People love to take their dogs everywhere with them outdoors. Ice fishing is one of the popular activities you can do with your dogs during the winter. However, you have to make sure that they are protected, especially their paws. This is the most vulnerable part of your dog when its cold.
The three best dog boots for ice fishing are:
- Qumy Dog Boots
- Ruffwear’s Polar Trex Winter Dog Boots, and
- Muttluks Dog Boots.
The best dog boots are waterproof, anti-slip, and comfortable for your dog to wear.
We all want the best for our furry friend, which is why we will do our best to protect them wherever they go. For example, buying the best boots for taking them out in the snow is crucial. In this article, I will talk about what ice fishing is, ice fishing with your dog, and the importance of your dog wearing ice fishing boots. We will discuss the best boots your dogs can wear during ice fishing.
Ice Fishing and Your Best Bud
You can bring your dogs to accompany you during the time you spend on the ice.
Pack the right dog gear
First, you need to make sure that you pack the right dog gear for ice fishing:
- Firstly, include an insulated, waterproof coat;
- A microfiber dog towel to dry your dog;
- In addition, a dog bed that sits off the ice or keep them in the car;
- The right boots so your dog’s paws don’t get damaged; and
- Also, if you are inside a tent, make sure that you pack your dog a blanket.
Safety on the ice
Ice safety should always come first.
You need to make sure that the ice is fresh and clear with a minimum of four inches in depth when you’re traveling on foot.
The depth should be eight to twelve inches when you are going to take your car or a truck with you during ice fishing.
Secure your dog when camping
Of course, you don’t want your dog running out to areas that are open and dangerous for them.
Set up a camp where your dog will be secured. When you’re setting up, keep your dog inside of your car until you’ve finished.
Before settling them down in the camp that you’ve set up, it is best to take your dog out for a walk to burn off the energy.
Keep your dog away from your fishing hole
You’d be surprised, but there are cases where dogs fall inside the ice fishing hole, especially when they are chasing after a fish. In this case, you have to make sure that their bed is as far away from the hole as possible. As a result, they will not be tempted to leap into the hole or pounce on a perch that’s flapping in the ice.
Keep your dog warm
The most important thing that you should do while ice fishing is to check your dog’s comfort level. If you notice that your dogs start to shiver, it might be best to bring them to the car to keep them warm.
If you bring along a heater, be careful your dog doesn’t sit too close and burn themselves.
I had made this mistake before. We thought our dog was okay while we were ice fishing. We then noticed he was shivering. I got very concerned and brought him to the vet right away. It turned out that he was close to getting hypothermia.
It is best to let your dogs decide when the ice fishing trip is finished. If they’re shivering or restless, you guys should go home and call it a day. Be a responsible dog owner. Don’t let your dogs feel miserable and understand your dogs’ needs as well as wants.
Benefits of Your Dog Wearing Boots For Ice Fishing
Just like regular days in the snow, you want your dogs to be protected – especially their paws.
The benefits of wearing ice fishing boots
- It provides traction so your dog can walk on the ice without slipping;
- They help prevent ice balls from forming on your dog’s toe pads
- It prevents any frostbite.
What are ice balls?
Dogs with hairy paws are more likely to have ice balls on their paws.
The snow can turn into ice, especially when you don’t clear the ice fast enough, which can be painful. When dogs stand still in the snow, it will melt beneath their feet and then stick, which can cause a lot of discomfort. This is one reason why wearing ice fishing boots is essential.
My experience with ice balls
There was one winter where I decided to play with my dogs in the snow. I didn’t really think that he needed boots since we’re going to play in the backyard for a short time. The snow was pretty high, and we both had a great time playing, but little did I know there were ice balls beneath his paws.
He was limping and crying when we were about to go inside the house. I had to go to the vet to get his paws treated. This trip resulted after only minutes of playing in the snow in my yard! I can’t imagine what will happen if you take your dog ice fishing without any boots.
