How to buy the right footwear for your dog

Shopping with dog

Dog boots are great for style, but can also serve a practical purpose. Learn how to take their size correctly before shopping to ensure a proper fit.


There are plenty of reasons to buy dog boots for your pooch and they’re not all about fashion. Sure boots can be a fun accessory that highlights your pup’s character, but there are other practical reasons too.

Reasons for Dog Boots

If your canine is a working dog that spends its days in hazardous environments, boots are a great way to protect it from debris like broken glass, sharp metal, etc. Dogs with spinal injuries can benefit from boots if they help counteract the injury’s affects on walking. If your dog takes part in a sport like sled racing, boots can help protect their paws against the elements. Along those same lines, if your dog is living or working in an area of extreme temperatures, boots will help protect its paws from thick show and ice or hot pavement.

Of course, you can always just buy your dog boots because you know they’ll look great or at least really cute. If any of these reasons sound like they apply to your dog, here’s a buying guide with some helpful tips.

Types of Dog Boots

Ideally, your dog’s boots should allow their paws to work naturally. Nature designed them to work perfectly, so augmenting their normal stride in some way could do more harm than good. If they are for orthopedic reasons, these considerations are irrelevant. But run the boots you buy by your vet first to confirm the boots you plan on buying will actually help with your dog’s injury.

If you simply want your dog’s paws to remain warm and dry, there are boots that will act almost like heavy-duty socks. These will serve their purpose without overstepping. For dogs dealing with extreme weather conditions, there are doggy snow boots that will cover the whole paw and provide superior protection.

Once you have decided on the kind of boot your dog needs, your best option is to find a store that deals them in your area. Bring your dog in and have it try a pair on. At first, expect your dog to be confused and even chew at its new accessory. This is natural.

If there aren’t any dealers in your area or they don’t have the particular boots you want, you can always shop online. To do so, though, you’ll have to get your dog’s paw size. To measure its paw size, set some paper on the floor and coax your pup to step on it. Lift its front left paw so all its weight is on the right and then mark where the front and back of the paw is and on each side where it’s widest.

After you do this for its other three paws, you’ll have the size of their paw and can start shopping online. A simple Google search will reveal a number of great stores or you can check out different auction sites which will also have a plethora of options.

With all the options out there, have fun exploring the different fashions and forms you can buy for your pup. Just be sure size comes first and you can’t go too far wrong.

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