The 6 Best Dog Winter Boots, According to Our Pet Expert

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As a pet care expert, I know the consequence of paw injuries. Your furry friend deserves winter gear that protects paws from ice, chemicals, cold weather, and injury. Here are my top dog winter boot picks.

Last year, my home in North Texas experienced a week-long arctic blast that challenged everyone to stay warm. It was a reminder that even indoor pets need help to stay safe in the winter weather when they have to “go” outside. If you wouldn’t let your kids outside without a coat or shoes, it’s too cold for dogs to go outside without protection. I’ve written extensively about cold weather and frostbite protection over the years, including first aid tips for dogs and cats. Prevention trumps emergency treatment every time, so dog boots for winter are a must for paw protection.

Does your pet need dog boots for winter?

Dog paws look tough enough to withstand playing and digging through the snow. But even furry dogs have less protection on their paws and benefit from the security dog boots for winter offer. Over-exposure to snow, ice, salt, or other de-icing chemicals can damage paws and claws.

Dog boots give pets extra safeguards on slick surfaces, which can prevent falls and injuries, especially for senior citizen canines. Dogs with bone or joint problems also benefit from the extra cushioning boots provide, helping them walk with comfort. Dogs’ toe webbing absorbs allergens that cause itching, so wearing boots not only keeps your floors clean, it helps reduce canine allergy symptoms.

For Malamutes, Huskies, and other sled-type canines who adore the cold and want to stay out all the time, booties make great sense. Little dogs often hate walking on wet or icy ground and refuse to take a potty break in inclement weather. They won’t need heavy-duty dog boots, but cute little fashion boots help persuade them to do their duty outside. That keeps toes toasty dry and clean while adding to their canine couture quotient.

What to look for when buying dog boots for winter

Before you invest in a pair of dog boots, you’ll want to understand the most important aspects of choosing appropriate paw gear. Your dog’s size, activity level, and the weather and terrain where you live define the best winter gear for your dog.

Look for:

  • Waterproof or water-resistant outer material
  • Flexible non-slip sole for traction and ease of walking
  • Adjustable straps for easy on-off comfort fit
  • Fleecy liners or high-tech insulated materials for warmth and to prevent chafing
  • Products with a wide size range and detailed sizing instructions

Avoid:

  • Unlined boots that rub
  • Products that come in limited sizes or unspecific sizing

How to get a good fit:

It’s important to get a proper fit. Many dogs have wider front paws than rear paws, which means you might need two different sizes. Large dogs with dewclaws present more challenges for a good snug fit so the boots don’t slide off, while avoiding chafing.

You’ll want dog boots for winter slightly larger than your pet’s paw size. Have her stand on a blank piece of paper and press gently on her paw for the flexed size. Trace around the paw outline to get an accurate measure of the side-to-side width, and front-toenails-to-heel length. Match these dimensions to the size guide on the boots you plan to purchase.

Evaluation criteria

There are hundreds of dog boots in different styles. I chose my following top picks based on a combination of several things:

  • Functionality of the design
  • Comfort for the dog
  • Rankings and ratings
  • Reviewers’ comments

Best dog boots for winter

Overall winner: Canada Pooch Soft Shield Dog Boots

Canada Pooch Soft Sheild Dog BootsVia Petco.com

With reviews averaging 4.6 stars, these are my all-around best pick. With other dog boots for winter, people complain the boots fall off too easily, or prove difficult to get on. The Soft Shield boots from Canada Pooch (one of the best pet products from Petco) feature a wide opening for an easy-on-off design.

The boots stay secure with a combination of boot-top toggle, reflective strap, and hook-and-loop wrap that makes the footgear comfortable and practical. The mid-range price makes them affordable at $49.99.

