There’s no doubt that dogs have tough feet – much tougher than your ours, for sure. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t wise (and occasionally necessary) to give your dog’s paws some protection.
The best way to accomplish this is by outfitting your canine companion with a set of high-quality dog shoes, or booties, as they are often called.
There are a gazillion different booties on the market, but most are not very helpful. They’ll either fail to protect your dog’s feet, come off too easily, or frustrate you in countless other ways.
With that in mind, we’ve identified some of the best choices, which should keep your pup’s paws safer and more comfortable during your outdoor adventures.
Best Winter Boots For Large Dogs
1. Muttluks Fleece-Lined Dog Boots
Muttluks Fleece-Lined Dog Boots are great boots that not only protect your dog’s paws and pads, but also help to keep his little tootsies warm, thanks to the luxurious fleece lining.
And to further ensure your dog’s comfort, Muttluks features an adjustable, stretchy leg cuff.
These boots are definitely on the pricey side, but with the variety of color options and several sizes that can even accommodate canines with giant paws, they’re definitely worth your consideration.
- Made with genuine leather soles for maximum comfort
- Fleece inner lining which keeps paws warm and cozy in cold weather conditions
- Muttluks feature self-tightening straps for a secure, trouble-free fit
- Reflective straps provide enhanced visibility when walking in low-light conditions
- Available in black, blue, green, orange, red and pink
By and large, Muttluks were very well-received by most dogs and their owners. They appear to be easy to put on and take off, they help protect paws very well, and owners remark that they look great! While they are not truly waterproof, they are water resistant enough to keep your dog’s feet dry during routine outings over wet or snow-covered ground.
While most owners who tried Muttluks Fleece-Lined Dog Boots rated them positively, many complained about their relatively expensive price tag. Additionally, some owners reported problems with dogs who had intact dew claws.
2. Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Boots
Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Boots are designed to keep your dog’s paws clean, dry and safe, without compromising your dog’s comfort in the process.
Some of the more effective and good-looking boots on the market, these are a great option for dogs who live to hike, run, and explore.
- Molded, recycled rubber soles provide great traction and help keep your dog’s feet dry
- The booties great-looking blue accents will help your pup stand out from the crowd
- Front and back boots are designed differently to provide the best possible fit
- Comes with a free garment bag, so you can just throw them in the washing machine when necessary
Most owners reported that their dog did not mind wearing these shoes and that they proved quite durable over time, especially for more vigorous activities like hiking. Several owners also really appreciated the fact that the front and back shoes feature slightly different sizes for a perfect fit.
Complaints were relatively rare for these boots. However, a few owners found them too difficult to put on their dogs, while a few others experienced shipping or packaging problems (which can happen with any product).
3. Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots
Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots are designed to keep your dog’s feet dry and safe, and they are especially helpful for giving dogs better traction on slippery hardwood and tile floors.
Unlike many other booties, Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots are available in a very wide range of sizes, making them appropriate for tiny little toy breeds as well as their gigantic counterparts.
While other dog booties are designed for frolicking in the snow, the Ultra Paws are lightweight and better suited for quick trips around the block in nicer weather or for inside use. They won’t do much to protect from the cold.
- Wide split seam ensures that these boots are easy to put on and take off
- Dual foam-padded Velcro straps provide a secure, yet comfortable fit
- Machine washable in cold water (hang dry)
- Available in both black and red
Most owners found these booties to perform well, and adequately protect their dog’s paws from hot roads, stick-laden trails and wet grass. Many also found that these booties gave their old, injured or ill dog enough traction to feel confident walking on slick floors.
One of the biggest complaints users expressed related to the lack of a soft liner inside the boot, which led to chaffing in a few cases (something to consider if your dog’s fur is thin). These boots are quite thin, so we don’t recommend them for snow or extreme terrain.
4. Ruffwear Grip Trex All-Terrain Boots
Ruffwear Grip Trex All-Terrain Boots are premium paw protectors that are made for owners and dogs who demand nothing less than the very best.
Specifically designed for the most challenging conditions and terrain, Ruffwear All-Terrain Boots are ideally suited for dogs and owners who like to hike, run, bike, and explore.
- Breathable mesh construction and gusset-based design ensure your dog’s comfort and provide a secure fit
- Vibram non-marking outsoles ensure your dog can get an excellent grip, without compromising comfort
- Reflective trim helps motorists see your dog in dim lighting
- Available in three fantastic-looking colors: Obsidian Black, Blue Spring and Red Currant
The majority of dog owners who tried out Ruffwear Grip Trex Boots loved them, and found that they not only fit their dog well and provided adequate protection, but they look great too! Many owners who’d had problems getting other booties to stay on were delighted with these shoes.
Negative reviews were rather rare for Ruffwear Grip Trex Boots; however, a few owners complained that these boots gave their dog blisters, so proper size selection is certainly crucial.
