Skip to main content

Do dogs need shoes for the hot summer months?

If you have a dog and live in a hot place, you’re probably curious as to the best way to keep their paws protected in the summer. You might be wondering, “Is it cruel to put shoes on a dog?” If this sounds like you, we have just the article for you! Dive in to find out all about dog shoes, also called dog booties.

Ways to keep your dog cool

Bulldog being walked on city sidewalk
Maskot/Getty Images

There are a few precautions you can take to avoid injury to your pup’s paws prior to resorting to booties. You may discover that these precautions alone are enough to protect your pooch. Most importantly, don’t walk your dog during the hottest times of day — in the hours surrounding noon. To determine how hot pavement is, place your hand on it for 10 seconds; if you can do that without flinching, it is cool enough for your dog to walk on barefoot. If possible, walk your dog on the grass instead of on sand, concrete, or asphalt. If there’s no grass where you live, try to drive your dog to a nearby grassy area or park to walk them. As a general rule, don’t make your dog walk barefoot anywhere you wouldn’t want to walk barefoot.

Related Videos

During the cooler months, consider walking your dog more often so as to build up the calluses on their paws, which protect them from burns. However, even if you follow these guidelines, you and your dog might encounter other obstacles. Broken bottles, burrs, and rocks can all cut a dog’s paw pad or get stuck in between their toes. If you live in an area where these objects are common, if you go hiking often, or if walking on grass isn’t an option, you may want to consider investing in a pair of dog shoes.

Types of dog booties

A variety of dog booties exist, made from different materials and with different purposes. Some are intended just for use in the snow, and others for the warmer months. The type of dog shoes you buy will depend on the climate that you live in. People who walk their dog on the beach often will likely appreciate a waterproof pair of dog boots, although this isn’t so necessary in a desert environment. Note that some fabrics are more breathable and comfortable than others. Fleece-lined shoes probably aren’t the best idea in the summer, for instance.

White dog with pink booties walking in park
ADX Collections/Getty Images

You can buy dog booties that have reflective tape or even lights for heightened visibility at night. And many dog shoes have nonslip pads to give your dog traction that is lost by putting something over their paws. Also, some boots have Velcro straps, while others stretch to fit a dog’s paw. Before purchasing a pair of dog booties, keep reading to find out how to prevent your dog from becoming Houdini and taking them off.

How to keep dog boots on

Tiny dog wearing booties with owner

Some dogs will be more hesitant to let you put booties on them than others. Regardless of how you get them on, getting them to stay on is an even more difficult task! You can make this feat easier by taking the following steps. Pick a pair of booties to start with. We recommend you get a high-quality pair with good reviews, as these generally last longer and stay on better. Before buying any pair of dog shoes, be sure to use the manufacturer’s guide for measuring your dog’s paws to ensure that you buy them a pair that fits.

You should always take measurements at the widest or longest point. Once you receive the booties in the mail, practice putting them on your dog before you need to use them to go outside. It is easiest to do this by placing them on your dog’s paws while they are standing. Ensure that paws are all the way in the shoe, and that the shoes are facing the right direction and have been thoroughly strapped, if needed. If secured properly, a quality pair of dog booties will stay on all through your walk.

Having to outfit your dog with dog shoes might seem like a daunting task — although it doesn’t have to be! Follow our tips and shop wisely to get a pair of booties that is perfect for your pup. Soon enough, you’ll be on your way around the neighborhood again, and this time with protected paws.

Editors' Recommendations

Howling dog went viral for sounding like an opera singer — we can’t get enough
This video shows a pup who has mastered the art of music with his perfectly on key howling
A dog lies in the grass and howls at the sky

Many of us think that our dogs talk way beyond the average woofs and barks that we all hear. Some seem to be particularly good at human speech, mimicking our sounds to try to be more like their pet parents. While most beasties never quite make it to speaking to us in our language, others go a step further and decide they will learn to sing too. Singing pups have taken over the internet, and this diva is no different.

If you've ever been to the opera, you know to listen for the tell-tale vibrato, which is really just moving between two pitches very quickly. There's nothing quite like it, and most of us will immediately think of that sound when we listen to this melodious dog.

Read more
50 spring-inspired names for dogs, from Forrest to Petunia
Springtime names for dogs influenced by the season, from Cosmo to April
A black and white Pomeranian sits in front of a tulip field and gives a head tilt

As the snow begins to melt beneath the longer hours of daylight, so many new things are taking form. Flowers are budding, animals are welcoming their young, and everything begins to feel renewed. Springtime is near! It's also an ideal time to welcome a new furry friend into your household. After all, longer days and warmer temperatures will make outdoor activities with your pup much more fun.

If you're planning on adopting a new dog come spring, you'll need to have some good dog names on hand. Of course, you can always opt for one of the classics, but these names for dogs are inspired by one of the most magical times of the year: springtime. These are 50 of our favorites, and we hope you'll love them as much as we do!

Read more
Have your heart set on a breed? Here’s why it’s important to consider different types of dogs
Think you need a small dog? Here's why you should research different types of dogs first
A woman kissing a dog

Perhaps you love your friend’s Yorkie. Maybe you grew up with a beagle and always dreamt of having one of your own. Getting fixated on a specific breed is normal and natural, and there’s no shame in it. Just like gender disappointment is a "thing" in parenting, so is dreaming about welcoming a specific dog with a distinct look and characteristics into your family.

Still, you want to consider different types of dogs while searching for a new furry family member. It may be difficult to wrap your head around, but researching other breeds and considering all of your options is an essential step in the process of choosing a dog breed. That doesn’t mean you must consider all dog breeds — that’s overwhelming — but you want to look into several. Here’s why and how to jumpstart your search for your next four-legged best friend.

Read more