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What Are Running Shoes for Dogs and Do Dogs Really Need Them

If you are an avid runner, then you are already aware of how important running shoes are for this sport. But if you'd also like to take your dog running with you, you might rightfully wonder how to protect his paws from possible injuries or damage from running on asphalt. That’s where dog running shoes come in.

What Are Running Shoes for Dogs?

As the name implies, running shoes for dogs, or running booties as they are also called, are not the same as regular dog shoes intended for short walks. Regular, “almost decorative” dog booties look more like human shoes and they are not made to sustain so much use from running. Due to the design of regular dog booties, they could hurt your dog’s paws if they try to run in them for a prolonged period of time.

Needless to say, running dog shoes look nothing like running shoes for people. They're more like protective socks and they are usually made from durable, weather resistant materials. Dog running booties typically come with a hook and loop fastener found at the top. They are often available in bright, neon colors and have reflective strips to make your dogs more visible when they jog with you.

There are several popular brands of running shoes for dogs, such as:

Do Dogs Need Running Shoes?

Dogs can get injured or sustain paw damage when they run on different types of surfaces. The paw pads of their feet are not hard enough for asphalt, like horse's hooves for example. They are rather soft and prone to damage. Running in winter can be even more dangerous for the pet, especially if there is snow and ice.

There are many things that can go wrong if your pooch doesn’t have any protection when he’s running. For example, your dog’s paws can get cut, his pads can wear out and start to hurt, he can slip on wet surfaces, his paws can become sore if you run on hard pavement, and more. In general, running on hard surfaces for longer can put a lot of pressure on your pet's feet and even lead to leg and hip injuries.

Do Dogs Need Running Shoes

Competitive racing is another common reason for getting running shoes for a dog. Many dog races, including the Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race, require wearing protective running booties for all dogs in the race. This means that dog running shoes will not interfere with your canine's ability to run.

The best dog shoes for running provide protection from injuries like scratches, cuts and scrapes, as well from extreme temperatures. They will keep your dog’s sensitive paw pads and other areas of his feet safe. When you choose the right canine booties for your pooch you need to ensure that they fit him properly and that they are comfortable.

How to Teach Your Dog to Wear Running Shoes

Some dogs will have a hard time getting used to new running shoes, or even wearing them for the first time. Your Fido may outright refuse to wear them. There are ways to get your pup used to wearing shoes, and things to consider when shopping for them.

The shoes you choose must be exactly the right size, so measure your dog’s paws properly beforehand. Measure the width and length of your dog's paws and get the shoes in the appropriate size.

How To Measure A Dog for Boots

Before jogging, properly put the shoes on your dog’s feet for a few minutes a day and let him walk around the house. Gradually increase the amount of time you leave the shoes on. Once you see that he’s comfortable wearing them inside, start to take short walks first. Again, increase the time you spend walking until your dog is fully accustomed and only then start with short runs and increase the running times gradually as well.

How To Put Boots On A Dog

Check your dog’s running booties regularly for wear and tear (if possible, after each run). Look for areas that seem like they are thinning and check for any small holes. Replace them if you see signs of deterioration. If you go for a long run with your pooch, take an extra pair of shoes with you in case you have to replace them mid-run. If you pick out the best running shoes for dogs, ideally they should last you a long time without replacement.

The Best Running Shoes for Dogs

There are many options on the market when it comes to dog running shoes, but here are a few of our favorite ones that are likely to be most comfortable and last the longest.

Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Dog Boots

Canine Equipment is one of the more popular brands pet owners buy specifically for different sports with dogs. These trail dog boots are great for any most outdoor activities, including running (especially on hot pavement). They are one of the more expensive choices, but are particularly fit for hiking dogs since they can protect your pup's feet from anything that a rough terrain can throw at him, like rocks, branches, twigs, etc.

Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Dog Boots, Medium,...
127 Reviews
Canine Equipment Ultimate Trail Dog Boots, Medium,...
  • Protect you dogs feet from...
  • All terrain boots are made...
  • Front and hind boots are sized...
  • Each set contains 4 boots and...
  • Size medium fits a paw width...