Pros:

  • Designed for snow, rain, and mud protection
  • Canvas construction lets the dog feel the ground for more secure footing
  • Ultra-wide opening
  • Rubber grip on sole
  • Six sizes with clear sizing instructions
  • Pack of four boots

Things to consider:

  • With use, rubber sole becomes brittle
  • Best for use with snow—rain may leak into the boot
  • Once wet, takes a long time to dry

Promising reviews:

“We got these last week and I absolutely love them. I tried some other brand boots on in the store and my pup seemed to hate them and try to shake them off,” reviewer Ajgb22 writes. “With these she did not have that reaction, I think because they are softer and mold to the feet nicer than the other brands we have tried. I love that they go up a little higher, that they can tighten. I have absolutely no complaints so far…I would absolutely order again.”

“I’d recommend these to anyone who has a dog that is particular when it comes to boots,” reviewer Dani F writes. “I’ve bought different kinds and he never seems to like any, he’ll just stand in place and refuse to walk. But with these he just goes along his way and does not mind them!”

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Most comfortable dog boots: Muttluks Original Fleece-Lined Dog Boots

Muttluks Dog BootsVia Amazon.com

These Muttluks Dog Boots feel more like comfy warm socks than dog winter boots. Plus, they’ve been around since 1994 to wide acclaim.

Dogs that easily shed or object to other winter boots are likely to accept this style of sock-lined leather pouch. There’s plenty of room for your dog’s paw, even if he has dewclaws. The hook-and-loop strap wraps around the boot between the dewclaw and paw pad, preventing discomfort but keeping the boot secure. Unlike many dog boots, the Muttluks have a soft leather flexible sole for a “barefoot” comfort dogs love.

With 13 sizes, a detailed sizing chart, and 7 stylish colors, it’s easy to find the perfect size for your teeny-to-giant snow-loving dog. The boots boast 638 ratings averaging 4.1 stars, and reviewers say the $60 price tag is well worth it, especially for hard-to-fit tiny dogs or those with tricky dewclaws. Muttluks can also help prevent dogs from licking their paws too much.

Pros:

  • High-tech waterproof material
  • Breathable but windproof outer fabric shell
  • Fleece inner lining
  • Unique soft, flexible leather soles
  • Accented with reflective material

Things to consider:

  • May wear out with a couple of months of heavy use

Promising reviews:

“These boots are great. The design is perfect,” writes verified Amazon purchaser Terese. “I had been trying shoes with hard soles for my dog as they were the only option I had been seeing, but when I found these, I figured I would give them a try. These don’t have a hard bottom sole, it’s more like a little pouch for your dog’s foot with a leather bottom. This allows their foot to flex more easily when running, making it more comfortable to wear.”

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Best budget dog boots: Qumy Dog Boots

Qumy Pets Dog BootsVia Amazon.com

Priced under $25 with more than 14,000 reviews, Qumy dog boots are Amazon’s number-one bestseller in the dog boots category (talk about a pet product you can’t live without!). They come in nine sizes, six colors, and are perfect for budget-minded dog lovers at just $29. The wide split seam opening expands to make fitting them onto paws easy, and the two adjustable straps fit the boots securely in place.

Pros:

  • Easy on and off
  • Two secure straps for a snug fit
  • Reflective material for seeing pooch in dim light
  • Waterproof
  • Rugged, slip-resistant sole for traction and protection
  • Hand-washable outer material

Things to consider:

  • Can cause chafing, especially for dogs with dewclaws
  • May wear out after a couple of months of heavy use

Promising reviews:

Our pup hurt one of her paw pads playing and we needed something to cover the gauze wrappings while it healed the first few days,” writes one verified Amazon customer. “These stay on VERY well in play, and even if they try to tug it off…The rubber on a hard floor gives pretty good traction and other than the ‘boot walk’ while adjusting, it did well around the house. The seller followed up to see how we liked the boots and how they were doing. Always love to hear a seller who is interested in their product and cares enough to check in. Even happier I bought these from their message.”

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Most durable dog boots: Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots

Ultra Paws Dog BootsVia Chewy.com

With 593 positive reviews, the Ultra Paws are pet parent-approved to stand up to heavy use. They come in six sizes with a patented design for protecting paws in wet, dry, hot, or cold conditions.