Dog Bootie FAQs
Do dogs need booties?
Not all dogs need booties, but any dogs who spend extended periods outdoors and traveling across rough terrain might benefit from booties. In the winter, ice melts can burn a dog’s paws and the hot pavement can do the same in the summer, making booties a great choice for extreme climates.
How do I get dog boots to stay on?
The most important element to getting a dog’s boots to stay on is proper fit. Measure your dog’s paws and ensure you have the proper sizing for your pup. Adjustable velcro straps are also helpful for securing your dog’s paws inside the booties.
Are Dog Booties Really Necessary?
Most dogs walk around barefoot their whole life without sustaining a major foot injury, so many pet parents wonder just how necessary booties are.
There are a number of situations when dog booties may be a solid option, including:
1. For Adventurers
The need for rugged outdoor booties depends upon whether your dog is likely to step on a sharp stick, trudge through knee-deep snow or cross a lava-hot concrete parking lot.
If your dog regularly encounters these types of challenges, then booties are probably necessary.
Winter warriors are especially in need of dog booties – not just for snow, but to protect paws against ice melt salts that cover sidewalks and roads in the winter.
2. For Older or Injured Dogs Who Need Traction
Booties provide plenty of value for other dogs too, even those whose rowdiest adventures are limited to walks in well-manicured backyards. For example, boots help many dogs – especially older or sick individuals — get traction on slippery floors.
Boots may also be helpful for protecting injured or infected paws. This includes dogs who have cracked or damaged nails, ripped pads, or even yeast infections of the paw.
3. For Owners Who Want a Clean Home
Booties will also help you keep your floors clean, and prevent your pooch from tracking mud, water, or snow into the house after every trip outside.
You could also use a paw washer to clean off your dog’s paws, but that wouldn’t help much with preventing your pup from slipping and sliding.
4. For Protecting Your Floor
Some owners also find dog boots appealing because they can prevent your dog from scratching up surfaces.
While simply opting for dog-proof flooring to avoid claw marks is probably the best long-term solution, booties can be helpful in short-term situations when you want to stop claws from gouging flooring (for example, visiting the in-laws who just had new hardwood put in).
So, as you can see, while not always strictly necessary, booties are helpful for the majority of dog owners!
Important Considerations When Shopping for Booties
To help distinguish good booties from those you’re better off avoiding, you’ll need to consider several different characteristics of the dog boots in question.
Some of the most important considerations include the following:
You don’t want to walk around wearing the wrong size shoes, so don’t make your dog do it either.
Carefully refer to each manufacturer’s fitting instructions or size guidelines when making your selection – some will require you to trace the outline of your dog’s foot and then measure the drawing to ensure a proper fit.
Easy to Put On
Getting your dog’s booties on and off of his feet can be a frustrating chore, so it’s always wise to seek out booties that are designed to slip on and slip off easily.
Usually, the best dog booties featuring wide split seams are the easiest ones to get on your pup’s paws.
Most booties rely on straps to ensure a snug fit – boots that lack straps are usually very easy for dogs to remove on their own (something your dog will likely attempt to do). You’ll want to ensure that the straps are easy to operate and of high-quality.
Some straps feature Velcro closures, while others use buckles or snap-locks; any of these will work, although Velcro closures are usually the best and easiest to manage.
Durable and Comfortable Materials
Many low-cost booties are made from substandard materials, which will fall apart after only a short period of use, so you’ll always want to be sure that you select boots made from materials befitting your dog’s typical activities.
Additionally, it is important to make sure that the boots are comfortable for your dog’s feet, so give special consideration to those boots with super-soft interiors.
Most good booties should be water-resistant enough to keep your dog’s feet when walking through wet grass for a minute, but only a small number of boots will keep your dog’s feet dry while playing in a creek or trudging through snow for an hour.
Typically boots with greater water resistance will cost more than those that offer less protection, so you’ll want to decide how important water resistance is before making your selection.
Most of the best dog boots feature reflective patches, stripes, or stitching, to help make you more visible to passing motorists. But even if your walks take place miles from the nearest road, reflective booties can make it easier to keep an eye on your pooch, or find him if he runs off.
Dew Claw Complication
Be aware that some booties tend to work better for dogs who have intact dew claws than others. However, thanks to the differences in fit between various booties, and the different builds exhibited by dogs, this can be tricky to determine in advance.
The best way to proceed is by reviewing the comments of owners who’ve already tried the model you prefer.
No, your dog does not care what color his booties are, but you may (doesn’t hot pink go with everything?). And while fashion choices aren’t as important as other considerations, there’s no reason you shouldn’t consider the color and pattern of your dog’s boots, after ensuring they are otherwise well-suited for your pooch.
You might also like to read about: Best Winter Jackets for Small Dogs