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how to keep dogs warm in winter

A dog needs to wear boots only in very special cases. Even in winter, their paws can handle most weather conditions, including low temperatures. One study discovered that a dog's paw has an intricate vein system and an “internal heating system” which spreads warmth from paw pads through the rest of dog's body.

But freezing weather isn't the real culprit. Snow, ice, rough terrain and, most importantly, de-icing salts and chemicals are the real danger to dog paws. Most sidewalks and driveways will have anti-ice agents in winter, and these can cause rashes and infections on paws, and if licked, leech into a dog's system, resulting in toxic poisoning.

The Best Dog Boots for WinterFor cold winter months, veterinarians advise for senior dogs and puppies to not only wear booties but at least a jacket/coat as well. The best dog boots for winter should have rubberized soles that are flexible, insulated inside for extra warmth, and they must be waterproof. Dog winter boots are especially good for senior pets that have trouble with traction issues on ice.

How to Choose the Best Dog Boots for Winter

We have previously written about the essentials of paw protection, and the major health benefits that winter clothes and winter dog shoes provide for dogs and their owners.

Traditional dog booties that are made for almost aesthetic purposes or waterproof dog boots for rain only aren't going to cut it in winter months. Dog boots for winter not only have to be warmer (insulated) in case of extremely low temperatures, but they generally also have thicker rubber soles with extra flexibility and for better traction on ice and snow.

The most important part for picking the best dog boots for winter is finding the right size. Measuring your pet's paws is essential. After that, make sure to choose the proper type of shoes for your individual dog, and put them on correctly. Not all dog paws are shaped the same and not all winter dog boots will fit.

How to Choose the Best Dog Boots for Winter

Unfortunately, you can't always trust what is written on the Amazon dog boot product page either. Just because a pair of boots says it will fit a Saint Bernard doesn't mean they actually will. Dog booties come in different sizes and styles, and it's crucial to find a set that will fit properly and be comfortable for the dog. It's also vital to find dog shoes that stay on while walking, and that cannot be said of every available pair.

Top 13 Best Dog Boots for Winter

1Water Resistant Shoes
by My Busy Dog

My Busy Dog are one of the best dog boots for winter that are affordable, and our editor-in-chief's favorite brand. The company has created these shoes that are made of sturdy fabric and extra strong rubber for full-paw protection and traction, yet keeping it flexible enough. The boots provide decent traction on ice and forest ground. The sole is durably stitched, not glued, to the fabric. Reflective Velcro straps keep the boots securely in place and add to the dog’s visibility in low light.

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While they're not as expensive as Ruffwear's popular Grip Trex, looking at the shoes it's clear that attention was given to meticulously make these boots on a budget, and they're available in different sizes with very small variations. You can find the perfectly-sized pair of My Busy Dog dog booties if you're being extra careful in measuring your pup's paw size. These boots come in eight different sizes from 1.5” to 3.25” in minute increments of 0.2”-0.35”.

Very few standard dog boots, especially in this price range, have treads on the soles, and that gives these best dog boots for winter an edge over many other brands. If there’s one thing that we would want improved, it’s the height of the cuff because it’s a tad short. It would be easier to secure the boots on a dog's paw with the Velcro if the cuff went higher up the dewclaws. Overall, this is a good item for an affordable price, and it sure beats having to wipe your dog’s feet after every walk too.

PROS:

  • Available in 4 colors and 8 sizes
  • Made of sturdy fabric and strong treaded rubber
  • Sole is durably stitched, not glued, to the fabric
  • Equipped with a reflective strap
CONS:

  • As with most other dog boots for winter, there is a risk of shoes not fitting your pet well, so be extra careful with measurements
  • The height of the cuff is shorter we'd like it to be; it would be easier to secure the boots if it went up higher on the leg

 

2Original Fleece Dog Boots
by Muttluks

Muttluks's reflective dog boots for winter have soles made of genuine leather, leg cuffs made of stretchable nylon, and inner lining made of fleecy material. The boots are in an attractive black-and-fuchsia color combination with reflective straps and high stretchy cuffs. This high-cuff design adds to the boots’ tight but comfortable fit. There are four sizes starting from XS to XXL. Large sizes can be difficult to find, but Muttluks have them for as big as 4.75” paw size.

