Social media is plentiful with pictures of people and their dogs hiking in the woods with their friends, families, and influencers. The little booties dogs have been sporting more and more recently are sure to catch the eye of viewers. Using dog booties can help prevent paw pads from blistering during long hikes, which may include obstacles like thorns and rocks.
For us, it was a great way to get out and explore the world while living in our truck camper. It dawned on me that dogs don’t need boots. Dogs should wear hiking shoes in the snow, on long hikes, and even on trails with sharp rocks, according to our advice If your dog will allow you to put them on, the extra layer will offer protection.
So, Should dogs wear shoes while hiking? For the vast majority of your dog’s outings, the answer is no. Foot protection is only required in the most extreme circumstances, such as prolonged exposure to extremely cold or snowy conditions, high temperatures and hot surfaces, and particularly sharp and rocky terrain.
Is Hiking Beneficial To Dogs?
Hiking is a great activity for dogs in most cases! In addition to being both mentally and physically beneficial, hiking is almost always a positive experience for dogs. It is possible that some dogs have a medical or physical condition that prevents them from participating in outdoor activities. The smallest of dogs have been seen wagging their tails as they follow their owners up a mountain, according to personal experience.
Pros Of Hiking With Dogs
Hiking can improve a dog’s mood and help them maintain a healthy weight. Dogs, like humans, benefit greatly from regular exercise. Physical activity should be done for at least 30 minutes to an hour every day, according to most experts. Many canines are suffering from obesity. Owners can help their pets’ health by providing them with regular exercise, such as hiking, and a healthy diet.
Cons Of Hiking With Dogs
Some dogs simply do not enjoy going for a hike. For dogs that are fearful or reactive, it may not be a good idea to take them out on the trails. The process of training a dog to be successful on the trail is a lengthy one. You never know what kind of reaction your dog will have if you take him on a hike with you. Make certain that they are prepared. Your dog must be well-trained prior to this trip.
Benefits Of Hiking Boots For Dogs
What’s the deal with dog hiking boots? When going on a hike, you wear thick shoes, and these people do the same.
Many different types of terrain can be encountered while hiking in the great outdoors. Boots protect your feet from the elements and provide additional stability. These benefits are also available to your dog.
Some people may be astonished to hear that companies make dog shoes that are specifically made to go hiking with their pets. The soles of these shoes are often thicker than those of other types of dog shoes.
As a result, dog hiking shoes typically include thicker materials on the upper regions of the footwear. Dog hiking shoes are more like ordinary hiking boots than most dog shoes, which are just thick socks with rubber padding on the bottom. Velcro straps may also be used to fine-tune the fit.
Your dog should wear hiking boots if it’s going to be hiking for a long period of time.
Wearing hiking boots or shoes has a slew of advantages.
When used on a dog, the same advantages apply.
In contrast to canines who spend most of their time outside, indoor dogs have significantly softer pads. Walking on tougher terrain can cause these pads to harden.
There is no issue with softer feet, but your dog may sustain more injuries if you have them. Protection from scorching rocks, uneven ground and thorns and bushes is provided by a boot’s padded sole. Hiking boots don’t have to cost a fortune to keep your feet safe from abrasion.
An important reason for wearing boots is their stability. Dogs can be helpful in some situations, even if you don’t think so at first.
A dog’s stability deteriorates with age. They may require some more assistance in walking if this is the case. Support from footwear can only be a good thing even if it takes some time.
The majority of mountains and routes have at least a few challenges to overcome. One of these obstacles is the terrain.
Hiking boots are fantastic because they give you a lot of traction when you’re out on the trail. Snow, Ice, Water, Rocks, Hot pavement and Uneven ground can all be avoided with the proper footwear. Boots are your best bet if you’re frequently on or near rocky, uneven, or icy terrain.
Drawbacks Of Hiking Boots For Dogs
1. Canines Despise Boots
This is a simple truth to grasp. Not many dogs enjoy wearing boots at first, and it’s unlikely they will ever do so again.
Your dog will ultimately become used to wearing boots, but it may take some time and effort on your part. Because of their safety and protection from injuries, you’ll feel more at ease!
2. Dogs Require Time To Acclimate To Boots
Some dogs may find it difficult to acclimate to wearing boots for the first time. It will take some time for them to become used to having something on their paws.
