Pet Travel. Made Easy.

Why My Dog Wears Boots

A lot of people have asked why my dog wears boots. Buster sports his fancy footwear for a variety of reasons, so my answer varies depending on the situation. Health, weather, time of year, and where we’re walking are all factors that have an impact. So, let’s get into exactly why my dog wears boots!

Buster the German Shepherd Dog on a pet friendly trail wearing black dog boots

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Reasons Why My Dog Wears Boots

For years Buster’s been wearing dog boots, but lately we’ve gotten more questions about them. The boots help Buster in so many ways that, depending on the day, the reason he’s wearing them can be different. If you have a dog like Buster, perhaps dog boots will help your pup, too! Here are the reasons why my dog wears boots:


Buster is terribly allergic to germinating grass. In the Spring, a walk in the park leaves him itching for days! Wearing boots keeps his paws from coming into direct contact with the grass, and the grassy bits can’t get into the fur between his pads where it’s hard to get out. A quick wipe of his legs and belly with a damp towel after removing his boots helps prevent any allergic reaction he might otherwise suffer.

Buster the German Shepherd Dog in his wheelchair in the grass

Dragging Feet

As he’s gotten older, Buster’s developed arthritis in his hips. The weakness and discomfort that causes has resulted in him dragging his back paws when he’s walking. The dog boots protect Buster’s paws from being scraped up when we’re out for walks.

READ MORE ⇒  Helping a Dog with Arthritis Keep Going

Buster the German Shepherd Dog in his wheelchair wearing purple dog boots

Foxtails and Sand Burrs

Seeing your dog limp toward you with one paw held up makes every dog lover’s heart hurt. Knowing your dog has stepped on a sand burr and is in pain feels awful. But realizing he’s walked through foxtails is even worse. With their barbs, foxtails can get embedded in your pet’s skin and require a trip to the vet to remove. Dog boots help keep your pet safe from these harmful weeds.

Buster the German Shepherd Dog wearing purple dog boots in Texas

Health Benefits

When we’re traveling, making pit stops at rest areas or gas stations is part of the deal. Many, many pets are using the same areas to relieve themselves, and unfortunately, not everyone cleans up after their pets. Ty’s willing to do his duty quickly and get back in the Winnebago, but Buster insists on sniffing every tree and post. Wearing his dog boots helps ensure he doesn’t pick up an illness on his hunt for the perfect spot to go.

Hot Pavement or Sand

Sand and pavement bake in the sun and can burn your dog’s pads when they get too hot. On warm, sunny days we test surfaces with our bare fee before walking the dogs on them. If it’s too hot for us, it’s too hot for the boys! Dog boots come in handy on days when you’re concerned that the ground could become too warm for your pup’s paws. That extra layer of protection provides peace of mind when you’re out and about.

Buster the German Shepherd Dog walking in purple dog boots

Protection On the Trail

When we’re exploring new pet friendly hiking trails, we can’t always know what terrain to expect. Some trails have sharp or rough rocks that make walking uncomfortable for pets. Having Buster’s dog boots along allows us to provide some protection for his paws so we can continue our hike.

READ MORE ⇒  13 Tips for Hiking with Dogs

Buster the German Shepherd dog wearing purple boots on a pet friendly trail

Staying Clean

Some dogs just attract dirt, and Buster is one of those dogs. Ty’s always been very fussy and would walk around a puddle rather than get his paws wet or muddy. But Buster is the opposite. He believes mud puddles are for prancing through, loves seeing his paw prints in mud, and gleefully gathers sand, leaves, and pine needles in his pads. Rather than spoil his fun, he wears his boots so we can leave his messy collections outside.

Buster Splashing in the Dog Park in Asheville, NC

Snow and Salt

Much to Buster’s disappointment, we try to keep the Winnebago out of snow and salt. But you may not be so lucky! For dogs who build up snowballs in their pads and those who walk in areas where salt is used to melt ice and snow in the winter, dog boots are a convenient way to keep your dog safe and comfortable.


Tender Paws

Buster’s had tender paws his whole life. And some places we’ve stayed had gravel or rough pavement that made his paws sore after a few days. In those situations, Buster wears his boots to keep his feet happy so he can enjoy his walks.

Buster the German Shepherd Dog playing with a ball wearing purple dog boots


As you can see, there are a lot of practical reasons why my dog wears boots. But Buster’s also loves the attention! Many conversations have begun with a question about Buster’s footwear, and while I’m chatting with the person, Buster saunters over for an ear massage or scratch on the rump. He absolutely has people wrapped around his boot-covered paws!

Pawz Dog Boots have worked great for Buster, but there are a lot of brands on the market. If you’re wondering which dog boots would best meet your needs, we’ve reviewed some of the most popular brands in this post   Which Dog Boots Are Best For Your Dog.

Can you think of other situations where dog boots would be good for your pup?

Gear Used in This Post:
(Affiliate Links)

Pawz Dog Boots

Freedom No-Pull Harness

Alcott Martingale Collar

Alcott Weekender Leash

Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair

See all the gear we use to make traveling with our pets easier, safer, and more fun!



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  • Julie Nolet says:

    Thanks Amy ! Went shopping for summer boots because Buddy is dragging his hind legs when walking. He is also getting unconfortable when walking on gravel. I saw the exact same boots Buster is wearing at a local store so Iam going to buy them for my dog!

    • Amy at says:

      Fantastic, Julie! They can be a little tricky to get on, so here are my tips:
      1. Stretch them out a bit, like you would a balloon before you blow it up
      2. Front paws are pretty easy if your dog knows “Shake” and will hand you his paws
      3. For the back paws, kneel on one knee behind your dog and set one of his legs against you thigh so you can use both hands to open the boot and slide it over his paw
      I hope that helps, and that he likes them!

  • Jenny says:

    Pawz boots were being given away at a surf-dog event I was photographing a couple years ago. It was great marketing for them having all these dogs running around on the sand and in the water with them on. I used them on my tripawd Great Dane on her last trip to Teton Valley during mud season. I found them challenging to get on, it took two of us to do it, and I’m always concerned about how tightly they fit at the top even using size XL.
    It is great they don’t come off but are you at all concerned that they are too tight on their ankles/wrists?

    • Amy at says:

      Hi Jenny! I totally understand your concern – they do fit kind of tight at the top. When they’re new I stretch them out a bit before putting them on Buster for the first time (like stretching a balloon before you blow it up). And, they do continue to stretch as they get older. Also, I don’t leave them on Buster for hours. Usually he’s in them for an hour or so max.

      I also agree that they’re tricky to get on. To conquer that, I taught Buster to rest his hind paws (one at a time) on my thigh while I kneel behind him. That way his paw is off the ground and I can use both hands to stretch the boot over his paw. You might want to give it a try!

  • Cynthia Ibanez says:

    Thank you very much for your common sense decisions to keep Buster Healthy, safe & happy on His walks. I remember our Charly had the same allergies and I didn’t know how to prevent it other than wiping and checking his paws. When we went camping- we did have a lawn chair for him to keep him off the pine needles- which he really disliked. Can you please repost your recommendations on the company for the doggie boots? Thank you Amy & Rob !

    • Amy at says:

      Hi Cynthia! You’re so welcome. We learn these things over time and I enjoy being able to share the information. I’ll add a “Gear we Used” section at the bottom of the post with the link you’re looking for. Thanks for your note!

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