Small Dog Snow Boots – Yea or Nay?

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It’s debated whether any dogs need snow boots. According to some researchers dogs have a natural adaptation that protects their feet from the cold. While this may be true, there may be more to the picture.

Ask Your Dog About Snow Boots

Your dog may be trying to tell you something about whether they need snow boots. The clues aren’t that difficult to detect:

  1. Does your dog limp when he walks on snow? If he is, snow boots may be the answer.
  2. Does your dog stop and lift one paw off the ground when he walks on snow?
  3. Does he or she stop, turn and look at you pitifully with one paw off the ground?
  4. Is he or she now simply resisting going for a walk on a snowy day when they normally eagerly wait at the door?

Occasionally all breeds of dogs will exhibit these behaviors, but certain breeds, particularly small dog breeds or “toy” breeds seem to be more sensitive to the cold in general. Small dog snow boots are a more common sight than say a German Shepard wearing snow boots, but don’t be afraid to try them on your big dog if they are “asking” for them.

Snow Boots for an Injury

It may be wise to protect an injury, even an older healed injury on your dogs paw with snow boots. Injured areas of an animals body can become more sensitive to exposure and paws are no exception. You may want to check with your vet about this, especially if your dog has had a paw injury and is exhibiting any of the behaviors under the heading “Ask Your Dog About Snow Boots”.

Dog Snow Boots Falling Off? – Don’t Get Cold Feet

First of all, in order for small dog snow boots to work, they must stay on your dogs feet. Many will not. As we all know dogs do not have the 90 degree bend in their ankle that their best friends do (specifically designed to keep foot wear secured, or so it would seem). Straps help, but soft or even slippery fur decrease the friction required to keep gravity from just tugging them off. A good fitting boot is certainly one of the tricks and there are companies that customize the size of their boots based on the breed of your dog. Specialized materials and designs to address this problem are available. Before you buy, make sure that the merchant recognizes this issue and has implemented a reasonable fix into their product.

My Dog Doesn’t Like Wearing Snow Boots – He Walks Funny

Many dogs will walk funny when boots are placed on their feet. They will kick up their back feet like haflinger ponies with every step. It’s not natural for dogs to wear boots of course, but they can get used to it (some will not). My wife and I let Theo (our miniature pinscher) wear them around the house for a while before trying the snowy outdoors. While he would walk around the house in them, he refused to walk outside with them on. (I can’t explain it, but as funny as it sounds I think he was a bit embarrassed by them).


Small dog snow boots may be a good solution for your dogs cold feet. Remember to get the right fit and find boots that have a “falling off” solution built in. Amazon has a great selection . If boots don’t work, don’t worry. You may have to keep your chilly pooch indoors on those really cold days. Pee Pads, (usually available at the dollar store) can work wonders. It was incredibly easy to train Theo to use them. We put one down right beside the toilette in our bathroom and he caught on immediately.



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  1. That is good advice. Do you recommend any particular boots. I had a musher tell me they used a cheap disposable boot. I cant find any. I bought some expensive ones for my Border Collie and they rubbed her raw. Any advice?

  2. This article is very helpful in describing the various important factors to take in to account when our little furballs go out into harsh exteriors! My little Dachshund/Shih-Tzu, Artemis, won’t use the pee pads because she doesn’t like going potty inside the house. So I have to take her out in the yard whether it’s rain or shine. She likes to walk in the snow too! I have trouble finding small enough jackets and boots for her most of the time. But her current pair fit perfectly and I got them on Amazon. I believe they are called ‘Ultra Paws’ or something like that. Is there a pair that you recommend for tiny dog feet?

    1. Hi Lauren,  We’ve tried a couple of different sets on Theo but he won’t walk outside in dog boots for some reason.  I put a link for a set called Petleso on amazon on this post.  I like them because they have two straps to help keep them on and a soft interior lining.  I hope this helps.  Thanks for the tip on ultra paws.  Happy New Year.

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