Most dogs absolutely love the snow, and they go crazy for it! Even my English Bull Terrier (who sleeps 23 hours a day!) could spend all day doing the snow-zoomies. And while they could spend all day bootless in the snow, it doesn’t mean that they should. Our domesticated doggos have changed over the few thousand years since their Wolf days, and so have their feet. This means that they are much more sensitive to the elements and need a little more support out in the wild.
So, whether you live in a snowy state or love to go hiking up the mountains on your weekends, if you want your beloved pooch to join you, you need to invest in a pair of (or two pairs in Fido’s case) high-quality snow boots.
Here in this guide, we will walk you through what makes a good pair of snow boots, what particular components to look out for, and having conducted all the time-consuming research just so that you don’t have to, we have found our favorite doggy snow boots currently available, as well as explaining exactly why we love them so much. So, let’s dive boot first into the details!
At a Glance: Our Favorite Dog Snow Boots
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Why Dogs Need Snow Boots in Winter
Let us explain the main reasons why your pooch needs snow boots. Firstly, having been domesticated over the last few thousand years, their pads aren’t as resilient and protected as they once were. Snow and ice will collect in between his toes and this will cause discomfort and hypothermia. So, even if you have Huskies, they too need a little extra support in the freezing snow.
Secondly, often where there is snow and ice, there is usually road salt and chemical deicers which are toxic to dogs. Again, these chemicals will collect in his paws and irritate them. In turn, your pooch will naturally chew his paws and ingest the harmful substances. So, snow boots will protect them from these fatally harsh chemicals.
Thirdly, investing in snow boots means that you can enjoy longer snowy adventures with your pups. You’ll decrease the risk of your dog injuring himself, and the risk of having to carry him back. Unless you have a sled handy, lugging a big dog back down a mountain is not much fun! So, to save his paws and your back, invest in some snow booties.
With getting back to nature and mental wellness becoming an increasingly popular pastime, many companies have cottoned onto this trend and made a whole bunch of doggy accessories so that your pooch can join you on your adventures, with snow boots being one of them.
While this is great, and there are some fantastic doggy snow boots on the market. But, it also means that there are also a lot of faddy ones that wouldn’t last a single hike. Here in our buyer’s guide, we have laid out everything you need to know, and separate the good from the bad.
As most of us know, walking with freezing cold feet is not much fun. So, it’s important to look for boots that are comfortable and warm otherwise your pup won’t even wear them. Firstly, a good snow boot will have a thick rubber sole that will protect him from cold and icy conditions. Secondly, they will be made of thick and durable material that will insulate his body heat and keep him warm. And for that added bit of luxury, fleece-lined snow boots can increase warmth and comfort.
Snow is simply frozen water, so snow boots most definitely need to be waterproof. You wouldn’t buy non-waterproof snow boots for yourself, and your four-legged friend is no different. If his boots are wet, soggy and unnaturally heavier, he is not going to want to wear them. Being waterproof also ensures that he can maintain his body temperature. As such, he will be able to enjoy longer hikes.
The boot needs to be made of strong material that isn’t going to fall to pieces in the first few hikes. Material such as leather and neoprene are strong and durable, and will protect against sharp icy surfaces. The material should also be stitched together rather than glued, and this simple detail will ensure that they are much more durable.
As previously mentioned, a thick rubber sole is a sign of a good quality snow boot, and this sole should also be slip-proof. Snow boots will have extra grip and a patterned texture compared to standard walking boots to ensure that your pooch doesn’t slide around on the ice. Afterall, if you wanted to take him ice skating, you’d get him skates! This will also ensure that he feels much more comfortable wearing boots too.
Snow boots need to be secure. Otherwise, they will slip down your dog’s ankles and he’ll be forever trying to pull them off. The correct fitting and Velcro straps will help to keep them in place. Be sure to measure your pup’s paws according to each brand’s individual instructions. Additionally, if they are not the right size they will rotate. This means your pup’s pad will not be protected by the rubber sole. That makes equipping a pair of snow boots a rather pointless exercise. So, size is everything here!
