Best Dog Paw Protectors
Dog paw protectors keep your pet’s sensitive paw pads protected from the harsh weather elements, road conditions, and potential injuries. Read on to see which products are best for protecting and healing your pet’s most exposed body part.
Why is protecting my dog’s paws so important?
Your dog’s paws are one of the most sensitive parts of his body – and they’re also one of the most exposed to the elements! Whether it’s freezing cold or scorching hot outside, your pet’s paws will be the first to know it. Not only that it can make your pet feel uncomfortable, but having their sensitive pads left to the mercy of the extreme temperatures can also be painful and cause serious damage to their paws such as burns or frostbite. Of course, even when there are no seriously high or seriously low temperatures to worry about, there are plenty of other issues that would require some form of protection for your pet’s paws. In the winter, road salt can dry out your pet’s pads and cause cracking, and even endanger their overall health if they lick it off their paws. The issue known as paw road rash is caused by walking on the gravel and results in superficial abrasions, and there is also a possibility of cuts and injuries from stepping on sharp objects. Needless to say, your pet’s pads see a lot of wear – and it’s important to properly protect them.
Dog paw protectors come in many forms but they all serve the same purpose: keeping your pet’s paw pads protected from various threats he can encounter when he’s out and about. Naturally, as there are many issues that could affect your pet’s sensitive jelly beans, so there are many solutions that will work to prevent it. Dog paw wax, dog paw-wear such as shoes and booties, socks, and even stick-on pad protectors are all solid options, and the choice will depend mostly on your specific situation- and the severity of it. It goes without saying that while, for instance, paw wax can be good winter protection if the temperatures are really low and there is a lot of road salt, you’d be better off with a pair of sturdy dog booties. Similarly, if it’s extremely hot concrete you’re worried about, you wouldn’t further heat up your pooch with dog boots but rather go for specially designed protective paw-wear. In a nutshell, there’s plenty to choose from- you just have to know what you need to pick.
To help you find the perfect match for those cute paws, we’ve rounded up the best dog paw protectors on the market- in all shapes and forms. Whether you want to keep your pet’s paws soft and nourished while staving off snow and salt or need something to provide a barrier between the scorching hot concrete and the dog’s paw pads, we’ve got you covered. Just read on to learn more about which types of dog paw protectors will suit your needs the best- and pick one from our list of best sellers!
1. Editor’s Choice: Pawz Dog Boots
Made in the USA from all-natural materials, these waterproof paw protectors will keep your pet’s pads safe from elements. They can be reused or disposed of after use- they are 100 percent biodegradable and they are affordable, so it’s not a concern in any way. The best part is that they offer year-round protection, as they are perfect for creating a barrier between the paw and the hot pavement, muddy puddles in the autumn, or road salt in the winter. To boot, you can put these booties on your pooch when he’s indoors, too, as the traction from the rubber will prevent slipping. Paws booties are available in a variety of sizes from tiny to extra large.
2. Runner Up: HiPaw Breathable Mesh Dog Boots
If you’re looking for shoes your pet can wear in the summer and still stay cool, these breathable mesh booties are a great choice. The non-slip rubber sole is ideal for walks on hot pavements and will keep your pet’s sensitive pads protected from sharp rocks, abrasive gravel, and chemicals on lawns. The upper part of the booties is made from a dual-layer breathable mesh that allows air to circulate and cool down your pet’s paws, preventing overheating. Choose between black or blue and one of 5 sizes.
3. Customer’s Choice: Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax
This paw wax has legendary status among pet parents – it is rated at 4.6 stars with over 20000 ratings and is awarded Amazon’s Choice reward. It is made from 100 percent natural waxes and both protects paw pads and keeps them soft. When this wax is coated on the pads in a thin layer, it will prevent road salt and ice from sticking to the paws, as well as sand on the beach when you’re having some fun in the summer. It will also provide a good layer of protection from the heated walking surface. The vitamin E in the formula will moisturize the pads, making them softer almost instantaneously. The paw protection wax should be applied 2 to 3 times a week, and more often when it’s snowing outside.
