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    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.


    Shopping Guide for Best Dog Boots

    While it's easy to dismiss them as fashion accessories, dog boots are designed to protect your canine companion's paws in situations where they might get hurt. Hot pavement, a wintery yard, or just rough terrain — there are all sorts of hazards out there that can be dangerous to your best friend’s feet. But how can you tell the good from the bad, and decide which are the best dog boots to suit your pup? With so many options out there, it can be tough to even know where to start. The good news is, if you need some assistance, you're in the right place.

    At BestReviews, we're dedicated to helping you find the perfect products. We consult experts, test items in our labs, and talk to existing customers who have real experience using the products in question. The result? Fair and thorough reviews that will aid you in selecting the ideal items to fit your needs.

    Read on for our full guide to dog boots! Then, when you're ready to make your purchase, scroll up to the product matrix above to see our top five favorites.

    Think about the function of your dog's boots — for instance, for cold weather protection or to avoid puncture wounds — and choose a pair that fits the bill.

    Why Buy Dog Boots?

    It might seem like dogs have no need for boots, but they're actually very useful in a range of situations.

    Let's find out why you should buy dog boots.

    • Dog boots help protect your furry friend's paws in extreme temperatures — whether too hot or too cold.

    • If you walk your dog in areas where he comes into contact with hazards such as thorns or broken glass, boots will help prevent puncture injuries.

    • You can use dog boots to keep your pup's paw clean and dry if she's suffered an injury, and she needs to avoid dirt due to risk of infection.

    • Dog boots can provide traction when it's very muddy or icy.

    • A well-fitting dog boot can help stop your dog licking or chewing at an injured paw.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Canines sweat through their paws, so you shouldn't leave dog boots on for extended periods of time. If you do, you risk irritation of the paws and overheating.

    Considerations for Selecting Dog Boots

    Considerations

    Number of Boots

    Dog boots tend to be sold either in pairs or in sets of four. If you're buying dog boots to protect your dog's paws from heat, cold, or injury, it makes sense to buy a set of four, since your pup will be wearing a boot on each paw.

    If, however, you only need a single boot to keep your pup's paw clean and dry (perhaps due to it being bandaged or having an open wound) then you may prefer to save some money, and buy a pair instead of four.

    EXPERT TIP

    If your dog still has his dew claws, make sure the boots you choose don't rub or irritate them. Ideally, look for a pair where the fastening sits well above or below the dew claw.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    Considerations

    Size

    Dog boots come in a range of sizes to fit the tiniest toy breeds right up to the most Herculean hounds. Just like your own shoes, you need to select boots of the correct size for your dog.

    Some manufacturers will tell you which sizes are suited to which breeds, which should give you a rough idea of the right size to buy. However, if your chosen dog boots don't have breed-based size suggestions, or if you just want to be more precise, you'll have to measure your dog's feet.

    The best way to do this is to have your four-legged friend stand on a piece of paper. Draw a tracing around his foot, including his toenails. You can then use a ruler to measure the length and width of his paw from the outline you've made.

    CAUTION

    If you choose boots too small for your dog, they could rub his feet. They're also likely to get damaged more quickly, since his toenails will press firmly against the ends of the boots and could put holes in them.

    Considerations

    Fastening Type

    Different dog boots have different fastening types. Some simply slip on and have an elasticated cuff at the top, some fasten with a zipper up the back, and others have velcro straps to keep them in place.

    Those with velcro straps are adjustable, and they’re less likely to slip around or fall off. However, you must be careful not to fasten them so tightly that you restrict blood flow.

    If your dog doesn't particularly like having her boots put on, those that slip on are the quickest to get on and off, which you both may find easier.

    EXPERT TIP

    If you want dog boots to help protect your canine companion's paws from being injured by sharp objects, choose boots that are specifically advertised as puncture-proof.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    Considerations

    Material

    To be as effective as they can, most dog boots are made from at least a couple of materials.

    The main body of the boot is usually made from a durable fabric, such as neoprene or a thick woven nylon, often with a waterproof layer inside to keep your dog's paws dry.

    The bottom of the boot tends to be made from moulded rubber or PVC, which is hardwearing and waterproof.

    This, of course, can vary between dog boots from different manufacturers, so always check the material before buying to make sure it's up to scratch.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some dog boots are fleece-lined for added warmth and comfort. This is a particularly nice feature if you're buying dog boots for cold weather use.

    Considerations

    Traction

    Once thing dog boots should do well is provide traction. Look for a set that have non-slip soles with deep treads to give your dog better grip in slippery conditions.

    You may also find soft-soled dog boots on the market, but these provide little or no traction, so they're best suited for indoor use.

    For instance, soft-soled boots can be used to prevent your dog from worrying her injured paw when you're not able to supervise her.

    EXPERT TIP

    We recommend taking your dog on a short walk, or having a quick play session in the garden, the first few times she wears her boots, rather than going on a long hike, so she can get used to them gradually.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Price

    Here's what you should expect to pay for dog boots and what you'll get for your money.

    • Basic dog boots cost between about $8 and $20 for a set of four, but you usually won't find a decent pair for under $15. These are fine for occasional use, but aren't hard wearing enough for daily or heavy-duty use.

    • Mid-range dog boots cost roughly $20 to $50 for a set of four. You can find some excellent boots in this price range, which should suffice for all but the most extreme conditions.

    • High-end dog boots cost between $50 and $100 for a set of four. These are extremely heavy-duty boots, designed for working dogs or extreme cold conditions. Unless you have frigid winters with a lot of snow, these may be overkill for the average pet parent.

    Dog boots should be sturdy and durable to stand up to wear and tear. Avoid buying any that look too flimsy.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Tips

    • Dog boots should be made from breathable material, so your pooch won’t overheat while wearing his boots.

    • Make sure that your chosen dog boots are waterproof. The majority are, but a handful aren't (usually those designed for indoor use). Dog boots that aren't waterproof aren't much good for walks in the mud, snow, or rain.

    • Quality stitching is a good sign that the boots you're looking at are high-quality and durable. If your dog boots look as though they could easily tear apart at the seams, consider exchanging them for a more sturdy option.

    • Check your dog's paws for any rubbing, chafing, or irritation after the first walk in her new boots. If you find signs of irritation, the boots my be ill-fitting or simply might not be right for your furry friend.

    If your dog will run off-leash in his new boots, make sure they fit securely enough that they won't fly off and get lost.

    FAQ

    Q. Are dog boots easy to clean?

    A. You should keep your dog boots clean to help them last longer, but some sets are easier to clean than others. Some are machine washable, which makes cleanup a breeze. Others, however, need to be washed by hand. If this is the case with your chosen set, make sure they don't have too many nooks and crannies where dirt could get stuck.

    Q. How do I get my dog used to his new boots?

    A. If this is the first time you've put boots on your dog, don't be surprised if he exhibits a very funny walk, lifting each foot up high as he goes. The best way to get your pup used to his new boots is to instantly distract him by doing something he love, such as playing fetch in the yard or going for a quick run. He'll forget about the alien intruders on his feet. That said, you should only leave your dog's boots on for a short amount of time the first time he wears them to avoid distressing him. Once he gets used to them, he can wear them for a couple of hours at a time.

    Q. My dog's boots keep falling off — what am I doing wrong?

    A. If your dog's boots fall off, slip down, or move around, it's likely that they're either too big for your pup or not fastened securely enough. If the boots are definitely fastened snugly (but not too tight), you probably need to trade them in for a smaller size.

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