Dog shoes: Are they really worth it?

From $420,000 dog houses to a $1.8 million dollar dog leash, dogs sure have been loved over the years. We will do anything and everything to protect our dogs and give them the best life possible, however how far is too far? Am I becoming obsessive? Would my dog love me any less if they had a cheaper leash or a cheaper bed? That’s why in this article we tackle the question of the century - Dog Shoes: Are they really worth it? 

The majority of people believe that dog shoes are purely for looks (I thought that too before doing my research). However surprisingly dog shoes can benefit your dog depending on his or her lifestyle. 

infographic explaining how to find the perfect dog shoe

Active Dogs and Shoe Wearing

If your dog accompanies you on mountain hikes, hunting sessions or even biking trips then you should definitely consider purchasing some dog shoes. These particular activities can prove to be dangerous to your dog, especially because unlike horses or cows, dogs have soft feet. This softness enables  him or her to get hurt as a result of the rough terrain and things such as sharp rocks and branches. Your dog’s pads may get cut, wear out and become painful, they can also slip on wet rocks and even get sore after sprinting on hard terrain like concrete or pavement. Your dog will thank you for it. 

Older Doggos

The older dogs get, the more their paws and back begin to show signs of age. This may include back pain and or discomfort and even sensitivity to that region. Due to this wear and tear, dogs may also be subject to hip issues. Dog shoes can help. This is because they provide extra cushioning and support. As older dogs drag their feet, dog shoes can help them protect their toes. 

Keep Your Dog Cool Throughout The Summer Months 

Walking on hot pavement during the summer months can absolutely hurt your dog. Thankfully with dog shoes, their cute little doggy paws are protected and are kept cool. They’re great even when you want to take a tip as they allow your dog to grip. However, not every dog shoe can be used in the pool, it is important to find waterproof dog shoes with slip protection. This so that that your pool liners don’t tear. 

A little chilly in it? 

Just as your dog can get hot in the summer months, they can also get very cold in the winter months. Dog shoes can prevent snow buildup between your dog’s paws which can turn to ice and cut the webbing between their toes or even scrape and hurt their pads. Dog shoes can also prevent your dog from slipping and sliding on ice. 

Keep Your Home Spic and Span 

Not only do they look stylish, keep your dogs tootsies safe, warm and cool but they can also keep your humble abode nice and clean. If you’re a homeowner with hardwood floors or any other scratchable floor coverings, you’ll know that your dog’s nails can cause a lot of damage. Dog shoes can fix this problem. Dogs actually don’t know the difference between soaking, muddy paws and clean ones. As a result, they can come gleefully bouncing into your home, spreading muck and dirt around your house. 

Now I know what you’re gonna say, why can’t I just wipe my dog’s feet after being outside. Well, there’s only so much you can do and usually you miss spots. Waterproof shoes are obviously removable, enabling you to remove them prior to your dog entering the house, preventing damage and or mess. 

How do I know that dog shoes are the right choice for me? 

Although I have given you some reasons why dog shoes may be for you and your precious pooch, it’s ultimately up to you to decide as to whether or not they are for you and your dog. It’s important to ask yourselves the following questions:

  1. Is my dog regularly exposed to hot and cold weather?
  2. Does my dog have health issues?
  3. Is my dog older?
  4. Does my dog make a mess in the house?
  5. Do I take my dog out on hot days?
  6. Do I take my dog for outdoor activities? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it's probably time to get a pair (or two) of dog booties!

When do you put on your dog shoes?

So you’ve decided on the dog shoes. Now it's time to make the most out of them and ask yourself where to wear them. If you’re taking your dog for a car ride or even to a dog park, it isn't necessary to wear them. But if you’re going on a hike or even if its super cold or hot outside, it may be best to wear them. Consider this guide:    

1. If your dog will be walking through an area where salt has been spread to melt the ice they should have dog boots on. This salt can get stuck between their paws and be quite painful.

2. If the snow is cold enough that it squeaks when you walk on it.  

3.  If your dog is trying to keep his paws off the ground as much as possible.   

4. If you can’t walk your dog without wearing gloves, earmuffs, and other winter accessories then your dog likely needs winter accessories too.

Which dog shoes should I buy?

So it’s time to go shopping. Which pair of dog shoes should I settle on? Keep these factors in mind:

  • The best dog shoes are water resistant. Even if you don’t plan on taking them swimming or through wet terrain, they’ll protect your pet from rain.
  • The sole should be textured and rugged. This not only ensures they’ll be slip resistant but it ensures they’ll last as long as possible.
  • According to vet Dr. Marty Becker, proper fit is essential. Follow the manufacturer’s sizing instructions.
  • Reflective Velcro helps assure your dog can be seen by motorists and other pedestrians.

Although we as dog dads and mums have a bad habit of spoiling our furbabies, dog shoes are a must, especially if you live in harsh weather conditions and or your dog has a very active lifestyle. The last piece of advice I will leave you with is: it is very tempting to purchase boots that look nice. But, it is important to buy boots that are practical and do the job.