A lot of people consider dog clothing and boots frivolous items that pet owners use to treat their pets more like children. However, they have very functional uses for your dog. Dog boots provide paw protection for your small breed dog.
Many small dogs with hairy feet like the Pekingese, Shih Tzu, Maltese and Scottish terrier can collect ice and snow between their toes in winter. Dog boots can protect their delicate feet from the harsh elements of winter.
In the summer, dog boots or sandals can protect your pup’s pads from heat, dirt and debris (a good source for doggy sandals is www.alldogboots.com)
“Before heading out for a walk this summer make sure you do the Five-Second Rule: Place the back of your hand on the pavement or asphalt. If you cannot hold it there for five seconds, it’s too hot for your dog’s feet.” ~ Pet Planet
Consider the environment that you walk your dog in. Outdoor sidewalks, gravel roads, trails in parks and woods – all contain various hazards that can harm your dogs paws. The pads on your dog’s feet can be cut, punctured or burned by various items in the outdoor environment.
Items that can harm your dog’s feet:
- Broken glass on sidewalks and grassy areas (tiny fragments that are hard to see)
- Gum lurking in grass that sticks to the feet
- Hot sidewalks or pavement in the summer which can burn the dog’s pads
- Sharp rocks, stones, pebbles in off-leash areas or hiking trails
- Snow which accumulates between toes making it difficult to walk
- Sharp ice or hardly packed snow which can injure pads
- Chemicals or salt used to de-ice sidewalks and stairs which can burn feet or be ingested through licking feet.
Things to look for when choosing a dog boot
Dog boots come in a wide variety of styles but, when choosing a dog boot, you want to focus on the dog’s safety rather than how the boot looks.
1. Size: Dog boots come in a variety of sizes, usually S – XL. Most companies offer sizing suggestions based on the paw size for your particular dog’s breed. Generally, you should measure from the heel of the pad to the tip of the toe. You also should consider how the boot will fasten onto the dog’s leg to determine if it will work for you. Some products have a single fastener (either snap or velcro) while others may offer two fasteners for greater security.
2. Seasonal Features: Consider the season and outdoor conditions, which your dog will be wearing the boots in. You would want an insulated boot for winter and boots with more breathable fabrics for summer. Some dog boot brands offer waterproof styles.
3. Comfort: Look at the material, the boot’s construction and any added paw padding. Boots should be comfortable, without rubbing against the dogs paws. The boot should be pliable and not too stiff so the dog is able to walk.
4. Secure Closing: And most importantly, it needs to stay on. A mitten shaped boot will fall off a very small dog, like a Chinese Crested or a Chihuahua because their paw isn’t large enough. The boot should have velcro straps, zippers or drawstrings to secure the boot at the dog’s ankle.
There are many brands of dog boots available in most pet stores and online.
These are the top 5 we recommend for small dog breeds.
1. Muttluks All Weather Boot
These boots come in a four-pack and are available in eight sizes and come in yellow or black. These machine-washable boots come with flexible genuine leather soles and feature and adjustable leg cuff with a Velcro strap closure system. They are super durable and well insulated to protect paws from hot pavement or icy sidewalks. They are pricey at $43 but they are the best quality dog boots you can buy on the market.
2. Ruffwear Bark’n Boots
These boots come in a four-pack and are available in 8 sizes in either red, turquoise or black. These all-condition, all-terrain, all-season dog boots are made specifically to fit the needs of active dogs. They have a breathable upper mesh and a Vibram outsole for traction. The hook-and-loop closure system clinches around the narrowest part of the dog’s leg to provide a secure fit. These boots are pricey at $75 but are definitely top of the line for rugged wear.
3. Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots
These boots come in a four-pack and are available in six sizes in either red or black. The sides of the boots expand to make it easy to put the boots on your dog’s paws but difficult for them to slip off. The boots have Velcro straps to fasten them in place. They have a cushion for the dog’s paws and are water-resistant. Reasonably priced at $32.
4. Lonsuneer Dog Boots
These boots are available in a four-pack and are available in four sizes in either red, green or black. Upper is made of neoprene and sof double-layer breathable mesh fabric with flexible cuffs at the top. Nonslip. Waterproof and flexible faux leather soles provide traction and protection. . Closure control by a wide,adjustable Velcro strap that firmly fastens around the ankle. Reasonably priced at $17.00.
Paws come in a twelve-pack and are available in eight sizes in a rainbow of colors. They are made from 100 percent biodegradable natural rubber and have minimal padding for a natural sock-like fit. These boots are reusable and disposable. Quick and easy to slip on and easy on the wallet at $13.99.