For the first week, you should wear the boots for at least an hour a day. This period of time ensures that your dog isn’t overstimulated by the constant change.
3. Causes Discomfort To Their Paws
The paws of a dog will harden and develop calluses over time when they are exposed to more abrasive environments. An injury could result from moving too hastily through this process. This process will be slowed down or halted entirely if boots are worn.
4. Ascertaining Your Dog’s Right Size Is A Challenge
Measuring and determining sizes are the initial steps in purchasing boots for your dog. They ought to fit snugly and not be too loose, just like our boots do.
What Is A Suitable Substitute For Dog Boots?
You can go with any of the following two options:
- Using dog socks for hiking is a bad idea
- Pre-hike balms and ointments are a good idea
To avoid a stinging sensation when applied to the paw pad, look for products manufactured from natural components. It’s inevitable that this thick layer of creaminess will ultimately come off. Keep an eye out for anything that might be making your dog uncomfortable while trekking or at the first hint of limping.
How Can You Safeguard The Paws Of Your Dog While Hiking?
If hiking boots aren’t an option, what other options are there for protecting your dog’s paws?
A few things we’ve learned over the years can help alleviate some of the regular wear and tear that comes from hiking with your pet.
1. Do Not Go Hiking In The Summer Heat
Puppies’ paws can survive a wide range of temperatures. Dogs are more likely to get hurt on days when the temperature reaches a high point.
Keep a log of the temperature at which you feel most at ease when hiking and, if necessary, reduce your pace if the weather is too warm.
2. Clean Your Dog’s Paws After Each Hike
After each hike, be sure to inspect the paws. Just a few seconds is all it takes to check sure there is nothing wrong. If you notice any cracks or scrapes while trekking, do a quick check.
You can now begin the rehabilitation process and allow those paws to heal if you notice anything.
3. Enable Paws To Harden
The best approach to keep your dog’s paws safe is to expose them to a variety of surfaces. A hiker’s ability to withstand the difficult terrain they will encounter on the trail is greatly enhanced by exposure to pavement and hard ground.
As a result of the enhanced resistance, hiking-related injuries will be less common. Dogs shouldn’t be allowed to wear hiking shoes every day, even if we can.
4. Utilize Paw Wax
The use of paw wax lotion as an alternative to dog boots is a possibility. Sand, hot pavement, salt, and ice are no match for this extra layer of defense, which functions similarly to boots.
While trekking, if you notice any little wounds on your paws, using wax can help speed up the healing process.
How To Pick The Best Hiking Dog Shoes?
Shoe shopping for dogs can be similar to shoe shopping for humans. Something that can withstand regular use and extra protection for rough outdoor play is necessary.
Material, Sole, Sizing, and Quality are all important factors to keep in mind while selecting the best dog shoe for hiking.
Water-resistant material should be used for the boots’ uppers. The upper half of certain dog boots, like human sneakers, is made of mesh canvas. Leather dog boots are also available, which may provide an additional layer of protection.
In order to keep your dog’s legs safe, the material should be thick enough. It is common for dog boots to cover the lower parts of a dog’s leg, which prevents the dog from twisting its paw.
The soles of high-quality hiking shoes for dogs should also be tough and durable. Your dog’s safety can be improved by using rubber soles with ridges that provide additional traction on slick surfaces.
The bottoms and cushioning of some dog shoes are not included. Dog rain boots, for example, are frequently fashioned from a single material, as are dog booties.
The size of the boots is the next consideration. Consider your dog’s size when comparing product sizing suggestions.
Dogs’ paws are unique, and certain shoes may not fit perfectly. Also, your dog may have feet that are out of proportion to its breed. To get the right fit, you’ll need to go up a size or down a size or try a different brand. As a last resort, you may try wearing canine socks if the shoes are just a bit too big.
When it comes to footwear, doggie socks can help keep a dog’s feet warm and dry, but they can also restrict airflow. The pads on the bottom of your dog’s paws need to perspire. Your dog is going to be miserable if you put socks and boots on him.
The general quality of the product should also be considered when comparing dog shoes. Always check out other people’s opinions of a product or service. You may discover that the pair you desire has frequent flaws or wears out soon.