How cold can it get before you can’t take your dog outside? We’ve written a comprehensive article on the Outdoor Dog Fun blog on this topic.
Did you know that the salt spread on roads for de-icing can damage our dogs’ tender paws? If you walk your dog on snow covered with de-icing agents, you should have your dog wear their snow boots. Read more in this article.
Getting Used To Dog Boots
Now, getting used to the boots is also tricky. It’s like us getting used to wearing a pair of stilettos for the first time! Your dog is the same with their boots. Before you can take your dog out for ice fishing, they have to get used to the boots that they’re wearing.
Try the boots on for size
The first thing you need to do is to bring your dog with you when buying their boots. This way, you will know what fits them perfectly.
If you are unable to take them with you, it is best to know the exact size of your dog’s feet.
How to get your dog used to their boots
When you buy the perfect pair, it’s time to train them to wear the boots at home.
In this article on the Outdoor Dog Fun blog, we describe a 3 step process to help your dog get used to wearing their boots.
When the boots go on their paws, it’s best to give them a treat. It serves as a reward, and they’ll be excited to wear their boots next time.
It might take a while for them to get used to their boots.
Let them wear the boots around the house or even on walks.
Don’t laugh at your dog with boots on
Dogs can walk funny with boots on initially. Most dogs don’t like wearing boots. Take a look at Libby’s first walk in her snow boots.
Your dog needs to be confident when wearing them, so never laugh when they are walking awkwardly. We talk about this topic in this article.
Choosing the Right Boots for Your Dogs
When going ice fishing, the most essential factor is that the boots should have a good grip for traction. It should also have a non-slip feature since the surfaces that you’ll be ice fishing on are slippery.
Water-resistant or waterproof dog boots
Another important factor is your dog’s boots should be water-resistant or waterproof.
This way, your dog’s paws will not be wet or cold during your ice fishing adventure.
The sole of your dog’s boots should be flexible so that your dogs can walk naturally.
It’s important to know the manufacturer’s size guidelines before buying your dog’s boots.
You don’t want boots that are too big or too small. You want something comfortable for them to wear during the ice fishing trip.
Your four-legged friend can always tag along when you’re buying the boots, but if they can’t, make sure you know their size.
Best Dog Boots for ice Fishing With Your Furry Friend
The following table will show the pros and cons of the boots that are mentioned above.
|Type Of Dog Boots||Pros||Cons|
|Qumy Dog Boots||Reflective Velcro straps for your dog’s safety during nighttimeEasy to put on and offWaterproof|
Provides stability and traction
|Sizing is difficultDoes not bend the way your dog feet does, which can be uncomfortable for your dogs to wear.|
|Ruffwear Polar Trex Dog Boots||Well insulated for warmthIt has a secure fit which keeps the snow out.WaterproofHook and loop closure that will give your dogs a secure fit on all their paws. Comes in four or two boots per package||Hard for your dogs to get used toIt needs to be warm first so that it can be easier to put on.It fits larger dogs better.|
|Muttluks Snow Mushers||Durable leather bottoms for tractionLightweightAvailable in different sizes and colorsThe inner fleece lining keeps the dog’s paws warm.||If a dog’s feet are skinny, the snow can easily enter the boot.Water resistant but not waterproofIt takes practice to put the boots tight enough so that it is secure.Does not give enough traction|
Qumy Dog Boots
The Qumy Dog Boots are a popular choice when going ice fishing with your dogs.
It is secure and adjustable. This means it’s effortless to put on and off and stays on.
The distinctive feature of these boots is they expand with a wide split seam opening with two adjustable reflective straps.
It has an anti-slip sole, which is excellent for stability and traction.
The Qumy Dog Boots are also waterproof dog boots that are great for ice fishing.