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These second best winter dog boots are really good at staying on – they have a tight hold on the dog's paw, keeping them from falling off. We’ve come across a lot of shoe brands that are very well made but they usually have one flaw: they come off pretty easily and would often get lost in the snow before your dog has made full use of them. If your dog’s shoes are like that, try Muttluks dog booties. We believe it’s the extra length of the sock-like cuff that makes the Velcro in these boots work so much better.

Since the soles are leather, they can take a lot of abuse and damage. It won’t surprise us if we find them in great shape after several seasons of our dog's unending running and playing in the snow. These second best dog boots for winter are also machine washable, which is another rare feature.

PROS:

  • Available in 4 sizes
  • Soles are made of genuine leather, leg cuffs are made of stretchable nylon and the inner lining is made of fleecy, warm material
  • High-cuff design
  • Equipped with a reflective strap
  • Machine washable
CONS:

  • Some may have a hard time getting them onto a dog's paws

 

3Rugged Winter Dog Boots
by Ultra Paws

Ultra Paws Rugged Dog Boots are made of 100-denier nylon fabric with PVC material for the toe and recycled tire for the sole. Each boot has two Velcro straps to fasten it securely. There are four sizes and three color combinations to choose from. It’s important to do proper sizing to ensure comfort and protection of your dog’s paws. The sole is anti-skid and is highly suited for rugged conditions.

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Pets need a little getting used to with these best dog boots for winter, but once they get the hang of it, we think they’re happier playing outdoors with their paws cushioned by Ultra Paws dog booties, which you are likely to afford compared to the more expensive brands above.

The loop at the back of the boot does a lot in keeping this thing snug and securely in place. Other boots don’t have that small detail and it makes a lot of difference. The rubber sole is quite thick and really insulates from extreme heat or cold. We would have preferred the soles to have treads like My Busy Dog, but its absence is not such a huge deal breaker.

PROS:

  • Available in 4 sizes and 3 colors
  • Made of 100-denier nylon fabric with PVC material for the toe and recycled tire for the sole
  • Equipped with two Velcro straps for secure fastening
CONS:

  • Like with many other brands, there's a risk of improper fit so be careful with measuring
  • The rigid sole of the boots rubbed on our pet's paw much too strong

 

4Dog Boots for Winter (Water Resistant)
by Petacc

These fourth best dog boots for winter are perfect for active canines that are always up and about in cold season. The soles of these shoes are made of flexible PVC, which is ideal in protecting paws from hot concrete and unkind terrains. The double Velcro straps make fastening and adjusting very easy. They’re also reflective so you’d have no problem spotting your dog at night.

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We like the fact that these boots have treads considering their cheaper price point. This traction makes Petacc dog booties functional for indoor use as well, to prevent pets from skidding on tiled floors and to protect car interiors or home upholstery from sharp paws.

Unlike the first rated My Busy Dog boots, Petacc ones are not made of rubber so their traction is significantly less effective, even with the treaded texture. The boots are not so well-lined inside and may cause discomfort to your pet’s paws. Socks can be added to cushion the paws. The size chart has recommended sizes based on breed and paw width and length, but we suggest that you base your order on the measurement of paw width and length.

PROS:

  • Available in 4 sizes
  • Made of flexible PVC
  • Double Velcro
  • Equipped with reflective straps
  • Wide split seam top opening makes it easy to put these boots on your pet
CONS:

  • Traction is significantly poorer than that of boots with rubber soles
  • Not well lined, so you may need to fit your dog with socks in order to make him comfortable while wearing these best dog boots for winter

 

5Dog Australia Boots
by Winsoon

Winsoon dog boots are specially-made for small dogs, and I mean really small dogs. The insole for XL, which is the biggest size, measures only 1.85” wide and 2.09” long. The sole is made of rubber, while the outer part is made of a water-resistant material and lined with wooly fabric inside. Your dogs will undoubtedly love these paw-warmers and best dog boots for winter in one.