What Is The Pricing Range Of Dog Boots?
To estimate the typical cost of dog boots, there are simply too many factors:
- Are they water resistant?
- Which boot size does your dog require?
- How frequently will the boots be worn?
However, dog boots can cost anywhere from $15 for lower-quality models to $75 for higher-quality ones
Top 5 Dog Hiking Shoes
To narrow down this selection of the best dog hiking footwear, we’ve trekked with our dogs and combed through reviews and options.
1. Qumy Waterproof Hiking Shoes
Your large-breed dog will love these waterproof and slip-resistant boots for their daily walks or during bad seasonal weather. A pair of luminous velcro straps secures each boot to your pet’s foot and serves as a nighttime safety feature.
Size 8 is recommended for dogs that weigh an estimated 88 pounds (the precise sizing depends on your dog’s paw length and width) since the soles are made of grippy rubber, which provides traction on wet pavement and desert rock.
Where to purchase Qumy Waterproof Hiking Shoes?
You can purchase Qumy Waterproof Hiking Shoes here on Amazon
2. Ruffwear Grip Trex
Ruffwear is a renowned manufacturer of dog hiking boots for working dogs, such as K9 units and service animals. These animals spend a lot of time on their feet, traversing a wide range of terrains and surfaces, from heated asphalt to slick linoleum.
Ruffwear boots keep your dog’s paws firmly on the ground. These boots are sold in pairs of two and four in order to best meet the demands of each dog. Even though they are more expensive than most dog shoes, owners vouch for the excellent quality and all-day comfort these shoes provide for their pets.
Where to purchase Ruffwear Grip Trex?
You can purchase Ruffwear Grip Trex here on Amazon
3. Bark Brite All-Weather Neoprene
Summer kicks are great for dogs of all sizes who don’t like to wear heavy dog boots. They come in five sizes and are ideal for park walks and mild trail excursions. Neoprene is used to create this water- and puncture-resistant set, which has a rubber sole to assist prevent slipping and sliding, but the sole isn’t particularly durable.
If you’re looking for a simple summer dog shoe that can be worn by dogs who are okay with wearing boots, Bark Brite Dog Boots are an excellent option.
Where to purchase Bark Brite All-Weather Neoprene?
You can purchase Bark Brite All-Weather Neoprene here on Amazon
4. Expawlorer Waterproof
In addition to being waterproof, these dog hiking boots offer a sturdy tread and design that will keep your dog’s paws dry in snow and slushy weather conditions. Using the fluorescent and adjustable velcro straps, reviewers say that these pups (a pun on the word “puppies”) are excellent at keeping on a dog’s paws.
Because it’s heavy-duty and made for use in snowy or difficult trekking situations, the tread will be stiff right out of the box, which our tester found improved the product’s overall toughness. In the same way humans break in hiking or snow boots, your dog will need to take a few laps around the block each day for a week to break them in.
Where to purchase Expawlorer Waterproof?
You can purchase Expawlorer Waterproof here on Amazon
5. Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots
Founded in 1972, Ultra Paws is a company with over 40 years of experience in developing dog gear.
Durable Ultra Paws Dog Boots contain grippy skid-resistant materials on the toe cap and soles for your four-legged friend’s safety on slick surfaces. They’re flexible and water-resistant.
The boots also feature substantial foam padding at the fasteners to keep them in place and protect the paws when they’re cinched. In addition, they are easy to put on and can be machine washed.
Where to purchase Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots?
You can purchase Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots here on Amazon
Conclusion: Final Thoughts!
Looking at the advantages that hiking boots have over bare feet, we recommend that you get your dog a pair. Don’t give up after only one journey because it takes time for them to become acclimated to the sensation.
Dogs need hiking boots if they’re going to be walking on rough terrain like sand or rocky ledges. But if you decide that you don’t need the boots, you can always keep a spare pair on hand as a backup.
The last thing you want is for your dog to cut or scrape their paws halfway through a long hike. The return trip will be more pleasant and safer for your dog if you have a pair of boots handy.
Hey Guys I am Michael, I am a writer & editor at Outside Origin. I love being in the outdoors and I hike quite often. I have actually hiked at Inca Trail, Samaria Gorge, and Milford to name a few. I plan on visiting more locations and hiking trails!