The toe and sole are coated in ToughTek—a flexible, skid-resistant material—for extra traction on slippery surfaces. A split-seam upper shaft makes it easy to put on and take off. Foam ankle pads create a comfy but snug fit, and two fastener straps for the front and back of his ankles ensure your pup won’t lose his boots.

Pros:

  • All-purpose boot for hot, wet, or cold weather
  • Patented design includes water-resistant nylon and non-skid toe and sole
  • Helps senior dogs and those with hip conditions maintain traction on hardwood and tile floors
  • Affordable price
  • Paw-printable sizing guide
  • Machine washable

Things to consider:

  • May need two sets in different sizes to fit front and back paws

Promising reviews:

“We have a Jack/Corgie mix. His back feet are Jack and front feet are closer to Corgie size,” writes reviewer HenrysMom. “With that said, we’re forced to buy two different sizes. The quality is very good and will probably last a winter season or two or more hopefully. These have sturdy upper foam so he’s less likely to throw a boot when running. When these wear out, I’ll be replacing again for these same ones. These really are worth getting.”

“Our aussidor loves running, and we’ve clocked him at 30+ mph. These stay on with no slipping,” writes RonGen in their review. “The foamy pads on the inside of the front and back (where our ankles would sit in high tops) keep them in place. He doesn’t seem too bothered by them and we thought he was actually testing them out. We live in Arizona and he was dancing across hot tin like it was winter. No more pads being shredded by rough ground and mean cacti.”

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Most fashionable dog boots: Pet Life Extreme Skater Sneakers

Pet Life Extreme Dog ShoesVia Petsmart.com

Dressing your pup in warm weather gear goes beyond fashion, but we still love cute accessories. These canvas sneaker-style dog boots offer high satisfaction for canine fashionistas. They come in two colors, both with white accents, and four sizes. The rubberized cleat-like soles offer extra traction and support, while the laces provide snug fitting to adjust to your dog’s individual paws.

Pros:

  • Cute design
  • Unique lace tightening
  • Protects against hot, cold, or slick surfaces
  • Inexpensive

Things to consider:

  • Canvas may not be waterproof
  • Limited sizes, difficult to fit
  • Best for small dogs

Promising reviews:

“Our dog is about 15 pounds and we ordered a small. They fit him perfect,” writes reviewer Kim M. ” These are the cutest shoes ever and fit the purpose we wanted them for—to walk him on hotter asphalt during the summer.”

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Best dog boots on Amazon: Walkee Paws Dog Leggings

Walkee Paws Dog LeggingsVia Amazon.com

If Fido is new to dog boots for winter, add this to your new puppy checklist for a creative dog boot option. The Walkee Paws leggings make fitting a breeze, and the legging design makes losing boots next to impossible. Their unique design means the leggings won’t be uncomfortably tight, with four-way stretch spandex fabric for added comfort. The waterproof rubber booties partner with water-resistant legging fabric to help keep your pooch dry no matter the weather.

Pros:

  • Boots are designed to stay in place
  • Stretchable, adjustable fit for various leg widths and heights
  • Loose ankle fit for dewclaws
  • Extra durable rubber boots for gripping on slick surfaces
  • Four sizes
  • Seven colors and patterns

Things to consider:

  • Toenails may rub holes
  • Straps may stretch when wet and need re-tightening
  • Best for moderate temperatures, not insulated for cold

Promising reviews:

“I don’t write reviews on Amazon too often, only when I really like an item and this is one of those cases!” writes verified reviewer Manana. “My dog is a Chow Chow and because he has so much fur it usually takes me hours to clean him if he jumps into a muddy puddle or dirty water when it rains. This doesn’t only make it easier to clean him, but my Chow Chow is also comfortable walking in these as it doesn’t come off easily and his paws don’t slip out like it would with normal shoes.”

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Amy Shojai, CABC
Amy Shojai, CABC is the Affiliate Pet Editor for Reader's Digest. She's also an award-winning pet journalist and the author of 35 pet titles. She specializes in translating pet medical jargon and shopping information into information pet parents easily understand. Amy shares animal behavior and care information on her blog, and lives in North Texas with her furry muses.