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7 Safe Dog Shoes for Summer

Dog standing outside in summer wearing dog boots
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From hot pavements to rocky trails, summer often presents rough terrain for your pup’s sensitive paws. Even if it seems like a moderate day outside, the pavement can reach scorching temperatures in direct sun—according to one study, asphalt can be as hot as 135 degrees when the air temperature is 86 degrees.

To protect your dog’s feet from these hot temperatures, you may want to invest in a set of dog shoes or dog boots. Not only are they a cute accessory for your pooch, but the best dog shoes provide protection against the hot ground, sharp rocks, and even muddy conditions. Here’s everything you need to know about dog shoes to select the best pair for your pup. 

Why Do Dogs Need Shoes? 

Dog shoes aren’t necessarily a must-have for your dog, but there are certain times when these booties can come in handy. “Different types of shoes can be beneficial in different situations,” explains Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, DVM. “There are dog shoes for cold weather/snow, for hiking in temperate weather, and for dogs who require additional traction due to orthopedic or neurologic conditions.”

In the winter, dog shoes can help protect your dog’s feet from the snow, ice, and chemicals that may be applied to the ground, while in the summertime, shoes act as a barrier against hot pavement. Some people also use dog shoes when hiking on tough terrain to protect their dog’s feet from sharp rocks and other potential dangers. 

How We Chose Our Top Dog Shoes 

Close up of dog shoes

To find the best dog shoes for your pet, we spoke with veterinarians for guidance on how to find high-quality shoes that are both comfortable and effective. As we evaluated different products, we looked at factors such as their size range, fastening mechanism, and breathability, and we read dozens of user reviews to see how well the product worked for different dogs. 

We also considered the price and return policy of each pair of dog boots, prioritizing options that are easy to return or exchange in the event that they don’t fit your dog. 

Top Summer Dog Shoe Picks

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

If you’re looking for a pair of dog shoes to help protect your pup’s feet this summer, the following are our top picks for all your outdoor adventures:

7 Best Dog Shoes for Summer

There are a wide variety of dog shoes available today, and they come in several styles and materials. The best choice for your dog will depend on how you plan to use the shoes, and we’ve included our top picks for summertime use, including options for hiking, rainy days, and walking on hot pavement. 

Best Overall Dog Shoes

Our Pick: QUMY Dog Boots 

QUMY Dog Boots Waterproof Shoes for Dogs with Reflective Strips

The QUMY Dog Boots are ideal for all-season use, helping to protect your pup’s feet from hot asphalt in the summer and ice in the winter. These dog shoes come in a pack of four, and there are eight different sizes, allowing you to find a perfect fit for your dog’s feet. (The brand recommends measuring the length and width of your dog’s paws to choose the right size.) 

The QUMY shoes have a thick non-slip rubber sole that provides traction while walking on tough terrain, and there are two adjustable straps to ensure the boots don’t slip off your dog’s feet. You can choose from six different shoe colors, including black, blue, pink or even leopard print, and the shoes have reflective trim around the upper edges for safety at night. 

Highlights

  • 8 sizes and 6 colors to choose from.
  • Two adjustable straps for a secure fit.
  • Easy to put on.
  • Durable non-slip sole. 
  • Reflective trim for nighttime wear. 

Things to Consider

  • The velcro for the straps can get stuck on carpeting or furniture if your dog wears the shoes indoors. 
  • Some owners report that the straps irritate their dog’s dew claw

Best Dog Shoes for Hot Pavement

Our Pick: XSY&G Dog Boots

XSY&G Dog Boots,Waterproof Dog Shoes

On summer days, the XSY&G Dog Boots will keep your dog’s feet protected from the hot pavement. These shoes come in a set of four, and there are eight different sizes available to suit virtually any dog breed. There are also four color options to choose from, including black, orange, pink and leopard. 

These shoes have thick rubber soles that serve as a barrier between your dog’s sensitive paws and the hot ground, and they have breathable sides that allow moisture to evaporate. The boots open wide at the top, allowing you to easily put them onto your dog’s feet, and they fasten securely with two adjustable velcro straps. The shoes are fairly short, ensuring they won’t bother your dog’s dew claw, but this also means they’re not ideal for wintertime use, as snow can easily get inside. 

