Best Dog Boots for Any Occasion

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15 Minute Read
Updated April 11, 2021

Explore the best dog boots Canada for different seasons and reasons. This guide is complete with our top picks and paw care tips.

For many dog owners, the thought of outfitting your dog with a pair of boots doesn’t really cross the mind, but protecting your dog's paws is more important than you think. 

We take our doggos for strolls around our neighbourhoods, through parks and fields, and even on challenging hikes without really worrying about their paws. It’s easy to assume that letting your pooch go bare-paw is appropriate for any and every situation. They’re animals, after all… they don’t have boots for dogs out in the wild!  

However, products like dog socks and high-quality dog boots exist for a reason.

Dog shoes provide a ton of protection for a wide range of circumstances - whether fighting the elements, hiking, or walking on hot pavement or icy sidewalks.  No matter what you and your dog have planned, dog boots can help keep your best furry friend safe while doing so. 

Not to mention, a dog in a pair of winter booties is too cute to handle!

So if you’re considering getting dog boots for your pup, read on for tips and our top picks in terms of function and fashion, so your dog can stay safe while looking awesome, as always.

 

Are Dog Boots Necessary?

You might be thinking to yourself… do dogs need boots? Dogs can benefit from wearing boots in more situations than you might think. From waterproof dog boots to those with reflective trim, there are many variations of dog boots.

While dogs have pretty tough feet, there are definitely some scenarios that call for a nice pair of dog booties! Dog boots can keep their paws protected from severe weather conditions, harsher terrains and the not-so-natural substances like chemicals, fertilizers or other waste that might be left behind by humans. 

We can all agree that the last thing you want to happen when out and about with your doggo is an unexpected injury! That’s why we’ve put together the following guide to outline the different occasions that may warrant a little extra paw protection and our top picks for the best dog boots. But first, let’s go over some basic tips for choosing the right dog boot.

 

Choosing the Best Dog Boots

 

 

With so many dog boot styles available and designed for different needs, it may seem overwhelming for dog owners to choose. Finding dog boots that can stay on can also be challenging.  It’s important to find boots that are comfortable, durable, and provide the right amount of support for the weather or activity.  

Sizing is incredibly important for both protecting your dog’s paw pads and making sure your dog doesn’t take them off or that they don’t slip off by accident.

The best dog boots and booties have: 

    • Some wiggle room for your pup, while still offering the right amount of room 
    • Non-slip soles to keep your doggo safe even on slippery surfaces
    • Are snug (but not tight) around the ankle
    • Have space around your dog’s toes

Dog boots come in a ton of different sizes, and it’s important to remember that one size doesn’t fit all!  Whether you have a huge dog or a petite pup, it’s important to get the size right for the most comfortable and secure fit. 

Some companies measure by weight and size, while others go by foot length. Check out our size guides to help make sure you get a good fit every time. This will surely save you and your dog a lot of headaches and returns! We suggest measuring paw width and paw length to ensure the right fit for your doggo. 

Size and fit aside, you’ll want to consider the purpose of the boot, the type of activities you’ll be doing and other factors. To help you find the right set for your dog, we ranked the best dog boots for a variety of different seasons and activities.

 

Dog Boots for Winter 

The winter season brings some extreme weather, making it tricky to do the usual outdoor activities that you and your dog enjoy together. Not only can they have a harder time getting around on slippery or wet surfaces, but colder temperatures can cause discomfort or pain without the proper protection for their paws. 

Rain, snow and ice can all be harmful as they get stuck between the toes. Other factors that can be dangerous are salt and ice-melting chemicals, which are commonly used during the winter and might not be easy to see while out on a walk.  This is especially problematic as dogs are likely to ingest chemicals when licking their paws.  This can cause serious issues and irritation for your dog!  Keep your dog safe with the best dog winter booties, so you both can enjoy playing outside and walking.

The best dog boots for winter should be water-resistant or water-proof and offer extra grip for ideal traction to keep your doggo from slipping. Because it can take time for your pooch to get used to wearing boots, it’s also important for any type of boots to be flexible and comfortable.

Our Top Pick: Muttluks Snow Mushers

muttluks-blue

For the best dog boots for cold weather, Canada-made Muttluks Snow Mushers are a great choice! They are designed specifically for the colder temperatures and more extreme conditions of winter. They’re made with fleece lining to keep your dog’s paws warm and cozy, as well as durable nylon material that ensures they are built to last. More importantly, they are easy to put on!

Their rubber soles protect the paws from winter terrains such as snow, salt, and ice while providing the right grip to help them move comfortably. They are easy to slip on and off and have a large stretch cuff for a versatile and snug fit that works for any dog.

Some of the features of the Snow Musher that make them extra suitable for winter conditions include the double wrap to keep them in place and a 3M reflective material for visibility. 

For extra protection from cold, snow and water, the Muttluks Muttgators can be added on as a sleeve accessory to protect their legs. These sleeves are water-resistant and made with a convenient velcro strap to easily take them on and off.

