Before going out on a hot summer day, you usually prepare the essentials. You make sure you have your sunglasses, your hat, and even your sunscreen. Preparing your dog for a walk in the blistering summer heat should then be the same. You have to make sure that you can protect them from extreme weather.
Do dogs need shoes in summer? Yes. When the weather is extremely hot, their paws need protection from hot pavements. If you like hiking with your dog, shoes will protect paws from hot rocks, boulders, burs, and other debris.
Special consideration is required for both young and old dogs. The surface of the paws of young dogs are not fully developed, so protection is vital to prevent damage. Older, slower dogs are vulnerable to paw damage on hot concrete pavements.
When buying shoes for your dog, there is definitely a lot to consider. You need to know the proper size for your dog and the level of comfort of the shoes. More importantly, you need to consider how to get your dog accustomed to wearing them. In this article, I will walk you through everything you need to know. I will also talk about alternatives if you think wearing shoes is not for your dog.
When Does My Dog Need Shoes?
The first question on your mind probably is, “Do dogs need shoes in summer?” Well, yes. In summer, your dogs’ paws are vulnerable to burns and blisters. You may not immediately realize this, but the ground your dog walks on could be too hot for them.
This is especially the case with walking dogs on pavements around your neighborhood. Just how hot can sidewalks get? The temperature of concrete or asphalt is a lot higher than the air temperature. Here’s the correlation:
|Air temperature||Asphalt temperature|
|77 degrees F||125 degrees F|
|86 degrees F||135 degrees F|
|87 degrees F||143 degrees F|
How hot is hot? You can fry an egg in 5 minutes on a hot concrete surface that reaches a temperature of 131 degrees Fahrenheit.
Going out to the beach and walking your dog on hot sand is another thing you should look out for.
When you go outside with your dog, remember the 7 seconds rule. Press your hand against the surface your dog will be walking on for 7 seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand – you know it’s going to be too hot for dog paws!
Be mindful there will be times when it’s just too hot to walk your dog.
Shoes can also help if your dog recently had an operation on or near their paw. They help keep the paw stable and offer protection from dirt and debris. This way, the paw, and dressings are both kept clean.
Furthermore, dog shoes can serve orthopedic purposes. This is because they can provide support to older dogs who may have hip problems. They can also provide extra cushioning for old dogs that drag their feet while walking. This protects their paws from getting rubbed and improves their mobility.
How Do Shoes/Boots Help Dogs When It’s Hot In Summer?
Shoes protect dog paws from cuts, even if your dog’s paws are naturally made to withstand rough surfaces. With the heat, their paws may get worn out. Thus, contact with surfaces can quickly become painful experiences for them.
Dog shoes, particularly all-terrain boots, protect paws from getting sore. Active dogs love sprinting outdoors. So, they join you on hikes and go on trails. In these activities, dogs can slip on wet rocks and hard surfaces, which may injure them. Dog shoes help you prevent these painful accidents.
What Dog Shoes Should I Buy?
What are the features of the best dog shoes for summer?
Basically, the best dog shoes are those that are easily put on dogs and stay on them. Dogs love moving around, so you would want to put the shoes on quickly.
Furthermore, since they are very hyper, shoes that stay on their paws the whole time are best. To find these two characteristics, here are some features you should look for.
Rubber or neoprene soles
First, look for dog shoes with rubber or neoprene soles. They offer the most reliable protection against rough surfaces.
Second, look for shoes with velcro straps.
These straps ensure that the shoes can fit your dog’s paws well and that they stay intact. When buying shoes, veterinarians say that the best fit is essential. It can dictate how comfortable dogs will feel while wearing them.
Next, look for water-resistant shoes. Some dogs like playing with puddles and getting their paws dirty.
Make sure the shoes you get are non-slip.
Lastly, look for shoes that have reflector straps.
These offer extra protection for your dogs as it makes them extra visible when on the road.
This is also helpful during the night when you can’t keep track of your dog as easily.
What type of dog shoes are best for summer?
Searching for the best type of shoes is not as easy as typing ‘dog shoes Nike’ on Google.
Like shopping for your own shoes, you have to know what they feel like when you wear them. Unfortunately, when buying online, we have to rely on product reviews and product lists we find on the web. A lot of these pet lovers actually leave comments online for dog sandals for hot pavements. So, you can do a lot of research!
What are the top 3 picks for dog shoes?
To help you get started with your research, I have come up with a list of the top 3 dog shoes. Refer to the tables below if you want a quick review.
My first pick
|Has two reflective fastening straps||Can wear out with everyday use|
|Has rugged anti-slip sole||Can cause sores/irritation to some breeds|
|All-weather||Can limit fit with flat/straight design|
My Busy Dog shoes are loved by many dog owners because of its water-resistant materials.
**Special Note** If you are looking for dog boots that can be used during summer and winter months, don’t look for water-resistant varieties. Instead buy waterproof booties for walking in snow.
Another favorite feature of My Busy Dog bootie is the rugged rubber sole, which makes it easy for dogs to walk on different surfaces. This feature is especially suitable for dogs that have injuries.
Lastly, the reflective straps are helpful for fitting and visibility, but there is a learning curve to correct fastening.
However, there have also been complaints about the fit of the shoes. Dog owners raise concerns about its flat/straight design because it makes for a stiff material. This is crucial for some breeds since their paws end up slipping from the shoes, even with the Velcro straps.
Users have also noticed that these shoes wear out quickly if they are used every day. They recommend buying a lot of pairs if you plan to use them daily.
Take note that, for some breeds, these shoes can also cause sores and other irritations. Thus, always do research before buying.