Highlights

  • 8 sizes to fit all dog breeds.
  • Two adjustable straps.
  • Thick rubber sole protects feet from hot pavement.
  • Easy to put on. 
  • Breathable material keeps feet from getting too hot.

Things to Consider

  • These boots are fairly short, so they’re not ideal for walking in deep snow. 
  • While marketed as waterproof, most reviewers agree that the boots do not keep water out. 

Best Dog Shoes for Hiking

Our Pick: Arcadia Trail Year-Round All-Terrain Dog Boots

Arcadia Trail Dog Boots

If you like to take your dog hiking, the Arcadia Trail All-Terrain Dog Boots are a worthwhile buy to protect their feet. These boots come in a set of four, and they come in five sizes, ranging from small to XXL. The shoes come up to your dog’s ankle, making them suitable for year-round use, and they have both a toggle cord and adjustable strap for a tight, secure fit. 

The Arcadia Trail Boots have a thick rubber sole with a traction grip to help your dog keep their footing on rough terrain, and it will also protect their paw pads from sharp rocks and thorns as you explore. Plus, the extended sole design acts as a toe guard to keep their nails protected on hikes. The boots have reflective stitching for use at night, and they come with a storage bag and carabiner that can be clipped to your hiking pack for easy storage. 

Highlights

  • Designed for year-round use.
  • 5 different sizes.
  • Soles offer improved traction for rough terrain. 
  • Reflective stitching for nighttime visibility.
  • Toggle cord and adjustable strap for secure fit.
  • Includes storage bag and carabiner for carrying.

Things to Consider

  • The brand doesn’t recommend using these shoes for more than a few hours at a time.

Best Dog Shoes for Small Dogs 

Our Pick: LONSUNEER Nonslip Mesh Boots

LONSUNEER Puppy Soft Sole Nonslip Mesh Boots

It can be challenging to find dog shoes that fit extra-small breeds or puppies, but the LONSUNEER Mesh Boots are designed especially for small dogs. The shoes come in sizes XXS to Medium, making them ideal for Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus and other small dog breeds. They come in a set of four, and you’ll want to select the appropriate size by measuring the length and width of your dog’s feet.

The upper portion of these boots is made from neoprene and double-layer mesh for a lightweight and breathable design, and the soles are a nonslip fabric that provides traction while protecting your dog’s feet from hot pavement. The shoes have an opening at the back, making it easy to slip your dog’s paw inside, and they have two reflective velcro straps for a secure fit. 

Highlights

  • Sized for puppies and small dogs.
  • Affordable price. 
  • Breathable mesh construction.
  • Reflective straps for nighttime use.
  • Lightweight and flexible. 

Things to Consider

  • The largest size is a medium, so these shoes aren’t suited for larger dogs. 
  • The materials, including the soles, aren’t the most durable and can break down over time. 

Best Dog Shoes for Large Dogs

Our Pick: Bark Brite Paw Protector Dog Boots

Bark Brite Dog Boots

For large-breed dogs, the Bark Brite Paw Protector Dog Boots have a taller design for a more secure fit. They come in four different sizes, including large, extra-large and XXL, and the brand recommends sizing down if your dog is in between sizes. 

These shoes are made from neoprene with holes for ventilation, and they come up over your dog’s ankle with two straps that you can tighten into place. The soles are made from durable, puncture-resistant rubber that provides improved grip on uneven terrain and protects paw pads from hot pavement, and there’s a slit down the back of the boot to make them easier to put onto your dog’s feet. 

Highlights

  • High ankle design is ideal for large dogs.
  • Neoprene design is lightweight and breathable. 
  • Multiple straps for a secure fit. 
  • Durable, puncture-resistant rubber sole. 

Things to Consider

  • Only 4 sizes available. 
  • Some reviewers say that the high fit bothers their dog’s dew claws. 

Best Budget Dog Shoes 

Our Pick: PAWZ Rubber Dog Boots

PAWZ Rubber Dog Boots, Small

If you’re looking for inexpensive dog shoes that your pooch can wear around the yard on muddy days or for quick walks, the PAWZ Rubber Dog Boots are a budget-friendly solution. These boots come in seven sizes, and there are 12 disposable booties in each package. They’re made from biodegradable rubber, and many reviewers compare the design to a deflated balloon that you simply slip over your dog’s feet. 