 

Dog Boots for Hiking 

Hiking is an exciting activity for both you and your dog. It is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors and get some exercise! Dog boots can help protect your dog’s paws from the different terrains you might encounter while out on a hike. 

The best hiking dog boots should be comfortable, flexible and fit securely! If you’re an avid hiker or plan to go camping with dogs, you’ll also want to make sure your dog’s boots are durable and designed to brave the wear and tear of an active lifestyle.

Our Top Pick: Ruffwear Grip Trex

ruffwear-grip-trex

Ruffwear is an awesome brand that we think offers some of the best dog boots in Canada and all over! Ruffwear Grip Trex is a high-performance dog hiking boot that provides traction and protection for your dog's paws.

These boots are for serious hikers. They are durable and comfortable enough for longer hiking excursions and trail running, even on more challenging terrains.

These boots are designed with breathable mesh to prevent overheating and high traction soles to allow your dog to handle any terrain. It’s made with a gusset-style opening for easy on and off, as well as a hook and loop cinch to keep the boot nice and snug on your dog’s paw.

Shop All Ruffwear Gear

Dog Boots for Summer

If you are used to a more urban setting, then chances are your dog spends a lot of time walking on hot pavement in the summer. We don't often think about how hot sidewalks get because we are protected by our shoes.

In reality, if you took your shoes and socks off and took a walk down the street in mid-August, chances are you wouldn't make it very far before your feet start sizzling. Keep this top of mind the next time you head out for a walk. 

We are always looking for ways to keep our dogs cool, and this should extend to their paws as well.

Our Top Pick: Canada Pooch Hot Pavement Boots

canada-pooch-hot-pavement-boots

Boots for hot weather are different from boots for cooler weather. Instead of being water-resistant, or insulated, Canada Pooch Hot Pavement Boots are designed to be highly breathable and help to retain water. 

This may seem odd, but it can help them keep cool by encouraging evaporation which helps to remove heat from their body, through their paw pads. These are a thinner boot, which makes them quite flexible, but may not be suited for more extreme activities like hiking.

 

Rubber Dog Boots 

If you’re struggling to get your dog in a pair of thicker winter or hiking boots, try starting with an easier, thinner pair like disposable dog boots. These types of boots can still offer protection from hot or cold temperatures, water, dirt, salt or other chemicals that could hurt your dog’s paws. 

They’re typically made from a rubber material and slip on like a sock! This is a great way to get your dog used to the idea of wearing something on their feet while also preventing any unexpected injuries while exploring outdoors.

Our Top Pick: Pawz Rubber Boots

Pawz Rubber Boots

A pawsome option for disposable dog boots is Pawz Rubber Boots. These boots are made with 100% natural and biodegradable rubber material so that they can be safely disposed of after use. However, they can also be reused multiple times so you can make the most out of a single pair. 

Despite being disposable, they’re still designed to be durable and waterproof. Pawz Rubber Boots help protect your dog’s paws from hot pavement, wet surfaces, fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals or salt, and prevent skin allergies or irritations. These are also helpful as a post-surgery or injury boot to keep the paws safe during the recovery process.

 

Dog Boots on a Budget 

If you can’t afford to purchase a different pair of dog boots for every season and occasion, you can opt for a single pair that will work all year round and won’t break the bank. It’s best to pick a durable dog boot that won’t wear out too quickly.

Our Top Pick: Silver Paw Neoprene Boots

Flat-Dogs-139-web

Silver Paw Neoprene Dog Boots are an affordable option that your dog can wear all year long. They’re designed to keep paws protected, warm and secure no matter the terrain or weather. Made with neoprene, elastic and velcro siding, these boots offer an adjustable fit that provides the comfort and stability that your dog needs.

The cool thing about Silver Paw boots is their cutting-edge SilverShield technology. This means each pair of boots is treated with a pet-safe coating that eliminates bacteria that can cause odours, mould and mildew after becoming wet and dirty.

Shop Silver Paw Neoprene Dog Boots

 

Dog Boots for Indoor 

If your dog is one of the few that really enjoys rocking a pair of boots, you might want to treat him to a pair for indoors as well as outdoors. Indoor dog boots can keep your dog’s paws warm while protecting your hardwood floors from scratches at the same time.

Our Top Pick: Canada Pooch Secure Sock Boots

canada-pooch-secure-sock-boot-black-halfset-web

Canada Pooch Sock Boots are as comfortable as they are adorable! They’re made with silicon soles for high traction to keep your dog from slipping and sliding across tile or hardwood floors. They stay snug on your dog’s paws without feeling too tight or uncomfortable.

While not intended for super icy, snowy and freezing winter weather, Sock Boots can be worn outside too! And fortunately, they’re machine-washable to make for easy cleaning if you don’t plan on limiting them to indoor use.

 

Dog Boots for All Weather

Not all dog boots are designed with different weather conditions in mind, but certain ones are! If you’re in search of a versatile boot that your dog can rock during winter, spring, summer and fall, you want to be sure it checks all the boxes to provide the best protection as well as comfortability.