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As already mentioned, sizing is critical for dog footwear, but more so for really small paws and these booties. We found the size guide for Winsoon dog shoes not particularly helpful. For instance, how would you distinguish between 1.77” and 1.61” on your tape measure? For practical purposes, you may convert the given measurement from inches to centimeters (multiply by 2.54) and use the side of your tape measure that gives centimeters. The converted numbers would be easier to use, such as: 1.77” = 4.5 cm, 1.61” = 4 cm, 1.26” = 3.2 cm.

You’d find these fifth best dog boots for winter to be the solution to your extra small pup’s winter dilemma. If you measured correctly, then you’d find this brand very snug yet comfortable. The strap keeps it tight and safe from falling off. Too bad they don’t make this boot for bigger dogs.

PROS:

  • Specially made for small small dog's delicate feet
  • Sole is made of rubber and outside is made of water-resistant material
  • Lined with warm, wooly fabric
CONS:

  • Only made for small breeds – the insole for XL size measures only 1.85” wide and 2.09” long
  • The measurements are very difficult to decipher, as there is such a small difference in the available sizes

 

6Breathable Dual Mesh Soft Sole Dog Boots
by HiPaw

HiPaw Breathable Dual Mesh Soft Sole Dog Boots are the best choice if you notice that your dog is visibly uncomfortable with the more rigid types of boots. The soles of these boots are highly flexible. They’re soft, water-resistant, and non-slip. The upper part is made of double-mesh fabric which provides ample cover without compromising ventilation and freedom of movement.

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HiPaw dog booties are obviously designed for canines that can’t be limited in their high-action adventure whatever the weather. It gains high acceptance and adaptability from these dogs because it does not restrain them so much. The mesh top makes this perfect for hot climate because it prevents the boots from overheating.

These sixth best dog boots for winter have a nice firm stretch to them. The cuff is high, and it’s like a sock that comfortably hugs the dog’s leg. The idea here it seems is that the flexible materials tightly enfold the paws and the part near the dog’s wrist and hock without causing discomfort. In fact, below the cuff and underneath the Velcro is an elastic band that helps keep the shoes firmly on.

PROS:

  • Available in 5 sizes and 3 colors
  • Highly flexible soles, which are better suited for dogs that don't like traditional boots with rigid rubber soles
  • Equipped with elastic straps to keep them in place
CONS:

  • The material is not durable and doesn't hold up well
  • As with other best dog boots for winter, these doggy shoes may not fit your pet well

 

7Paw Protector Boots for Dogs
by Lonsuneer

Lonsuneer dog boots are made from water-resistant oxford fabric for the upper part, soft material for the inner lining, and flexible material with good traction for the sole. These boots are similar to the HiPaw boots in flexibility. They’re great protective cover for different climates and environment, and they also work as covering for bandaged paws or as deterrent from paw-biting.

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These pet shoes have generous sizing. Measure your dog’s paw carefully while keeping in mind that these shoes run on the big side. If you erred on the sizing and bought a bigger size instead, you can make your dog wear socks before the shoes. Socks, though, would add to the heat and reduce breathability, but that should not be a problem in cold regions. The soles of these are heat-resistant and waterproof, but don’t let your dog soak this in puddle or slush as the whole shoe is not waterproof.

My guess is that most dogs will tolerate these shoes well, and the reason is flexibility – they bend very easily with our dog’s every foot movement. And they don’t get loose easily even after a lengthy, high-adrenalin run. Just make sure to strap the Velcro real tight so they’d stay put.

PROS:

  • Available in 5 sizes and 3 colors
  • Outside is made from water-resistant oxford fabric
  • Skid-proof and flexible soles
  • Soles are heat-resistant and waterproof
CONS:

  • Not waterproof
  • Be careful when measuring, as the sizing of these best dog boots for winter runs big
  • The Velcro did not stay tightly closed

 

8Dog Shoes (Waterproof)
by Petacc

Petacc's second choice are high-top style dog boots that reach up to your dog’s wrists and hocks. The extra length provides more coverage and firmer hold of your dog’s feet. It has thick fleecy lining, high knitted cuff, anti-skid rubber soles, and two Velcro straps to fasten the black knitted part and the red lower part. These look like exactly what a dog needs for winter frolicking.

