Can You Get Hiking Boots for Dogs? Best for 2023

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Dog wearing hiking booties

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We as humans hike for many miles some days on our thick rubber-soled hikers and It’s easy to forget just how uncomfortable the elements can make the ground we walk on. 

Can you get hiking boots for dogs? Yes, lots of different styles, fits, and price ranges for many different breeds.

Though our dogs have rough and hardened paw pads to protect them from injury on day-to-day walks and adventures, they are not built for the extreme conditions created by scorching sun or rugged, backcountry trails. 

Our dogs love to hike and run along with us as we explore the great outdoors. So finding your favorite dog hiking boots, from budget-friendly to snow-worthy and the perfect fit for your breed can be difficult at times. So therefore here are the quick recommendations.

The Best Dog Hiking Boots for Paw Protection in 2022

Best Budget-Friendly Hiking Boots: Qumy Waterproof

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These waterproof and slip-resistant boots are ideal for your large-breed dog to wear on your daily walks or during harsh seasonal weather conditions. Each boot sports two reflective velcro straps, which provide support, secure them on your pet’s paw, and also serve as a safety feature for nighttime strolls.

Grippy rubber soles provide traction on a number of surfaces, including wet pavement and desert rock, and the largest size (8) is recommended for dogs up to an estimated 88 pounds (exact sizing is determined by your dog’s paw length and width).

Best Protective Shoes: Resistant Bootsy Busy Dog Water

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Many dog shoes are good at protecting your pet’s paws from exposure to hot and cold surfaces, but these rugged dog boots are also great at protecting your dog’s paws and lower legs from coming into contact with painful pine needles, spines, and thistles on the ground. The shoes’ thick rubber soles and sturdy fabric prevent objects from piercing your dog’s tender pads while on a walk or longer hike.

Best All-Terrain Pro Dog Hiking Boots: ruffwear Grip Trex

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Ruffwear is an industry-leading maker of dog hiking boots that are worn by working dogs, such as K9 units and service dogs. These animals are often on their feet all day across a variety of terrains and surfaces, including hot asphalt outdoors and slippery linoleum floors in grocery stores.

Ruffwear boots provide your dog with ongoing grip and support. In order to best address an individual dog’s shoe needs, these boots are sold in pairs of two and four.

Though they are on the top end of the price range for dog shoes, owners swear by the high quality and comfort these shoes provide their pets on a daily basis. 

Best Lightweight Boots: Bark Brite All-Weather Neoprene

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Great for dogs large and small who do not care for heavier dog boots, these summer kicks come in five sizes and are just the ticket for park walks and light trail adventures.

Made with breathable neoprene, this water-and the puncture-resistant set is made out of flexible material, with a rubber sole that (though not heavy-duty) helps avoid slipping and sliding.

Best Cold Weather Boots: Expawlorer Waterproof 

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The affordable Expawlorer Waterproof Dog Boots are a great first set to get for dogs who are shyer about wearing boots. They have a large opening that makes them easy to put on and take off, and the two velcro straps at the cuff provide a really secure fit that keeps them from rotating or falling off.

The Expawlorers are also the softest boots out of the box, so they’ll require virtually no break-in before they are trail-ready. That said, we found the traction on these boots to be a little lacking on a smooth rock, so we’d only recommend them for mild terrain or for paw protection on hot pavement.

If you’re after something affordable and simple to get your dog used to wearing boots, the Expawlorers are hard to beat.

Best Dog Boots Overall for Traction: Kurgo Blaze

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With a highly varied lug pattern on the outsole and a cuff that comes up higher than others, the beefy Kurgo Blaze boots are our favorites for technical terrain. These boots are ultra-grippy and they won’t slide off your dog’s feet as they navigate challenging trails.

That said, the higher cuff can take a little more time for dogs to get used to, so they may need a bit of extra practice in these boots around the house before heading out on an adventure. The Kurgo Blaze boots are an excellent value for the money since you’re getting a set of durable technical shoes with traction designed similarly to the best hiking shoes for humans.