Our Top Pick: Hurtta Outback Boots

hurtta-outback-boot

The Hurtta Outback Dog Boots are designed with any adventure in mind. They are flexible, durable, and comfortable, making them suitable for just about any outdoor activity during any season. They are ideal for casual to moderate hikers and explorers.

These boots are lightweight and breathable for the hotter summer months while still providing protection from rain, sleet, snow, ice and other rough terrains during the winter.

Hurtta boots are designed to handle any terrain with high traction soles and reflective material for visibility on your nighttime outings. They’re also lined with polyester on the inside to keep your dog’s paws warm and dry. 

The versatile nature of Hurtta Outback Boots also makes them one of the best dog boots for large dogs. Hurtta has great options for larger breeds that might not fit into other brands of dog boots.

Hurtta Adventure Gear

 

Water-Resistant Dog Boots

One important feature that dog owners should consider when choosing a dog boot is whether or not they’re water-resistant.  To make the most out of your outdoor adventure, keep your pup’s paws protected against ice, snow, and rain with the best waterproof dog boots. 

Wet paws can be uncomfortable for your pooch in any weather, but especially in cold temperatures. It can also make it more difficult for him to explore safely. Water-resistant or waterproof dog boots can prevent water or ice particles from getting inside the boot and causing major discomfort.

Our Top Picks: Canada Pooch Soft Sheild Boots

canada-pooch-soft-shield-boots-set

We love the Canada Pooch Soft Shield Boots dog boots because they’re made with flexible and soft water-resistant material that will keep your dog’s paws warm, dry and comfortable. They’re designed to keep up with your dog’s adventures during any season and on most terrains. 

Made from 85% polyester and 15% spandex, and 100% polyester lining, these boots are designed for comfort no matter the weather condition.

Canada Pooch Gear

 

My Dog Won’t Wear Boots

No matter how hard you try, some dogs just won’t wear boots. Whether they panic as soon as you pull the boots out of the closet, or if they just run and play so hard that the boots won’t stay on, you need to consider other ways to protect your dog’s paws from the elements. 

Paw waxes can be used to form a protective layer on your dog’s paws. Waxes aren’t a perfect replacement for dog boots, but they may be the only alternative that you have.

Our Top Pick: Musher's Secret Paw Protection Wax

Email-New-700x700-Musher

As an alternative to dog boots or as additional protection, Musher’s Secret Paw Protection Wax is made from food-safe, natural ingredients. This wax is gentle on paws but designed for tough protection from snow, ice, hot pavements, chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides. It can even prevent bug bites.

Mushers Secret

 

Paw Care Tips for Dogs

Your dog’s paws are an easy target for bacteria that can cause odour and infection. Boots are an excellent way to protect your dog’s feet, but there’s more you can do to keep your dog’s paws healthy. 

Clean feet are a vital part of paw care, so whenever your dog’s paws get muddy or wet, make sure to rinse off debris and bacteria, and dry their paws thoroughly. Reducing moisture in between their paw pads can reduce foot odour caused by bad bacteria. 

Cracked and dry pads are at a higher risk of infection and irritation. During dryer seasons, it’s a good idea to use a paw cream or balm, like Reliq Paw Spa Cream, to moisturize your dog’s paw pads.

Here are some other basic paw care tips to remember:

    • Do regular paw checks!

We may not think to check our dogs’ paws after coming in for a long walk or after hiking. However, this is something you don’t want to overlook! Stickers, foxtails, dirt and bacteria can all build up in between your dog’s paw pads and toes, causing discomfort and possibly leading to infection. 

    • Look out for any excessive licking or biting!

Licking or biting of the paws can be an indicator of some kind of injury or irritant! This is when it is extra important to check the paws and clean out any debris that could be causing discomfort. If the licking and biting persist, it’s best to schedule a visit to the vet for a thorough examination.

    • Keep your dog’s paws groomed! 

Regular grooming will help keep your dog’s paws in tip-top shape. When you keep your dog’s toenails short and the hair between the paw pads trimmed, you can reduce the risk of irritants getting stuck in his paws and causing pain or discomfort. 

These Boots Are Made for Doggos

Whether you’re just chillin’ at home, going on a winter walk, or enjoying a summer stroll, dog boots can make your favourite furry friend much more comfortable!  No matter what type of paw protection your dog needs, there’s a dog boot out there to do the job.

As pet lovers, we hate seeing our pups suffering in any way.  Whether it’s protection from the weather, terrain, or other circumstances, dog boots help make you and your dog enjoy your adventure worry-free!

Shop Dog Boots and Socks

How do you keep your dog's paws healthy? Let us know your favourite paw protectors and tips in the comments below!

Written by

Krystn Janisse

Krystn is a passionate pet nutrition enthusiast. She has worked in the pet industry for over a decade and loves to share her passion for animal welfare with others. She loves all animals but is currently channeling some crazy cat lady vibes with her four lovable, but rebellious cats.

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