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With all these insulating materials, your dog’s feet would be warm and toasty even in freezing temperatures. The sole of the Petacc dog shoes also has good traction for rugged and rocky trails, and would do well for hiking and climbing. We don’t recommend this for hot climate zones, especially for prolonged use, because the high-top design and the heat-retaining quality of the materials can be too much for your dog.

These eighth best dog boots for winter are very well made and priced reasonably. It goes much farther up the feet than most dog boots do – which is both good and bad. The good is obvious and we’ve belabored that point already. The bad is that dogs seem to be disturbed by the extra height and do their best to pull or kick it off.

PROS:

  • Available in 3 sizes
  • High-top style reaches over the dog's wrists and hocks
  • Polar fleece lining adds warmth during cold winter months
  • Equipped with reflective straps
CONS:

  • Not waterproof
  • May be more difficult to put on your dog's feet due to high top
  • Be careful while measuring as the sizing runs small

 

9

Warm Plush Lined Dog Boots for Winter
by Moolecole

These Moolecole winter dog shoes look like miniature human baby boots and are irresistibly cute. They’re made of sturdy outer material with nice wooden bone detail and solid stitching. They have good-traction soles, thick fleecy lining, and adjustable Velcro straps. There are five sizes and three lovely colors available, but bear in mind that the sizes run on the small side because of the thick plush lining. In fact, this model and brand probably has the smallest boot size which is quite unbelievable at 1.37”x1.06”.

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Figuring out the correct size for your dog can be quite tricky, especially with the given decimal measurements in inches. Granting that you’ve got the decimals figured out, make sure that you measure for Moolecole dog boots, including the pet's nails.

These pet shoes are not the flexible type, so there won’t be any give on the toe part. If in doubt, get the next bigger size. The size increments are so minute that it’s almost impossible to detect the difference between two adjacent sizes just by looking at them. Apart from that difficulty, this is a great set of dog shoes which your dog would find comfort and warmth in.

PROS:

  • Available in 5 sizes and 3 colors
  • Thick plush lining keeps the paws warm
  • Anti-slip sole
  • Adjustable Velcro strap
CONS:

  • Thick plush lining makes the sizing run small
  • Sizing can be quite tricky, because the measurements are listed in inches with decimals and the gap in sizes is very small
  • These dog boots for winter were difficult to put on our dog's feet

 

10Waterproof Wear-resisting Shoes for Dogs
by Paw4D

The material used for Paw4D dog shoes is the same as those used in wetsuits, so you can expect these dog shoes to be soft, slick, flexible, water-repelling, and heat-retaining. They have a unique slanted-opening design that allows the upper part to fold down. With this design, getting your dog’s paws inside the shoes becomes less of a struggle. That slanted part also integrates the two Velcro straps that fasten from the inner diagonal flap and around.

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The flexibility of the upper material and the high-traction of the rubber soles make these boots really versatile. Paw4D dog boots look like they’ll last a while, and since they are the all-weather type, you’d get your money’s worth before the year begins another round of the seasons.

As with the other best dog boots for winter, you’d have to spend some time in taking meticulous measurements and picking the correct size. The paw tip part flexes slightly for comfort but you still need to have the correct size to start with because the sole, which is sturdy, extends to the front. The double wraparound Velcro secures the boot and also adds visibility because of its reflective quality.

PROS:

  • Made withe the same material as wet suits, making them water-repellent and heat-retaining
  • Equipped with 2 Velcro straps for secure fastening
  • High traction rubber soles
CONS:

  • As with any of the best dog boots for winter, there are risks of shoes not fitting your pet well
  • The sizing runs small, so we encourage you to measure precisely before ordering

 

11Dog Australia Winter Warm Boots
by Colorfulhouse

These eleventh best dog boots for winter are made for warming and protecting small paws. The smallest size is 1.57”Lx1.18”W, while the largest is 2.36”Lx1.97”W. The sole of these boots from Colorfulhouse is made of rubber and has nice treads.