These boots have a cute design that will give your dogs a fashionable look. It comes in seven sizes and two colors, red and black.
|2||2.4 inches||1.6 inches||18 to 27 pounds|
|3||2.5 inches||1.8 inches||23 to 33 pounds|
|4||2.6 inches||2.0 inches||31 to 40 pounds|
|5||2.7 inches||2.2 inches||40 to 55 pounds|
|6||2.9 inches||2.5 inches||52 to 65 pounds|
|7||3.1 inches||2.7 inches||63 to 75 pounds|
|8||3.31 inches||2.9 inches||74 to 88 pounds|
The Qumy Dog Boots are hand washable and can be quickly air-dried.
There have been a lot of complaints when it comes to the sizing of the Qumy Dog Boots. There have been situations where dog owners have measured correctly, but still end up with a size that’s too big. Another issue with the dog boots is it doesn’t bend the way a dog foot does, which can be uncomfortable for dogs to wear.
My shopping tips
- Bring your dog to the store and have the store help fit the dog boots. If you can’t do that, make sure you buy at a store that allows refunds, so you can return them if the size or fit is all wrong.
- Try the new boots on your dogs’ paws in your home. This way, if you need to return the boots, they are not worn.
Ruffwear’s Polar Trex Dog Boots
The Ruffwear’s Polar Trex Winter Dog Boots are an excellent choice for dog boots for ice fishing.
Designed for warmth and traction.
The soft-shell fabric creates a breathable, waterproof feature during the harsh winter season.
It has a three-layer laminated soft-shell and durable water repellent coating.
With these features, it will be easy for your dogs to move around the ice while with you during your ice fishing adventure.
It has a hook and loop closure that will give your dogs a secure fit on all their paws. The Ruffwear’s dog boots have a zipper that secures the shoes and keeps the snow from entering the boots.
Just like the Qumy Dog Boots, it is available in seven sizes that are made to fit your dog’s cute little paws. They come in:
- 1.75 inches
- 2 inches
- 2.25 inches
- 2.50 inches
- 2.75 inches
- 3 inches
- 3.5 inches.
They are sold in packs of four boots or two boots.
These Ruffwear dog boots come in one color, which is forest green.
One of the disadvantages of these dog boots is that it takes time to break them in.
It is also challenging to put on the boots when it’s out in the cold.
One trick is to warm the boots first with a hairdryer, or the vent of your car heater, so that they fit snugly on your dog’s feet. If you are not able to put the boots on correctly, snow is more likely to enter the boots.
Muttluks Dog Boots
The Muttluks Dog Boots have a wide range of boots selection in the market.
The best dog boots are the Snow Mushers.
It has an inner fleece lining that is cozy for winter use.
The sole is flexible rubber and provides traction which is excellent for slippery areas – perfect for an ice fishing experience.
They have a double wrap fastening system to assure the boots are secured and will prevent snow from entering their paws.
It includes reflective accents that can provide them with nighttime visibility and safety.
Also has an elastic fastener that is easy to take on and off.
The boots come in two per package, and are available in five sizes. The sizes are from XXS to XL, which is an excellent range in finding the perfect pair for your dogs.
It also comes in four colors, which are blue, orange, purple, and grey.
Now, there are also some disadvantages with the Muttluks Dog Boots.
If your dogs have skinny legs, snow can enter the ‘sleeves’ of the boots.
These boots are only water repellent but not waterproof.
You need to put on the boots tight enough, which may take some practice so that it is secure on your dog’s paws.
I’ve used this boot before, and it took me a while to get the boot’s perfect tightness so that it doesn’t come off my dog’s paws. There was also some time that I didn’t put the shoes tight enough, and snow was able to enter the boot. However, with practice, I was able to get the hang of putting the boots on correctly so that the snow doesn’t enter it.
Dogs are a bundle of excitement when you have them with you during your ice fishing adventure. It can be full of laughter and joy, but you must remember to appropriately equip the dogs with clothing and shoes. Their paws are the most vulnerable when it comes to snow. Frostbite and ice balls can happen quickly if you do not pay attention. Choosing the right boots will help you keep them safe and let them have the time of their life in the snow.