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Hunting Dog Boots Buyer's Guide

Warner Snell: Thoughts on Dog Boots

Choosing the right dog boots for your hunting dog can be as challenging as buying shoes for yourself.

Dog boots are used to protect your dog's paws from sand burrs, rocks, ice and other rough terrain. They can also be worn to protect your dog's injured or sore paws. Like your own hunting boots, there are a number of things to consider before pulling out your wallet. It's important to to know what brand and material your boots need to be, as well as what you will need in addition to the boots for them to comfortably and safely fit your dog.

Brands of dog boots

There are several different brands and types of dog boots available, including trusted brands like Lewis Dog Boots, Ruffwear Bark'n Boots, and Scott's Dogbooties. For ice and snow there are specially designed winter dog boots.

How to attach your dog boots

It's also important to know how to properly secure your dog boots to your dog's leg. Vet wrap or an ace bandage can be used around the dog's ankle before putting on the dog boot, and then the boot can be secured again with vet wrap or duct tape around the outside. The more important thing to remember is not to wrap your dog's legs too tightly. Securing dog boots with duct tape will help ensure the boot stays on your dog's paw, keeping it safe, and preventing the loss of an expensive boot. Using bright colored duct tape also helps visibility.

If your dogs are particularly rough on boots, an alternative is making your own disposable ones. These can be made with a variety of materials, including rubber, cordura, and nylon. Some folks also make dog boots from motorcycle inner tubes and duct tape.

Dog boots in snow and ice

We have used the nylon boots on our Brittanys in snow for short periods of time and they did fine, but I would suggest that the Unvented Lewis Rubber Boots are better suited for use in snow and ice. Our experience is that the Lewis rubber boots also generally last longer than the nylon boots.

Dog boots on pavement

I haven't had much experience with running dogs on pavement, but I expect that your best bet would be the Endo dog boots which we don't stock at this time. They are nylon and have a urethane lugged sole. Check with Endo Enterprises at 801-281-1331 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are about $45 per set.

Of the boots we stock, I would go with the Lewis rubber boots. They are more durable than the nylon boots we stock and they would afford better protection. You have to tape them on, so it will take about 5-10 minutes to put them on each time.

Using Tuf Foot to protect your dogs' feet

The Tuf Foot works great. I've been using it on our bird dogs for 15 years or more. I wouldn't go to West Texas to hunt without at least one bottle. Put it on every day for two weeks prior to the beginning of hunting season (or other activity) and it will make a big difference.

We use it daily when hunting in West Texas because of all the stickers, etc. I rarely use it here unless a dog injures a pad. It is messy, so you don't want to put it on inside, and you need to be sure that it has dried before letting the dog inside as it is amber colored and will stain the floor. -- WC SNELL

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