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The furry inner material lines the whole interior and does a great job of providing warmth and softness to tired paws. The instep and the upper surface are of the same continuous material which opens at the heel part of the boots. This makes wearing the boots a non-task. This opening and the whole boot are secured by a Velcro strap.

These shoes stay on nicely and securely, just make sure to fasten the Velcro tightly at the heel first before securing at the front. The Velcro at the back loosens when fastened tight only at the front, and this has usually been the culprit for lost boots. Overall, pet owners have been very happy with Colorfulhouse dog shoes.

We found the furry lining material attracting snow, like a dog’s fur does, but the outer material is snow-proof and water-proof. This is a good product overall, and your dog sure would have a great outdoor time wearing it. Just be sure to allow at least 0.5” size variance instead of just 0.1”.

PROS:

  • Available in 5 sizes and 4 colors
  • Rubber soles with tread to prevent slipping
  • V-shaped opening in the back makes it easy to put these boots on your pet
CONS:

  • The Velcro on these boots does not stay fastened like it should
  • Not suitable for large breed dogs, as the biggest size only measures 2.36 inches long and 1.97 inches long

 

12Detachable Closure Puppy Shoes
by Urbest

The Urbest dog shoes are small boots (for puppies and small breeds) and, for once, they’ve got the sizes in centimeters. That should make measuring easier because the decimals are actually represented in the centimeter tape measure by fine line markings. In the inches tape measure, the fine line markings don’t represent the decimal value so you end up guesstimating. The measuring instructions are also very clear. These shoes are lightweight and are made of rubber and plush material. A Velcro strap fastens each shoe securely.

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The first thing that you’ll notice in these boots is its price – compared to other dog shoes, it’s quite inexpensive. Dogs wearing shoes for the first time would take probably a few days to get used to these dog winter boots, but our dogs that have worn shoes before easily took to Urbest dog shoes without issues. We attribute that to the relative lightness of these shoes. They won’t weigh your dogs down in their high-action fun, and dogs notice that.

The front flap has a way of folding down over the Velcro, obviously due to the soft quality of the material, but it doesn’t cause any problem. If properly worn and fastened, the shoes stay on very well. These shoes are available from size 3.8 cm x 3.2 cm to size 5.9 cm x 5 cm.

PROS:

  • Available in 5 sizes and 3 colors
  • Made of a warm plush material with a rubber sole
  • Velcro strap for secure fastening
CONS:

  • Due to the soft material of the boots, the top tends to fold down over the Velcro fasteners
  • The sizing of these boots runs small, so we recommend ordering one size larger than you think you need

 

13Puppy Cotton Winter Snow Warm Walking Boots
by Qiyun

Qiyun winter dog boots curiously look very similar to the Urbest shoes, but they’re in different sizes. The smallest measures 4 cm x 3.5 cm while the largest size measures 6.2 cm x 5.3 cm with three other sizes in between. These shoes are lightweight, soft, and protective. They fasten with Velcro straps which keep them from falling off and getting lost.

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It’s normal for your dog to take awkward steps with these boots at first, but give him or her time to get the hang of it. As soon as dogs realize that the cold snow doesn’t hurt their paw pads anymore, or that the hard concrete road doesn’t burn as it used to, they’d start looking at these winter dog boots differently.

The outer material isn’t really waterproof, although it repels some snow. Nevertheless, it’s adequate for keeping the cold, as well as chemical salts, off your dog’s paws. There’s a cottony lining inside but not overly warm, the type your dog would want to wear during summer or in warmers zones.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Treads on the soles help to prevent slipping
  • Soft liner keeps paws comfortable and warm
CONS:

  • Only available in one size – Length 3.5cm and Width 2.5cm
  • Not waterproof
  • Not suitable for medium or large-sized dogs

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