These shoes have a tight opening that grips your dog’s leg, allowing it to stay in place without any straps or zippers. However, they can be a bit tricky to put on, as you have to stretch them open and slip your dog’s paw inside. The material is waterproof and will protect against hot pavement, rain or mud, but it’s not the most durable and can be punctured by sharp nails or extended wear. 

Highlights

  • Affordable price. 
  • Comes in a pack of 12. 
  • 7 sizes available, from XXS to XL. 
  • Disposable, biodegradable material. 
  • Waterproof design. 
  • Fits securely without straps or zippers.

Things to Consider

  • Many reviewers say these boots can be hard to put on.
  • If your dog has long nails, they may puncture the material. 

Best Dog Shoes for Rainy Days

Our Pick: YOULY Nature Lover Silicone Dog Boots

YOULY Dog Boots

For dogs who don’t like getting their feet wet on rainy days, the YOULY Nature Lover Silicone Dog Boots are essentially rain boots for dogs. These shoes have a bright, colorful design that’s made from waterproof silicone, and they come in five sizes, ranging from XS to XL. The booties have a textured sole that provides better grip on wet ground or even ice, and it can also protect your dog’s paws from hot pavement in the summer. 

These shoes are easy to slip onto your dog’s feet, and they have a strap that allows you to tighten the boot to your dog’s ankle. The brand also offers a matching raincoat for a stylish ensemble, but keep in mind that the silicone material isn’t the most breathable option on hot days. 

Highlights

  • 5 sizes available. 
  • Silicone design is waterproof.
  • Textured sole for better grip. 
  • Material protects against hot pavement.
  • Brand sells matching raincoats.

Things to Consider

  • Silicone material isn’t very breathable. 
  • These shoes only have one strap to tighten, and some pet parents say they slip off their dog’s feet.

Summer Dog Shoes: Buyer’s Guide

As you browse through different dog shoes, there are several factors you’ll want to keep in mind. These considerations will help ensure that you find the best dog boots for summertime use: 

Size: When selecting dog shoes, it’s important to find a pair that will fit your dog properly—if the shoes are too large, they won’t stay on your dog’s feet, but if they’re too small, they will be hard to put on and uncomfortable to wear. Most brands recommend measuring the length and width of your dog’s foot to help select the right size.

Material: If your dog will be wearing shoes in the summer, it’s important to select ones that are made from a breathable material. “Many boots are water-resistant, which is helpful if you are protecting a wound that you do not want to get wet, but if your dog is hiking in water-resistant shoes for long periods then sweat can build up on the inside,” says Alexander. This can lead to irritation and even hot spots

Traction: Dog shoes need to provide proper traction to ensure your dog is safe while wearing them. “Remember that the boot will cover your dog’s nails, which he/she uses for gripping and traction, so the boot will need to mimic that ability or your dog could slip,” says Alexander. It’s best to look for shoes that have a textured rubber base that will allow your dog to grip the ground securely. 

Dog Shoes FAQ

Dog walking on hot pavement in dog shoes

How should dog shoes fit?

When selecting dog shoes for your pet, you’ll want to look for a pair that’s snug enough so they won’t fall off but loose enough as to not cause chafing or cut off blood flow. You’ll also want to ensure that the shoe doesn’t rub against your dog’s carpal pad or dew claws.

Are dog shoes safe?

Dog shoes are generally considered safe for your pet, but it’s important to monitor them during use and ensure the shoes are fitted properly. 

“If left on too long, moisture can be trapped inside, leading to hot spots, and it can impede the dog’s ability to cool itself through its paw pads,” says Alexander. “If too tight, it can cut off blood flow to the paw and cause painful swelling.”

What if my dog doesn’t like wearing shoes?

Most dogs are uncomfortable wearing shoes at first, as it’s a new and unfamiliar sensation. You’ll want to introduce the shoes to your dog slowly, starting out by putting them on for just a few minutes at a time. Your dog should slowly become accustomed to wearing the shoes, and you’ll then be able to use them for longer walks or hikes. 

How do I know if the ground is too hot for my dog? 

Many veterinarians recommend holding the palm of your hand or sole of your bare foot to the ground for at least 10 seconds. If the ground is uncomfortably warm on your skin, it’s too hot for your dog.

“When in doubt, try to avoid walking during the hottest parts of the day, get out earlier in the morning, walk where your dog can be on grass next to the pavement, or wait until the pavement has cooled,” Alexander recommends.

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