The Evolution of Dog Shoes

dog shoes for winter - dog shoes that stay on

Online research reveals the earliest mention of dog boots in the October 1972 issue of Field and Stream, it advertises a brand of dog shoes called Lewis Dog Boots.

Lewis Dog Boots is still in the business today, and makes and sells dog shoes and boots. It seems that this brand of dog shoe is primarily sold to the hunting and fishing crowd but in the last 40 plus years, dog shoes have become prevalent among dog owners in all walks of life, living in both the city and the rural areas.

It might seem obvious why an avid hunter or fisherman might want his dog to wear boots, when at the end of a long day, the dog wants to go into the cabin, camper, or tent with his master and if this dog doesn’t have wet paws because it has been wearing protective foot gear all day, that will seem a lot more acceptable to all those involved.

It could well be that dog shoes were available prior to 1972 but no one has bothered to scan a catalogue or book on the topic and place it online.


A dog owner may have a picture in their mind that dogs don’t need shoes. Look at the Iditarod Race. Those dogs aren’t wearing shoes, are they? Or, are they?

Although vets agree that a dog’s paws are very unlikely to suffer frost bite since their body temperature is a few degrees higher than humans, and they have fur and pads on their feet. However, their paws are vulnerable to serious injury during a sled race such as the Iditarod. Or any activity outside, especially in icy or snowy conditions.

According to, “There must be another reason for Iditarod rules requiring a minimum of 8 booties be carried in the sled for each dog running… As it turns out, there are a couple of very good reasons. For one thing, booties are used to protect a dog’s feet from being scraped up. Cold snow and ice are very abrasive and rough – equivalent to rough cement or blacktop. That’s why humans wear shoes when running and playing outside – to protect the bottoms of their feet. Then there is the ice ball issue – snow gets caught around the pad of the foot and between the toes and it turns to ICE balls… So it is for the dogs but booties protect their feet.”

Dog Shoes Today

Dog shoes, boots, and booties have become a fashion statement with lots of different colors and styles available for dog owners, but remember, these shoes serve a very practical purpose, so your pup doesn’t get injured by the perils of bad weather or rough terrain, and can continue his adventures with you.

Brands of dog shoes are also quite vast, like the terrain their dog wearers hope to travel, here are a few to choose from: Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots, Top Paw, and Pet Life as well as Guardian Gear, Pawz, Smoochie Pooch, and of course our My Busy Dog boots.  

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