough terrain
  • Keeps paws warm in winter
  • Offers additional comfort for longer walks
  • Contribute to the stability of older dogs
  • Gives active dogs additional traction when running


While wearing dog boots makes total sense, there are some downsides to having your dog wear dog boots.

  • Some dogs may never adapt to wearing booties
  • Makes it uncomfortable to walk in if you get the wrong size
  • Can get too hot for the dog’s paws

One of the most common problems seem to have with dog boots is finding the right size. Measuring your dog’s paws before purchasing one of these booties can really solve this problem. Read more on how to measure your dog’s paws.

Alternatives to dog booties

If your dog is not adapting to the idea of the boots, there are some items that can help you if you think your dog really needs to wear boots. Here are some of them

Disposable dog booties

These kinds of booties are only good for a couple of uses. They fit like a sock that can easily be put on and taken off. If your dog is not too keen about wearing boots with velcros and zippers, this is the best alternative for you. Another use for these booties can be for those who have had surgery on their paws to protect it from being gnawed on by your pooch.

Commercial Wax and Invisible Boot

Commercial wax such as Musher’s Secret that was made for sled dogs is a good alternative for paw protection in any season. This was is applied on the paws of your pooch to protect it from the cold and hot pavements. The invisible boot, on the other hand, is a cream-based product that is applied to the paws of your dog to protect it from road salts and ice and snow on the road. Both of these are good alternatives if your dog does not like the feeling of wearing dog booties.

DIY Remedies

If you are in a tight spot and cannot get a hold of any of the alternatives above, one thing you can try is using petroleum jelly or Crisco. Unbelievable, right? However, these household items can be somewhat a good alternative to protect your paws from elements of the road. These items should only be used sparingly for the petroleum jelly can make your pup’s paws more vulnerable to harsh elements. Licking their paws even before you’ve left the house is also a potential issue. Who can blame them though?

These alternatives can assist you only on normal walks and weather issues. If you are thinking of going on a hike with one of these alternatives, then you’re in for a wild ride. Actual dog boots for hiking provide support for your dog’s paws and legs that these alternatives do not have. Plus, you won’t get to see your dog walk funny like these adorable pooches in this video.

Are dog boots for you?

Dog boots are not for everyone. I would recommend dog boots for those who have very active dogs that like taking a hike and doing other outdoor activities. These are also perfect for dogs who need a little help with therapy to give them more traction as they walk. Dog booties are not for fashion. Some dogs will not appreciate the boots no matter how much they need them. If you need help picking out what the best boots for paw protection are, click here.

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