As the song says – “oh, the weather outside is frightful!” Some dogs are bred for cold weather and snow, but some just don’t have the coat or paws for cold weather, let alone the white fluffy freezing-toe stuff. If your dog is one of the latter group – usually short-haired dogs, you have many options to make them comfortable when they head out for the daily constitutional you both so enjoy.
You probably already have several coats, sweaters, and jackets to keep that small body protected from freezing temperatures, but the paws … that part that has to constantly press against the cold ground, cement, snow, and ice – to say nothing of salt and deicers -- has gone unprotected. Not just unprotected from the cold, but road salt and deicers are often harmful to your dog because of toxic ingredients. So, now it’s time to consider the options to protect your fur baby and those sweet toes.
What You Need
Look for books with a textured sole that allows your dog to get a solid grip on the ground. They should be water-resistant or waterproofed – you should make the decision between those two based on how much precipitation your area usually receives each winter. For your ease, get boots with Velcro straps that allow you to fit them as needed each day. The bottom of the boots should allow your dog to walk naturally and easily with flexibility in the sole.
Before purchasing, check the guidelines from the manufacturer about size and be sure to measure your dog’s paws just before placing your order. When they arrive, start indoors with the boots on your dog’s paws for brief periods. This allows your dog to adjust to the feel of the boots being on. Most dogs are going to fight against them initially, so trying to start out with them as you step out the door will only mean a lot of frustration for both your dog and you.
What Are the Options?
You might be surprised at all the different doggie snow boots that are available and the options to be found in those boots.
If you will be trudging through snow often and it gets to be several inches high, then consider boots that are over their knee. These often are more of a sock with a rubber sole, with the softer fabric, they can fold down when the snow is only a skiff on the ground. If you live where the temperatures drop low, then look fro snow boots with a heavy lining, you can even find some with faux fur lining.
Silicon boots are also available, these are similar to galoshes you might wear in rainy wet weather. If you want to keep your dog’s paws protected year-round, then look for all-season ones. Usually, these have mesh as part of them to make them breathable. Another option – you can get dog boots in neoprene (the fabric used in wetsuits) to keep those paws toasty and safe from the water.
My Busy Dog Winter Boots, of course, we have boots we highly recommend. They meet all the requirements we’ve listed above – waterproof, anti-slip and flexible sole, lots of color choices and available in eight sizes.