Have you returned from a hunt to discover your dog’s paw pads are red, bloody, or otherwise injured? It’s not an uncommon occurrence, hence why hunting dog boots are so popular. While running on hard surfaces can toughen paw pads, it can also lead to a greater risk of arthritis—particularly if you consistently run your dog on asphalt or concrete. Yet, it’s the rocky hill country that can tear up your dog’s paws the most, and no amount of asphalt running can prepare your dog for that.
Benefits of Hunting Dog Boots
- Protects paws against rough and sharp terrain
- Prevents thorns and other things from getting stuck in your dog’s paws
- Allows your dog to walk across hot asphalt without issue. Keep in mind, it only has to be 80 degrees outside for concrete and asphalt surfaces to reach into the triple digits—high enough to burn the bottoms of paw pads.
- Helps give extra support to dogs suffering from joint ailments such as arthritis.
Do Dogs Really Need Hunting Dog Boots?
Paw pads are naturally tough and built to run across all kinds of terrain. But, paws are far from invincible and some dogs have more sensitive paw pads than others. Perhaps you’ve had multiple hunting dogs and never once even considered purchasing a pair of hunting dog boots. And then, you get a dog that changes everything and suddenly you’re the one strapping little boots on your dog.
Hunting dogs are so persistent and dedicated to their jobs that they’ll often work through considerable pain without so much as a whimper. Some dogs truly need hunting dog boots or some type of paw pad protection. It's not wimpy, instead it's more about Maintaining Alpha Status.
What Makes a Solid Pair of Hunting Dog Boots?
Good hunting dog boots must be:
- Properly fit to your dog’s paws—always measure your dog’s paws and look for boots that match these dimensions as closely as possible.
- Rugged enough to withstand the harsh terrain hunting dogs run through
- Stay on dog’s feet all day
The most important thing is that hunting dog boots are comfortable and lightweight enough so that dogs can continue doing their jobs without issue. Heavy or bulky boots can cause your dog to take on a funny stride, slow down, or try and rip them off at every other stop.
Make sure to measure your dog’s paws and carefully read fitting instructions provided by the manufacturer. If hunting dog boots do not fit properly it is very likely your dog will throw a shoe (or all 4) while out hunting. Misfit shoes can also create discomfort and blister-like sores.
Great Hunting Dog Boots to Check Out
While boots can enhance your dog’s comfort and overall performance, some dogs just don’t like wearing shoes. In which case, scroll down to see some other options to protect your dog’s paws without boots.
These water-resistant dog shoes are made for larger dogs and come in various measurements. You can pair your dog’s weight range to the appropriate size boot, but we recommend using a pen, ruler, and piece of paper to trace and calculate the exact size and dimensions of your dog’s paws. A solid fit is crucial for long hunts.
These rugged waterproof boots for dogs include reflective Velcro and an anti-slip sole. While some cheaper dog boots are glued together, these boots are carefully sewn together so they last longer in harsher environments.
These all-weather dog boots have a reflective Velcro strap and are made to conform to the natural shape of your dog’s paws. To further support the fit of these boots, they come in five different sizes based upon the measurements of your dog’s paws. Plus, the interior is lined for temperature control and the non-skid sole helps your dog trek across all kinds of terrain.
But My Dog Hates Wearing Shoes… Now What?
If your dog wants nothing to do with shoes, you’re not alone and you still have options. Pad-Tough offers an affordable solution to toughen up paws without the need for shoes. It is an aerosol spray that can be applied twice a week for a couple of weeks prior to going out. While some people say you can spray your dog’s feet the day before going out, others say it’s far more effective to start applying the spray at least 2 weeks in advance for the best protection.
This is another no-shoe option that can be used alone or in combination with Pad-Tough. Musher’s Secret adds a layer of protection against the elements and is made from 100% natural wax-based cream. Even though it’s described as a cream it does not cause dogs to slip more frequently. Musher’s secret is advertised as the ideal solution to protect mushing dogs, hunting dogs, or any dogs that partake in outdoor activities.
Preserve Your Dog’s Alpha Status with Vitality!
Hunting dog boots help protect your dog against injury from the outside-in. Don’t forget to protect your dog from the inside-out too. It’s crucial to feed your hunting dog a well-balanced diet with the nutrients necessary for hardworking canine athletes.
That’s where Vitality comes in, the world’s first line of hunting dog supplements made especially by hunters who love their hunting dogs. The main ingredient in Vitality is Krill Oil, which has been identified as the best source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for dogs. Omega-3 Fatty Acids, along with EPA and DHA, help naturally rebuild damaged joints and connective tissues.
Learn more about what Alpha Dog’s Vitality can do for your hunting dog—on and off the field.