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


Visit our Amazon store to learn about more products we rely on to make traveling with pets easier, safer, and more fun!

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  • you are a great example of a considerate loving thoughtful pet parent… so many people don’t think about hot pavement, helping out a dog w pain from arthritis who can still walk with some wheels for comfort… i test the pavement too with my hands pressed into the (black) pavement or my bare feet… a good minute to see how hot it actually is…
    i’m aware that we have to look ahead to things that could be an issue. as are grassy areas that people treat w chemicals to deter gophers and insects and all sorts of things we can’t even consider people do. better to be aware that life is different that 70’s & 80’s and long before that… our environment is more toxic than ever as seen in so many dogs with irritation of their paws bc they are allergic to the environment and biting & itching paws and tush and licking their bits insensately is a key insight to a dog with allergies… thanks for thinking of informing others of what should be already known but not everyone thinks of. okay bye!

    • Thanks so much for your note, Keeley — I truly appreciate it. I hope you have a fantastic day!

  • Category: Travel Gear, Travel Tips / Tagged with: Health and Safety