My second pick
|Easy to wear and remove||Has a thin material|
|Has a wide range of sizes||Can cause chaffing|
|Great traction for indoor and outdoor use||Has a size chart that may be inaccurate for some breeds|
The price varies by the size required.
Positive reviews of this product center mostly on its excellent traction. Many love that their dogs have been able to overcome the trauma of slippery floors. This is great for older dogs that must avoid accidents and injuries. Of course, this also helps your hyper but clumsy dogs.
One pro tip, if you are trying to get your dog used to wearing dog boots, don’t laugh at them when they look funny or clumsy. We’ve written an article about this on the Outdoor Dog Fun blog and how to get your dog used to these shoes on their paws.
The Ultra Paws are said to be comfortable to wear because of their wide split seam at the top. However, what comes with this flexible material is that it is thin as well.
The thin material can cause chafing in dog paws, which require more cushion.
Lastly, although this brand offers a wide range of sizes, some dog owners have found the size chart inaccurate. They often end up getting returns or buying a new pair in another size.
My third pick
|Has quality rubber soles||Can come off easily for some breeds|
|Has reflective adjustable straps||Can cause sores|
|Has a design that allows ankle movement||Can wear out quickly (depending on where you use it)|
QUMY Waterproof Dog Boots are on the pocket-friendly side. Dog owners rave about the quality rubber soles they get for the low price.
They also love that these boots have adjustable straps that go around the dog’s leg.
Another advantage users mention is that these dog boots easily allow ankle movement. However, this design might not be beneficial for some breeds.
Other dog owners complain that the boots do not come up high enough on the leg. In the words of a user who owned a Great Pyrenees, the boots “need to go up the leg a couple more inches to keep them on.”
The stitches on the dog boots are also reported by some pet owners to cause sores. They make for rough surfaces that irritate, or scrape the dog’s skin. So, that might be something you want to take note of.
Although this can depend on where you use the boots, they are also said to be less durable than advertised. This can, however, be influenced by your use and location. For example, the boots can be great for city dogs. But, for more active ones who hike on trails, these boots might not be for them.
How Do I Make Dog Shoes for Summer?
Some dog boots cost over $50. So for some dog owners, the cost of investing in dog boots can be expensive. Thus, some dog owners are looking for ways to save money, like making the shoes themselves.
Make sure you have the materials needed
To make DIY dog shoes, you need to prepare the materials.
First, you need to choose your fabric. Some projects use lighter materials like fleece.
On the other hand, more complicated projects use faux leather, like Martha Stewart’s DIY Dog Booties. If you are not confident about your sewing skills, you might want to stick with the former.
You also need a harder material that will act as a grip for the shoes. This will also make your dog more comfortable with wearing your DIY shoes. Examples of these materials are suede, fabric-backed vinyl, and even canvas. Of course, you’ll also need elastic, scissors, needles, and heavy-duty thread, or a sewing machine.
Customize the pattern to fit your dog
Other materials you might need are things to make the pattern. If you’re lucky enough to find a pattern that exactly fits the description of your dog. You may not have to go through this step. But if you do, you’ll need measuring tape, paper, and a pen. For free patterns, you can go to different sites like dog blogs or even Pinterest. Nonetheless, you need to make sure that the shoes you are creating will fit your dog.
A tutorial from Instructables cites that the easiest way to ensure the boots are right is to trace your dog’s paws. After this, you can decide how spacious you want the shoes to be. Make sure that it is not too tight and that your measurements allow ease when putting the shoes on.
Get the other parts ready
After preparing the main pattern, you also have to prepare the other necessary parts. For example, to make the shoes anti-slip, you have to cut out the hard material into circles. You also have to prepare the elastic for each of the boots. Measurements can differ for different breeds, so I can’t point out an estimate for you. This is where the measuring tape comes to good use. Bring it out and find the right length for your dog. Lastly, prepare the Velcro.
Create the dog boots
The first thing you should sew on is the harder material that will act as a grip. This is essential as it can guide you as you sew other parts. Next, fold to the right length, you sew the fabric to form the actual shoes. Lastly, you put on the elastic and the Velcro.
There you have it! Your DIY dog boots. If you’re feeling hopeless about sewing, you can go for a no-sew alternative using a glue gun. If you’re discouraged by the materials you have to buy, you can make dog boots from your own anti-slip socks. Like all DIY projects, the tip is to be resourceful and work with what you have at home.
What Other Benefits Can You Get From Dog Shoes?
Getting shoes for your dog also makes for a cleaner home. You won’t have to worry about them running all over the house with dirty paws from outside.
Wearing all-terrain boots allows your dog to join you in a more active outdoor lifestyle.
More importantly, dog shoes can also save you money. From helping older dogs with their arthritis to preventing paw-licking and paw-chewing, shoes can make for fewer visits to the vet.
What Other Steps Can I Take For Dog Care In Summer?
How to put shoes on a dog
There are important things you need to remember when putting shoes on your dog.
First, you have to get your dog accustomed to wearing shoes. Make sure they break them in before letting them wear them for a long duration. This helps them to feel more comfortable.
Also, clip all your dog’s nails to avoid puncturing the shoes and to make more space in them.
Moreover, review the manufacturer’s guidelines for getting the right size. Call the company for assistance if you need help with measurements to make sure you get the right pair.
Other things you can try
Applying paw protection wax or paw balm can also help during the summer. It will moisturize your dog’s paws and help them feel more comfortable in shoes.
You can also purchase paw protection pads. Anti-slip traction pads can really help if your dog doesn’t like wearing boots.
Lastly, it helps to regularly check your dogs’ paws for any irritation and address it right away.