 Musher’s Secret Wax

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Musher’s Secret Wax conditions your dog’s paws so they can effortlessly trod over hot surfaces, sand, ice salt, and snow without blister-causing debris building up.

It’s an excellent solution for dogs who refuse to wear boots or for those who don’t expect to take their dog on challenging terrain that would warrant boots. We use Musher’s Wax for walks around town in summer when the pavement tends to be hot and for winter hikes when we want to protect our dog’s feet from snowballing.

It won’t help with traction or protect against rocks, so it isn’t a great replacement for boots on tricky terrain. But if all you need is a quick and easy solution for protecting against the elements, Musher’s Wax is the way to go.

Quick Tips on Fit for Dog Boots

  • FIT – Make sure to measure your dog’s feet before purchasing a set of boots for them. Most boots are sized by paw width (measured across the widest part of the paw), and some will also include length measurements. After you’ve measured, consult the manufacturer’s size chart to determine the correct size for your dog. We find that dog boots with two velcro closures at the cuff, as opposed to one, tend to stay in place the best on the trail.
  • PRICE – You don’t need to break the bank to get a great set of boots for your dog, but we find that it’s often worth spending a little more for added durability, better traction, and a more secure fit. 

Does My Dog Really Need Boots?

Dog boots aren’t a necessary gear item, but they do protect your dog’s paws from extreme temperatures, abrasive terrain, and the build-up of blister-causing debris like sand and ice.

If there’s ice, the ground is too hot to touch with the back of your hand for seven seconds, or the trail is sandy or snowy, it’s a good idea to put them on. We use them around town in the summer and bring them with us on backpacking trips where we know we’ll hike over some really rugged trail, like in volcanic areas.

Do Dogs Really Need Boots for Hiking?

Many dogs are fine without boots, but if you’re hiking over sharp rocks and sticks or putting in lots of miles, these thin boots will give your dog an added layer of protection. They’re also biodegradable and relatively affordable

Why Hiking Boots for Dogs?

The general rule of thumb is that if you can’t walk on a particular surface barefoot, neither can your dog. This goes for hot, cold, and icy conditions across a number of surfaces, including sand, concrete, wood, and rock. Fitting your dog with the right set of dog shoes means you can enjoy your favorite activities together, no matter what.

Finding the right pair of dog boots is worth the effort. They not only prevent pad burns during hot weather hiking with your dog, but they can also ensure your pet’s feet are protected from icy roads during freezing temperatures and also stop them from slipping on slick wet surfaces.

Do Dog Boots Stay Put?

In order for dog boots to stand up to the task of protecting your pet’s feet, selecting the correct size and type of shoe is essential. Each manufacturer may follow a different size chart, so properly measuring your pet’s paws according to their instructions is important.

Similarly, confirming the boots’ design and materials work best for your particular activity, such as hiking in the desert or walking in areas where painful thistles are prevalent, guarantees your hike won’t get cut short.

IS It Bad to Put Boots on A Dog?

Do dogs really need booties? That’s a matter of opinion. Some dogs can benefit from them, especially if they have furry feet that collect ice and snow between the toes, but the fit is super important. Booties should be comfortable, without rubbing against the dog’s paws, and of course, they need to actually stay on

Do Vets Recommend Boots for Dogs?

But boots aren’t just for active dogs. As dogs begin to age, they may begin to drag their feet as they walk, which can damage their paw pads, so your veterinarian may recommend shoes for cushioning.

How Do I Protect My Dog’s Paws when Hiking?

The best way to protect your dog’s paws while hiking is to use dog booties or paw wax. It’s also wise to keep their paws in good shape, consistently check for injuries and walk them regularly to protect their paws

Are Dog Shoes Cruel?

Most dogs don’t like to wear shoes because they are unnatural and most don’t actually need them. … Dog shoes are similar to when humans wear socks on a slippery surface, when our grips are gone, we start to slide. Lastly, some shoes may actually irritate a dog’s skin

Do Dogs Get Sore from Hikes?

