Boots and Shoes and Traction for Pets, aka, Dog Boots


*This is a product recommendation page. I may receive commission on the products you purchase from links on this page, at no additional cost to you.
**Scroll down for pics and links to purchase on Amazon.
***Don’t miss the instructions and info between this sentence and the pics below 🙂

Good Info:

Please see my more informative post on Boots and Shoes to learn more about my experiences with pet footing, traction, and protection with hundreds of cases.

You will hopefully see the common sense in some of my findings and be encouraged to choose proper products for your pet, whether off this site or from elsewhere, despite what other posts on the web may excitedly claim or what other professionals who don’t have as much experience in solving these types of engineering and pet function problems may recommend.

I added that last sentence because so very many people in the animal care world really mean well with suggestions, but they may not have had opportunity to evaluate an extensive number of cases and products. It’s also possible/probable that someone at a conference excitedly told them that a product is awesomesauce, yet, it’s just not. One great example of this is those toenail plastic gripper cover thingys…just say no. See my longer post for more info as to why-

LOTS of boots and socks and items that are supposed to help with traction for your pet are available online and in stores.
LOTS of ^^ those^^ items do not work the way you and your pet need them to work or do not work well at all, regardless, and are a waste of time and money plus frustrating for you and your pet.

I am giving you links to the products I have tested and proved valuable (or, in one or two cases, a link to a very similar product I haven’t tested), and when you go to the sales site, you may pick the correct size for your pet. In most cases I just picked a link with a good price and didn’t pay much attention to size. Right now it would take up too much room and be too time-consuming for me to post all sizes of all models, as you can imagine 🙂

These Ruffwear Grip Trex boots, below, are for greater traction and are also great for trails and very hot pavement. I posted a very short video of a Trudydog in these shoe boots on IG (Update 2023: I deleted my IG account in 2020, and sometime soon I hope to find the vid in my stash and put it in this blank box!)


Sweet Trudy has vestibular disease, hip dysplasia & an idiopathic neurological disease process, so her hind leg function and spine muscles are being strengthened by my rehab workout programs, and these boots are the right boots for her to help her get up and improve strength around the home 🐴 see my website resources and tools tab to get some boots and instructions for using them✔ I have Trudy on @jarrowformulas SAMe daily, probiotics, right doses of omega 3’s, and a few other supplements to compliment the medications from her Veterinary doctors and right for her conditions… supplement links are on my website also😉 #petheal #vestibulardisease #labsofinstagram #ccrp #cscs #specificity #rehabrevolution #rehabdeb #austinanimalrehab #veterinaryrehabilitation #veterinaryneurology #petheal

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so you may see how well they work for a large dog with vestibular disease, idiopathic neurological dz, and hip dysplasia. Her strength, proprioception, and especially the dysplasia are all improving with my rehab program for her, and the boots are a great help around the house. I have other pics and vids of dogs in these shoe boots around this website.

Update on Grip Trex by Ruffwear: these boots are now (2016) more flexible and easier for the pet to break in, yet still with great traction Vibram rubber sole. These are made for outdoor, rough surface or hot hot pavement use, and I’ve had the best success with using these indoors for medium-to-large breed dogs that have traction issues. The larger dog does better with a larger “waffle” on the bottom of the boot. Similarly, the larger waffle protects best from pavement heat or hot sand. Don’t forget that sand gets very hot in summer!

The Everyday Wear and the Polar Trex Waterproof Winter boots, both by Ruffwear, have a lighter weight sole than the Grip Trex. This makes them less stiff, so your pet may adjust sooner to the shoe than they do to the Grip Trex. In my experience with hundreds of cases, the dogs adjust to these shoes very quickly, usually within 3 days. While they are adjusting, they often high step or stand in “shoe paralysis” for a while, looking at their person disdainfully, so do your best to reassure them that they will live through this situation! I count the high-stepping as a win for additional joint flexion.

For the boots below, the rubber is still very non-slip, like the heavier tread of the Grip Trex, but the Grip Trex provide extra grabbing ability on the floor. Grip Trex (above) are also more insulation against hot pavement, very cold ground, and very rough terrain.

The longer cuff on the Polar Trex shoe is often difficult for people to put on the dog’s paw. Be careful to tuck in your dog’s dewclaws, or “thumbs”, as it were, if your dog has them, so they don’t catch on the outside of the cuff.

The benefit to this shoe is that it is lightweight, protective from terrain, and, most importantly, also a very good ground-grabber (very good traction for getting up from the floor).

In case you don’t read the post I recommended you read, which contains important instructions about boot use, I will include the following very important details about putting footwear on your dog:

For my plans and rehab purposes, I do recommend that boots are only used on the most affected legs/paws, only for a couple of hours a day, only when the people are home, and usually only really necessary indoors for neurological problem dogs if they are being used to help with functional recovery. There are reasons for all this that I discuss further under this post about boots and shoes .  Take them off at night for toe breathing…unless you want funky fungus toes on your pet…

For rehab purposes, I don’t recommend you purchase the socks.

The boots are great also for all four paws if you are going to walk your dog on scalding summer pavement or on ice or in snow for prolonged periods…pretty sure you can figure out why 🙂

Updated 11/11/23 Rehabdeb

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