4. Best Wellies: YOULY The Nature Lover Yellow Waterproof Silicone Dog Boots
In case you don’t want to compromise on quality but want a bootie that can be used throughout the year, you can’t go wrong with these silicone dog boots. They are a good all-seasons choice (cost effective on its own), made from high-quality, durable silicone, and they are affordable to boot. The silicone will not just keep water, snow, and salt at bay in the colder months of the year, but it is also heat-resistant so you can use these booties in the summer, too.
5. Best Wax: Four Paws Paw Guard with Lanolin
This wax-like paw protector will be your best friend’s best friend in the winter – a layer of this product on their pads will keep them protected from road salt and other corrosive eliminators of ice and snow. Of course, this will have the same effect when the paw is in contact with sand or hot pavements so you can use it in the summer as well. The formula is enriched with lanolin, which is ideal for dry and cracked paws as this substance boasts superior nourishing and moisturizing properties.
6. Best Socks: KOOLTAIL Dog Socks
Budget-friendly, convenient to put on and great protection in the summer months, these socks with waterproof soles can help keep your pooch safe from the risk of paw burns in the summer. The thin rubber coating will block the heat from the pavement and at the same time, stay lightweight enough so your dog feels like he’s not wearing anything at all. However, they are a bit slippery on ice – so consider another option for wintertime protection. These cute sock-style booties come in 5 sizes from small to 2X-large to accommodate pooches of all breeds.
7. Best Stick-Ons: LOOBANI PadGrips
Simple to put on, these paw protectors by LOOBANI simply stick to your pet’s pads directly. Disposable and self-adhesive, they are a great option for pets who dislike traditional dog booties and are constantly trying to take them off. There is a special hypoallergenic and adhesive layer that will keep them on for 2 to 7 days. The newly redesigned grips have more rubber area while increasing the contact between your pet’s paw pads and the floor allowing them more traction and less force on the sensitive hind legs. Before putting them on, make sure that the nails and hair between the pads are neatly trimmed and the paw pads clean and dry to extend the use cycle of the traction pads – then, just remove the sticker and stick the grips to the paw pads.
The LOOBANI Pad Grips are perfect if your pet refuses to wear shoes but requires protection from hot pavements or abrasive surfaces when walking. Indoors, they offer enough traction to prevent slipping, so they can be a great aid to senior pooches or dogs that live in homes with hardwood floors or tiles. They are also very breathable, so their paw pads can still perspire as needed. These pad grips are available in 6 sizes ranging from small to 3X-large.
8. Best Splurge: RUFFWEAR – Grip Trex
Even though their price tag is higher than you’d usually expect for dog booties, these heavy-duty shoes are well worth the price. They are ideal for hiking and the rough terrain you can find in the great outdoors, and they are suitable for all seasons thanks to the breathable upper and rugged soles. If you and your pet like to go on adventures together, these paw-protecting shoes are the ones to go for. The upper is made from a tightly woven air mesh that keeps the dirt and debris out but allows your pet’s paws to breathe for greater comfort, especially when worn for a longer period of time. The wide opening makes the booties easy to put on and a reliable hook-and-loop cinch closure makes sure that these booties stay snuggly on during the walk. These premium quality dog booties are available in 3 colors (blue spring, obsidian black, and red currant) and various sizes to suit dogs of all breeds.
9. Also Consider: 21st Century Essential Pet Paw Pad Protector
Whether it’s hot pavements or salt in the winter that concern you, this highly nourishing protective paw wax will keep your pet’s jelly beans safe. The combination of cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, and wheat germ oil ensures that dry and cracked paws get the moisture they need and coating the pads with this waxy formula prevents direct contact with dangerous substances and abrasive surfaces. This paw wax is made in the USA and tested in a laboratory to ensure the best quality for your pet.