Your dog might not act exhausted after a hike, but he’s probably sore. If your dog isn’t used to hiking he will get sore. Their muscles are just like ours! Add too much exercise and they will get sore.

Is Hiking Bad for Dogs?

Be particularly cautious with young and old dogs, as they might not be able to keep up with you on long, challenging hikes, and the burden on growing bones may be too much for puppies. Hiking in overly hot weather should be avoided, as dogs are much more susceptible than humans to the dangers of excessive heat.

Does My Dog Need Boots for Winter Hiking?

Dog booties are almost required gear in winter. Even if your pup doesn’t normally need them, they’re essential for extra-cold days or in an emergency. Get your dog comfortable wearing them at home before hitting the trail, or you might not make it very far.

Do Dogs Need Booties in The Desert?

Since dogs regulate their body temperature through their paw pads, boots aren’t something they wear constantly while hiking, because they could overheat. … If you’re hiking with a dog on hot sand, such as Great Sand Dunes National Park, dog boots are 100% necessary.

Do Dogs Need Booties for Hiking in Snow?

While dog booties and sweaters/jackets are not 100% necessary for your dog to survive in the cold, they can be helpful as long as you know how to use them properly. Dog Booties – They may look a little silly on your companion, but they do serve a purpose.

Do Search and Rescue Dogs Wear Boots?

FEMA says, few of its search dogs actually wear boots when working on a rubble pile. Despite the hazards of sharp metal and broken glass, the dogs often need to perform what is called a “soft walk” where they splay their paws for maximum traction.

How Cold Is Too Cold for My Dog to Hike?

Most healthy medium or large dogs can walk for 30-minutes if the temperature is above 20 degrees F. Smaller dogs should limit the walk to 15 or 20 minutes if temps are between 20 to 32 degrees F.

How Can I Protect My Dog’s Paws in The Desert?

When in doubt, let your dog protect its feet by walking on grass or in the shade. You would not expect your dog to walk on hot coals. That is what the summer pavement is like on hot days. In the summer, provide a large water bowl that will not tip over.

Are Dogs Paws Ok in The Snow?

Winter weather can pose a few risks to your dog’s well-being, particularly their paws. Snow and ice can increase your dog’s risk of frostbite and dry out their paw pads, leaving the skin chapped or cracked. Like our chapped lips, cracked paws can be annoying and painful.

Can Dogs’ Paws Get Frostbite?

Frostbite in dogs most commonly occurs on the paws, ears, and tail. These are the parts of the body that are most exposed to the cold and may be more likely to become wet in cold conditions, too. The ears and tail may take some time for signs of frostbite to occur, but the paws will likely show signs right away.

Can You Put Coconut Oil on Dog Paws?

If you find that your puppy’s paws are dry or cracked, you can use coconut oil to help soothe and heal them. Make sure to rub the coconut oil thoroughly into your dog’s paws, or your dog will mistake this treatment for a snack and lick off all of the oil!

Can Hot Pavement (concrete) Burn Dogs Feet?

Surfaces such as pavement, asphalt, and artificial grass can become searingly hot causing blisters or burns on their paw pads. Hot pavement can also increase the overall body temperature of your pet and lead to heatstroke.

What Is Paw Wax Used For?

Harsh weather conditions like snow and ice, heat, or rough surfaces like sand can burn, tear, or cut your dog’s paws. Dog paw wax provides a barrier between your dog’s paw and the surface, protecting them from damage.

How Often Should You Apply Paw Wax?

It depends on the activity level of your dog. Mushers will “walk-off” in about a week. In snowy conditions or heavy outdoor activity, it can be used 2-3 times a week. Some people use it more often than this in the summer months.

Conclusion

So you can get hiking boots for dogs? Yes, lots of different styles, fit, and price ranges for many different breeds. Dogs have rough and hardened paw pads to protect them from injury on day-to-day walks and adventures, they are not built for the extreme conditions created by scorching sun or rugged, backcountry trails.  I hope the information you collected in this post was helpful.

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