They are made from eco-friendly, recycled rubber which is waterproof and more durable that a lot of regular dog shoes. The soles on these booties are made to specifically improve traction of different surfaces. This particular set comes with 4 boots and a garment bag to make machine washing easier.

 

RUFFWEAR Grip Trex Paw Wear for Dogs

From one of our favorite dog supplies brand, these Grip Trex dog booties are also on the expensive side but the price is more than justified. The quality of these running dog shoes is high, especially when it comes to providing traction on any kind of terrain. The shoes are also extremely flexible and breathable because they are made from tightly woven air mash, which also does a great job of keeping debris and dirt out.

Ruffwear - Grip Trex (All-Terrain Paw Wear), Blue...
199 Reviews

Your dog’s feet will be protected from any kind of extreme conditions but the canine will also look good in these booties because they have an innovative and modern design, which is much more aesthetically pleasing than any other brand. They come with intuitive closure system based on the hook-and-loop cinch. These shoes come in many different sizes to allow you to find the perfect fit for your pooch.

 

Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots

The most popular choice among dog owners on a budget, these Ultra Paws flexible dog booties are great for running, but they are also good for senior dogs or dogs with hip problems who struggle with slippery surfaces because they provide excellent traction. Their skid-resistant soles make them perfect for wet surfaces and winter conditions.

Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots Black Large
1,488 Reviews
Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots Black Large
  • Great traction for senior dogs...
  • Flexible, skid-resistant sole...
  • Easy to put on with wide split...
  • Velcro straps for secure...
  • Measure paw width for best...

The materials might be a little lower in quality than Ruffwear brand, but they typically last even with regular jogging. These shoes have a wide split seam opening, which makes them easy to put on. Also, once you put them on they are likely to stay on thanks to secure Velcro straps. These booties come in many different sizes, suitable for all breeds.

 

Petacc Water Resistant Dog Boots

The Petacc dog shoes are the cheapest brand available that is still good for running. These dog booties are made of relatively durable, water resistant material. They are great at keeping debris out, feet protected on hot surfaces, and due to soft design are likely to feel more comfortable for the pup, as long as you find the right size.

Sale
Petacc Dog Boots Water Resistant Dog Shoes for...
1,007 Reviews
Petacc Dog Boots Water Resistant Dog Shoes for...
  • Made of tough, water resistant...
  • Easy to put on with wide split...
  • Cute pet paw embroidery,...
  • Measure paw width for best...
  • Size reference:...

The soles on these shoes will prevent your dog from slipping on wet surfaces. They are also flexible and waterproof and can provide traction when you go for a run with your pooch. They can protect your dog’s feet from moisture but they are also great for keeping his feet cool in dry and hot weather.

The good thing about the cheaper material is that you're unlikely to have much trouble putting these dog booties on unlike with sturdier options, and also because they come with a split seam opening on top and can be fastened firmly in place by 2 reflective and highly adjustable Velcro straps.

 

Union Rich Pet Boots

The last brand of running dog shoes to consider if you're on a budget are Union Rich boots. They are effective for what they're intended for and actually have a better looking design than the above Petacc boots. These ones come in a few different sizes but they are not made for small dogs.

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Union Rich Pet Boots 4 Pcs Outdoor Waterproof and...
66 Reviews
Union Rich Pet Boots 4 Pcs Outdoor Waterproof and...
  • 1 SECURE :Protect your dog's...
  • 2 CONVENIENT: You don't have...
  • 3 QUALITY:  Fixed by nylon...
  • 4 SIZING:It can be used for...
  • 5 FASHION AND COOL:This pair...

Just like with others, your Fido will be safe from damage to his paws in these shoes, but the materials don't appear to be as sturdy and are more likely to wear out sooner. They are waterproof and wear-resistant though, which means that should last for a while anyway. They are fixed by nylon buckles and are easy to put on and take off your pup's paws.

READ NEXT: Dog Paw Care Guide – 7 Things Every Pet Owner Must Know

 

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