Döghaus’ Guide to Winter Boots

Doghaus’ Guide to Winter Boots - Photo 1 - Doghaus Blog

With the arrival of winter comes snow, ice, salt, and temperatures too low to mention. But who better to know the harshness of our winters – and the importance of the right pair of boots – than our four-legged dogs who live so close to the ground?

Whether you and your dog prefer to live the winter months tucked cozily away indoors or headed outdoors at the first sign of snow, a good pair of winter boots has become necessary for the modern, city-living canine. 

And so we’ve compiled a list of our recommended dog boots to help walk you through the many options available, from all-natural creams to no-nonsense boots!

Doghaus’ Guide to Winter Boots - Photo 2 - Doghaus Blog
Jasper sporting a very fashionable - and very invisible - paw balm!

Paw Balms

There’s nothing more flustering than wrangling your pup into a set of boots before a walk – for the third time that day. Luckily, boots aren’t the only option on our list, and paw balms might be the relief you and your dog have been looking for. Simply rub onto your dog’s pads and between their toes, and they’re good to go!

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to apply
  • Moisturizes your dog’s paws (necessary during dry winters)
  • 100% natural and safe
  • Can’t ever lose a pair!

Cons

  • Don’t protect again the cold 
  • Don’t protect against salt or rough surfaces
  • Will need to be reapplied on long outings
  • Can remain on dog’s paws if not wiped off and can leave residue on floors

Who they’re best for: Dogs who like to frolic in the snow (and who have lost one too many boots in deep snow…) and dogs who aren’t prone to getting cold feet. Paw balms also work best in conditions without salt where dogs still benefit from the traction that their feet naturally afford, like in skiing or hiking on packed-down snow trails. 

Paw balms we recommend:

100% Natural Invisible Boot

Define Planet Soothe n’ Shield Paw Balm

kin+kind Dog and Cat Moisturizer 

Natural Dog Company Paw Soother Stick 

Doghaus’ Guide to Winter Boots - Photo 3 - Doghaus Blog
Pawz Rubber Dog Boots

Rubber Socks

Unlike the stiff rain boots that come to mind when we think of rubber boots, our most popular rubber dog boots are highly malleable and give our pups the perfect balance of comfort and protection against salt and other abrasive substances. These are a staple for many a Döghaus dog!

Pros

  • Inexpensive 
  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable and lightweight 
  • Allow unimpeded natural movement 
  • Have a flexible shape that fits a wide range of sizes and shapes
  • Although disposable, some are made from natural rubber and are 100% biodegradable

Cons

  • Not durable
  • Can be difficult to put on (it gets easier with practice!)
  • Some varieties break very easily
  • Don’t protect against the cold
  • Can pinch and stick to fur
  • Some varieties are not very breathable 
  • Have reduced traction on icy and vertical surfaces

Who they’re best for: Dogs out on the town, especially in heavily salted areas. However, these can easily be worn throughout the year to help keep paws clean, prevent nails from scratching floors, and are often recommended in medical situations. 

Rubber boots we recommend:

foufou dog Rubber-Dipped Socks

Pawz Rubber Dog Boots

Doghaus’ Guide to Winter Boots - Photo 4 - Doghaus Blog
Muttluk’s Original Fleece-Lined Dog Boots

Soft-Shell Boots

For all around performance for the typical dog, soft-shell dog boots are a classic of Canadian winters. They’re versatile enough to suit a trip to the countryside and a visit to Döghaus in one day, and don’t break your budget. There’s no surprise as to why they’re one of the most popular types of boots out there!

Pros:

  • All-purpose boots
  • Comfortable (once gotten used to!)
  • Allow the foot to breathe
  • Allow ease of movement

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to keep on feet, especially in snowy conditions
  • Don’t always provide the best traction 
  • Typically not waterproof or water resistant 
  • Can be a hassle to put on

Who they’re best for: Dogs who like to engage in a wide range of activities, but like to keep the same pair of boots on. Great for walks, trips to the store, or a quick visit to the dog park. These fit best on dogs with wider paws, like Labs and Goldens.

Soft-shell boots we recommend:

Muttluks Original Fleece-Lined Dog Boots

RC Pet Strider Boots

Doghaus’ Guide to Winter Boots - Photo 5 - Doghaus Blog
Ruffwear’s Polar Trex Dog Boots

Rubber-Soled Boots

For dogs who are looking to protect their feet against the harsh elements of winter, heavy duty boots are the answer. With more dogs living in climates where ice, salt, and deep snow are ever-present during the winter months, rubber-soled boots are becoming more popular than ever before – and for good reason.

Pros

  • Very durable 
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Waterproof sole
  • Stay on feet
  • Protect against cold
  • Protect against salt, abrasive substances, and rough surfaces

Cons:

  • Bigger investment
  • Heavier on the feet than most dogs are used to (might require some getting used to)
  • Some varieties are stiff in movement
  • May fit some shapes of paw better than others
  • Can be time-consuming to put on

Who they’re best for: Dogs on adventures where traction, warmth, and protection against harsh or cold surfaces are a must. However, these are equally recommended for dogs who are sensitive to winter climates and need all the protection they can get, and for those who like to play long and hard and need boots that keep up with them.

Rubber-soled boots we recommend:

Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Boot

Muttluks Snow Mushers

Ruffwear Polar Trex Dog Boots

Doghaus’ Guide to Winter Boots - Photo 6 - Doghaus Blog

Whether you’re using disposable boots or rubber-soled boots or anything in between, there are always a few ways to help prolong the life of your boot and ensure that your dog is comfortable wearing them. 

  1. Trim your dog’s nails. There are few things as irritating as having a long nail causing unnecessary pressure on your foot, but trimming your dog’s nails can also limit extra wear and tear on the boot’s interior. This is especially true for rubber boots where, in cold temperatures, long nails can puncture the thin material. 
  2. Avoid walking in heavily salted areas. Although not always possible, try limiting the boot’s exposure to salt and other abrasive substances used on sidewalks and roads. This can include walking on quieter streets or in parks, rather than on busy streets. 
  3. Clean your boots. After a walk or at the end of the day, simply wipe off excess grime with a damp or dry towel. Just like with our own boots, cleaning built up salt and dirt can help limit exterior wear and tear. 

If you’d like more information on any of the boots mentioned here or would like some help finding the right style and fit for your dog, come visit us at the store! We’re happy to reward your dog’s clunky first steps in winter boots and show you all the tricks we’ve learned over the years on how to make putting on boots as stress-free as possible. 

Doghaus’ Guide to Winter Boots - Photo 7 - Doghaus Blog
Rufferal Program

For every three (3) friends that you refer to our grooming service, your dog will receive one (1) free grooming session! 

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