Best Snow Boots For Dogs
So now you know what a good quality snow boot is, you can distinguish between a good snow boot and one that’s lower quality. For the benefit of our readers, we’ve conducted all of the time-consuming research comparing endless amounts of snow boots, just so that you don’t have to.
Using our knowledge we have scoured the market and found the top 6 snow boots, and because they are also all highly rated online you can be sure that it isn’t just us saying that they are good, thousands of other snow lovers out there have tried, tested and loved them.
Ruffwear Polar Trex
- Made specifically for winter.
- Winter-specific lug pattern.
- Great for icy surfaces.
- Flexible gaiter for movement.
- Zippered gaiter keeps out snow.
- Waterproof construction.
- Multiple sizes for different dogs.
These premium boots are specifically designed for skiing, snowboarding and extremely cold weather conditions, so you could say that they are ideal for snowy weather. The outer soles are designed with rubber grips. These boots are made with a winter-specific lug pattern that provides superb traction on frozen surfaces. This means your pup can run freely without slipping. The upper boot is made with 3 layers of soft and breathable material. All while still being weather and wind resistant with a durable water repellent coating.
If that wasn’t snow proof enough, this boot then has a protective stretch gaiter. The gaiter covers the boot with another layer of waterproof material, which also zips shut. This is designed to keep snow out. There is also a hook and cinch closure to keep the boot securely on his ankles. With 7 different sizes, there is bound to be the right size for both big and small dogs. These boots are available to be bought as a pair or a full set of 4 and have reflective patches for his safety too.
We love that these snow boots are the most premium, durable, and snow terrain-specific boots available, so if you’re a hardcore snow seeker these are a great choice for you and your pup.
Bark Brite Neoprene Boots
- Breathable neoprene construction.
- Two elastic straps.
- Five different sizes are available.
- Reflective straps for visibility.
- Made for all weather conditions.
- Durable rubber sole for maximum grip.
These boots are made with strong neoprene material that is used to make scuba diving gear, which is designed to keep body heat in and the cold out, as well as being water and puncture resistant. They have a rubber sole that offers protection for his pads. The rubber sole also offers an extra layer against the freezing floor. It has a tread on the sole which provides traction. The boot also has a large slit at the back of each boot, making it easier to pull on and off.
There are 2 Velcro straps that offer security and a more customizable fit, as well as being made with reflective material for extra visibility. There are 5 available sizes, but the material also allows for expansion if you find your pooch between sizes.
We love that these boots are also designed for all weathers and simple in their design, so if you are looking for an all purpose boot with the occasional snowy trip, these would be great.
HDWK Waterproof Dog Snow Boots
- Very budget-friendly.
- Comes in limited sizes.
- Aggressive tread pattern.
- Lycra vamp for breathability.
- Longer strap to keep the boot secured.
- Non-slip rubber sole.
- Made for all seasons.
These boots are relatively unknown compared to the others on this list, but they are ones to watch out for. They are made with soft and breathable Lycra which is waterproof and durable, and the sole is made from thick rubber that has a variegated grip, which prevents slipping on icy floors.
It is secured with an extra-long Velcro strap that wraps around your dog’s ankle. This way, you can be sure that your pup gets a customizable fit. These boots are available in bright red, and they come in a 2 or a 4 pack. Many animal owners purchase these boots for their Donkeys and Alpacas. If it’s suitable for these heavy-footed animals, it’s going to be just fine for even the biggest dogs.
We love that these boots, aside from the fashion winter boots listed last in this list, are the most affordable snow boots, and offer great value for money.
QUMY Anti-Slip Sole Boots
These boots are made with high-quality waterproof material that is also wind resistant. This keeps the snow and chilling wind out of his boot. It is also soft enough so that it is comfortable, as well as breathable to prevent his paws from becoming uncomfortably stuffy. It has two Velcro straps that keep it secure. Both straps have light reflective material for visibility and safety at night.