10. Honorable Mention: QUMY Waterproof Dog Boots
Rain or shine, cool or hot, these affordable dog boots can give your pet’s paws the protection they need. A favorite among pet parents, these waterproof dog boots were awarded the #1 Best Seller spot in Dog Boots category on Amazon – and with good reason. Designed to be comfortable enough for summer wear and protective enough for winter months, these dog shoes have a rugged sole that will block salt and ice from reaching the paws and insulate against hot pavements. They are easy to put on- but stay put, have reflective details, and offer year-round protection for your pet – what more could any pet parent want for their furbaby? As an added bonus, they come in six colors and seven sizes so any doggo can easily find a perfect match.
Types of dog paw protectors
The category of products labeled as dog paw protectors includes a variety of different items, and it can be confusing for some pet pawrents. But when you think about it, it makes sense – it’s almost impossible to envision one product that could protect your pet’s paws in every single season and on every type of terrain with the same efficacy. To make sure you’ll be able to discern between the different protector types and choose the one that will be the most practical option, we’ve rounded up the most common choices on the market:
Dog shoes and boots
This one is pretty straightforward – if you want to minimize the contact between the bare paw pad and the surface beneath it, what could be better than wearing shoes? There are options for all seasons and all terrains, so picking out a pair (two, to be precise!) of dog shoes or boots for your pooch shouldn’t pose a problem. If you are worried about the heat or the cold, or just want to create a sturdy barrier between the gravel or rocky terrain and your pet’s paws, you can’t go wrong with some good ol’ fashioned booties.
Features to look for in dog shoes and boots
For the paw-wear to serve its purpose, it has to fit right. Make sure that the boots are not too tight on your pet’s legs and, at the same time, that they’re not too loose and bound to slip off during the walk.
The type of materials you pick will largely depend on the season they’ll be worn in. Naturally, winter shoes and boots for dogs have to be lined or nicely insulated to offer warmth in addition to the protection from salt and ice. Similarly, shoes your pet can wear in the summer have to be made from breathable, lightweight materials that won’t cause your pet to overheat. Another important factor is the reflectiveness of the material – it can be either stitching or the fabric that has reflective properties. This ensures that your pooch is visible to drivers and passersby in low-light conditions.
The sole should be made from quality materials and suitable to pose a lasting, sturdy barrier between the pad and the surface below it. Opt for non-slip, grippy soles that will minimize the possibility of your pet slipping around like Bambi when he’s wearing them (especially if he’s new to wearing shoes).
You want your pet’s shoes to be easy to put on- any kind of complex closing system and unnecessary hassle is all but guaranteed. There are plenty of closure options out there, though, so you won’t have any issue finding the most convenient option for yourself- whether it’s snaps, velcro, hook and loop, or elastics.
Ease of maintenance
Dog shoes will see a lot of wear and tear, and you’ll have to clean them regularly. That’s why it’s important to pick materials that are easy to clean and can even be washed in the machine – it will give more wear to your pooch and make sure no nasty bacteria or grime builds up on your pet’s kicks.
Dog pad protectors
While they can be used to protect the delicate pads from abrasion, dog pad protectors are mostly used for their anti-slip properties. These pad protectors stick directly onto your pet’s paw pads so your pooch won’t even notice they are wearing them. The extra traction they provide makes them perfect for preventing injuries indoors, where your pooch might slip and fall on hardwood floors or tiles.
Features to look for in dog pad protectors
If the protectors peel off after minimal wear, what’s the point? The pad protectors you pick should be those that stick well to the pad and won’t slip off as your pet is walking around.
Only the right kind of material will give you a strong grip that is needed to prevent slipping. If possible, go for pad protectors with rubber reinforcements for added anti-slip properties.
Be sure to carefully measure your pet’s paws to find a perfect fit – too big and it will stick to your pet’s hair, too small and they won’t provide the promised traction.
