In addition to the growing trend of fashion for dogs, there are now many different styles of booties for dogs as well. These booties can be worn with or without socks, and help protect our pet’s paws and footpads against hard or abrasive surfaces and against cold, wet weather. But which booties should you choose when winter arrives? Here are a few guidelines to help make the decision easier.
Advantages of using winter booties for your dog
Not all dogs enjoy venturing outside during the winter months. Booties can therefore help keep their sensitive paws cozy and protected from the cold. Winter booties can help prevent possible injury to footpads caused by the accumulation of snow and ice between toes. By keeping your dog’s paws nice and toasty warm, booties guard against frostbite and irritation caused by contact with abrasives and road salt on sidewalks.
A good starter choice, rubber booties can protect your dog’s paws without impeding movement. Like those meant for people, rubber booties are usually waterproof and offer improved traction on frozen or icy surfaces. Choose a model that can be adjusted for a comfortable fit (without being too tight) and that provide good ventilation since dogs sweat through their footpads.
Nylon booties are light, flexible, and very resistant, and are an ideal choice for dogs that practice harnessed or sporting activities, especially on a hard wintry ground. Usually fastened with velcro, this type of bootie does not restrict movement and should remain securely attached. Although great in cold weather, these booties are not 100% waterproof and may become soggy in heavy rain or when running through soggy, puddle-filled terrain.
Fleece booties with a PVC sole are warm and easily adjusted to fit. This type of bootie is usually very comfortable and will protect your dog’s footpads from the cold, ice, and salt. Unfortunately, it is important to note that these booties are not usually waterproof.
Often reinforced with leather soles, this type of bootie is well-adapted to protect your pet from the cold of winter. The leather sole offers great protection against sharp ice, as well as against salt and snow.
Should your pet also wear socks?
Some pets might find that wearing booties with socks makes them more comfortable. Socks offer an extra layer of padding, especially useful if your pet has previously injured his paw and needs extra cushioning.
In winter, using dog booties will help protect your pet’s paws against the cold, as well as against possible injuries caused by snow, ice, and road salt. If your dog refuses to wear booties, there are still a few options available that can offer some protection. Specially formulated balms, waxes, and spray-on protection can provide a layer of protection on the skin if applied to the pads before venturing outside. Older dogs may appreciate orthopedic booties, with extra cushioning to soothe sore, arthritic limbs. This type of bootie may also help them avoid dragging their feet, and therefore further injuring their footpads and toes on the pavement.