As the fall season is coming to an end it is important to remember that our dogs need protection from the cold during the winter months. Our canine companions that are short haired breeds are especially susceptible to cold weather. These toy and small breeds may need a dog sweater or hoodie as well.
While there are dogs built for the snow like the Alaskan Malamute this doesn’t mean that their paws are protected. Salt and ice are may cause harm to your dog so you should consider keeping their feet safe and warm with the best dog boots available.
Quality Standards for Winter Dog Boots
There are three things that you should look for when searching for quality pet apparel. Durability, warmth & comfort are the staples of what makes a dog boot great. The other factors include price per performance, flexibility & visibility. While these aren’t the three most important factors, they are worth looking into.
Durability: The winter months are harsh which makes a durable dog shoe a must. While dog boots aren’t used as frequently as dog shoes, having the extra protection for your dog’s paws that would last multiple seasons is advised. Durability doesn’t mean bulky. Finding a well-constructed boot of quality materials will perform just as well as their bulky alternatives.
Warmth: If it is too cold for you it generally is too cold for your dog. While you may be able to walk a few minutes without shoes on in the snow, we know that you shouldn’t. The same can be said for your dog since the harsh weather can crack their paw pads.
Comfort: Finding the right fit is a challenge since measuring their shoe size isn’t straightforward as you would think. They need to be snug enough where the boots won’t fall off but not too tight to cut off circulation.
Price Vs. Performance: When you look at each type of dog shoe you should look at the price and what you are getting for it. Compare the shoes to similar offerings and choose the one that will best suit your dog. Just make sure that the quality is on par to something you would buy for yourself.
Flexibility: Some winter boots are bulky which gives your pup the lack of flexibility to move freely. Having a dog boot that is too stiff will cause your pup to have hindered movement which can cause more harm than good. The best boots aren’t completely stiff.
Visibility: Having a reflective dog shoe or boot will help you find them if they kick it off. This also will help your dog to be visible after sundown.
Reasons Why You Need Dog Boots This Winter
Snow: While there are dogs that are bred to withstand the cold, smaller dogs who aren’t equipped to handle the winter are susceptible to hypothermia. For smaller breeds, dog jackets should also be used since their belly will most likely be touching the snow. This can be uncomfortable for them depending on their breed and temperament.
Salt/Deicers: Salt is one of the biggest threats to healthy paw pads. Prolonged contact with salt can lead to chemical burns and limping by the end of their walk. It is important if you are walking your dog without shoes to have a bowl of warm water and a cloth to clean off the salt and chemicals when you walk back inside. This is a risk we wouldn’t take as the health of our pets are a major concern which can be prevented with dog shoes.
Puncture wounds: It is hard to notice branches, glass & splinters that are below the snows surface. This can lead to puncture wounds which can cause major health concerns to your dog. This can lead to infection and discomfort for your beloved pet.
Bacteria/Dirt/: Dogs just get dirty. They kick their feet in the mud and pickup all kinds of nasty bacteria and dirt on their feet. You can wash them after every outing however it takes less time to put on a pair of boots than cleaning their feet every time. Tracking wet and dirty paw prints throughout the house can be circumvented with dog boots as well.
How To Choose The Best Dog Boots?
Finding the best dog boots will include a rubberized sole which will help your dog gain traction even on icy terrain. Straps should also be used to keep the boots from falling off and insulation to keep their feet warm. Comfort and design shouldn’t be overlooked as they both play a part in choosing the right boots for your dog. While the best dog boots are subjective this guide should make choosing the best dog boots easier.