Contrary to what you might think, dog socks are suited for indoor AND outdoor use both. Made either from fabric alone or with a rubber coating to add traction, sturdiness, and waterproof properties to the socks so they can be safely worn outside.
Features to look for in dog socks
While cotton or poly-blend dog socks can be a good choice to make sure that your pooch doesn’t slip around the home, if you plan on taking them outside while they wear socks, these won’t do the job. All-rubber dog protective socks or dog socks with rubber coating on the soles are the better choices for outdoor use.
Like it is usually the case, you’ll have to make sure you get the right dimensions – you don’t want your pet’s socks to chafe or block blood flow if they are too tight and if they are too big for them – they’ll just slip off in minutes.
Dog paw wax
Paw wax is both protective and nourishing at the same time. While a coating of wax can form a barrier between your dog’s pads and the walking surface, no matter how thick it is, it won’t be as efficient as other forms of paw protectors out there. Wax will melt, get absorbed, or simply get taken off during walking and it’s not a suitable form of protection for extreme conditions or long walks. On the other hand, dog paw wax is also moisturizing and helps dry and cracked paws regenerate and can have properties that promote healing of existing abrasions, cuts, and injuries.
Features to look for in dog paw wax
Wax for paws can have different ingredients- and sometimes, not all of them are safe for your pet, especially if he tends to lick his paws. Before buying, be sure to check the label to see if all of the substances in the formula are safe for dogs. Steer clear from
Some dog paw waxes are specially made to provide traction, others have ingredients that promote faster healing with their antiseptic and antibacterial properties, and some are fast-absorbing and provide much-needed moisture to cracked pads instantly. Opt for the texture and formula that will serve the purpose you need it to – and combine with other types of paw protectors if and when needed.
How do I stop my dog’s paws from ripping?
Paw pads are quite sensitive – heat, cold, and rough terrains can all cause irritation and painful wounds that make it difficult for your pet to walk around. The best way to prevent damage to a dog’s paws and paw pads is to have your pet wear protective booties. These will keep road salt, ice, and sharp objects at bay, and minimize the effects of heat and cold on the pads, protecting them from ripping, calluses, drying out, and even burns and frostbite. An alternative for dogs that dislike wearing boots and shoes are stick-on paw grips or a generous coating of paw wax (but neither will be as effective as boots).
Why are my dogs paw pads ripping?
Unfortunately, paw pad tears can be a common issue for dogs that don’t wear boots in situations that require them, such as walking on rough terrains or going out in scorching heat or freezing winter. It might be that your pet stepped on something sharp (e.g. piece of glass, a jagged rock, or even ice) and it caused a tear, or it could be that their paw pads aren’t tough enough so long walks and difficult terrains cause issues. In this case, use a product such as paw wax to moisturize the paw pads but don’t overdo it – if you do, they’ll get softer and more sensitive and prone to irritation.
Will a dog’s paw pad grow back?
If your pet has sustained an injury to their paw pad, don’t worry too much – the good news is that they do grow back. If the injury is more severe and the paw pad is hanging from the paw, you should take your dog to the veterinarian’s office, but if it’s a minor injury or a tear, you can usually expect it to heal without a professional’s help. The wound should be disinfected with an antiseptic diluted with water, and the tear should be washed multiple times a day to prevent bacterial infections. Additionally, the foot should be protected with a sock, boot, or a bandage and their movement should be limited to minimal activity while the wound heals – it usually takes about 10 days.
How do you treat a split paw on a dog?
Dry, cracked paws are a common issue for dogs, especially in winter. If the splitting is minimal, washing your pet’s paws and regularly applying a paw balm should help moisturize and soften the pad enough to remove cracks. However, if the crack is deeper and painful, it should be disinfected beforehand, and bandaged or placed in a sock while it heals, to prevent further damage to the paw pad.
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A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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