The bottom of the boot is made with real leather which helps to insulate body heat, and the sole of the boot is made with thick rubber that has a printed cross design that increases his grip in icy conditions. They have a wide seam that allows them to be placed on and off easily. They also have a stitched paw print on the side so that you’ll never mix them up with your own snow boots, and they come in 5 sizes and 2 different colors.
We love that these boots have an extendable fitting, so that they are easier to get on and off before and after your snowy adventures, which is important for those super wiggly pups.
Kurgo Step N’Strobe Snow Boots
- Perfect for all seasons.
- Made in six different sizes.
- Comes with all 4 shoes.
- Made for all-season wear.
- Water-resistant material.
- Reflective trimming for visibility.
- Reputable Kurgo brand.
These snow boots are tough, durable and made from real leather. This means that his paws are protected from snow, ice and salt. The soles are made from thick rubber that are patterned with an anti-slip design. This will allow Fido to run around to his heart’s content. They are also covered in a breathable, but tight, weave mesh. This helps ensure that his pads will not get too sweaty or itchy. The boots are secured with both a Velcro strap and an ankle cord for security and comfort.
These boots even have green and red LED lights at the side of his paw. This means you can see him during nighttime, or just in case you ever get caught up in a blizzard. They are also covered in light reflective patches and trim which offer 360 degrees visibility. They come in 6 different sizes, and a fashionable black and orange design.
We love that these premium boots are so good that the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty, so you can be sure that they are durable and hard wearing for serious adventurers out there!
Winsoon Anti-Skid Winter Boots
These Australian fashioned boots are similar to the winter boots that we girls love to wear, so if you want to match your winter boots with your best bud, then these would be a fashionable choice. They come in 4 different colors to match any outfit and 5 different sizes. However, each of these is only suited to puppies and small dogs.
They are made from soft supple leather which is water-resistant and are lined with Sherpa material that keeps their paws extra snuggly and warm. It has a Velcro strap that secures the boot in place. The sole is made from rubber that has a patterned grip texture to ensure that he will not slip.
We love that these boots are perfect for the fashion-conscious small dog who loves to strut his stuff about town in the snow.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can my dog spend in the snow?
This depends on a lot of factors. Firstly, it depends on the breed and size of your dog, for example, a toy Chihuahua will not be able to tolerate the cold weather anywhere near as much as a Husky, who is better able to regulate body temperature and built for arctic conditions.
Secondly, if he is very young or very old, he will not be able to regulate his body temperature as well as a healthy adult, so he should spend much less time in the cold. Overall, if your pooch likes the snow and he is healthy, then there is no set time limit, just be sure to monitor him and bring him in when you think he has had enough or getting too cold.
How do I train my dog to wear snow boots?
If this is the first time that your pooch has worn boots before, then it is more than likely that it will take time for him to get used to them. It is also likely that he will kick his legs up, which while comical, is a process that will take time.
Try them on in the home a few times and be sure not to rush him. Encourage him to walk towards you with a treat in hand, and verbally praise him too. If he tries to chew them off, then distract him with a toy or treat. Once he has the hang of it then let him into the garden, and then the world is your oyster!
My dog hates snow boots. What now?
If your dog doesn’t do well in snow boots, fear not. It’s quite common that your pup will take some time to get used to them. Most dogs don’t like feeling confined in any way, and boots do exactly that, around their feet. Give your pup some time, and be consistent. Eventually, they should come around and get used to them.
Snowy adventures are fantastic for both us humans and our pups. If you are lucky enough to live somewhere where your pup will need snow boots, then your pup will love you to pieces for letting him come along and romp around in the snow.
High-quality durable boots will cost a little more than a regular walking boot or a sub-standard snow boot. But, they will undoubtedly last quite a bit longer. This typically means they are a better value for your money over time. So, what are you waiting for? Adventure awaits! Grab your pup’s snow booties and head outside!