I ordered my Weimaraner Remy a pair of original fleece lined Muttluks dog boots. I wanted to share my review with you in case you were looking for the best pair of boots for your own dog.
Remy doesn’t need to wear dog boots most of the time, but I wanted some for those weeks when it gets below 0 here in Montana. We had a colder than normal winter last year, so I’m really glad I bought these boots!
Sure, we can skip a walk for a day or two but this is not a great option for multiple days in a row. My dog and I are very active; we like to get out and run! So … dog boots it is!
Original Fleece Lined Muttluks Dog Boots Review
I wanted a set of dog boots that would:
- Actually stay on my dog’s paws
- Last several seasons (durable)
- Not be too heavy or bulky
- Keep my dog’s paws warm
- Protect his paws from de-icing products
- Prevent ice buildup between his toes and on his nails
- Stay on for leash walks and runs
- Stay on for off-leash trail runs
Muttluks Dog Boots Review
After using these dog boots two winters, including one brutally cold February, I will say I’m very happy with them for our leashed walks and runs.
They meet all the requirements above, and I’ve already recommended them to a friend. I love the quality, warmth, durability and that they’re lightweight.
The Muttluks do take time to learn how to put on and you definitely need to get the right size (measure!) or they will look like flippers and fly right off! More details on sizing below. They need to go on TIGHT.
I’m happy with the quality of the Muttluks dog boots. My dog has thick, strong nails, but the Muttluks have held up great so far. We’ve been running on pavement, concrete, snow and ice. The bottoms of the boots have not worn out, and my dog’s nails have not worn through the ends of the boots.
How durable are the Muttluks dog boots?
We’ve used the Muttluks for two seasons now, so there were maybe 30 days total where my dog needed them. Just guessing, he probably walked/ran about 60 miles in the boots. So that’s not really a high mileage, but hopefully your dog won’t need to wear them every day, either.
I’m happy with the boots so far and will gladly order a replacement bootie if one starts to wear through or if we lose one. So far, this is not necessary. I expect them to last us a couple of years since Remy doesn’t need to wear the boots very often.
The only issue we’ve had with these boots is they don’t always stay on as well for off-leash running through deep snow.
I tried letting Remy off leash a couple of times with his boots on, and one or both back boots would fly off in the deep and powdery snow. He runs like a madman through the snow!
I think he might need a size smaller for his back paws, but if he’s running on a leash the boots always stay on. Usually, if it’s cold enough for boots, I keep him on a leash anyway for safety.
When you measure your own dog’s paws, make sure to measure the front paws and the back paws as it does seem like my dog’s front paws are larger than the back. Or perhaps he just carries his weight differently.
Cost of Muttluks dog boots
I paid about $60 for a set of four medium boots. View them here. The price is slightly less if your dog wears a smaller size.
At first, I thought the price was a bit high for dog boots but now that I know they are good quality I think the price is worth it. You don’t want to buy a cheap pair of dog boots that will wear out right away.
Pros of Muttluks original fleece lined dog boots
- Durable – leather bottoms
- Easy to strap on TIGHT with the Velcro
- Stretchy and comfy leg cuffs
- Fleece inner lining to keep paws warm
- Protects against snow, ice, chemicals and cold
- Lightweight, my dog will tolerate them
- Many sizes and colors available
- Measurements/sizing seems accurate – but you must measure!
- Available in bright colors so you can find them in the snow if they fall off
- Machine washable (but retreat leather after each wash)
- Four boots per package
Cons of the Muttluks
- It’s challenging to measure your dog’s feet but you must do it!
- Snow can fall into the boot through the top “sleeve” if your dog has skinny legs. For this reason, Muttluks sells waterproof “mutt gators” for deep snow.
- Not waterproof but they are water resistant
- Takes practice to get used to putting them on tight enough
- Takes most dogs several training sessions to get used to any boots – more below!
- The boots don’t give your dog a lot of traction
Muttluks sizing options – What dog boots stay on the best?
It’s nice that Muttluks makes many sizes ranging from “itty bitty” and XXS all the way up to XXL. My 60-pound Weimaraner ended up with medium boots. His paws measured 3.75”, which is right in between the medium and the large. I’m very glad I went with the smaller size. When in doubt, go smaller. You want a snug fit so the boots do not fly off!
The “sleeves” of the boots are stretchy, and the Velcro straps allow you to strap the boots on TIGHT. You shouldn’t need to worry about hurting your dog with the Velcro. There seems to be plenty of “give” for circulation.
How are Muttluks measured?
I can’t stress enough how important it is to actually measure your dog’s feet. This can be challenging if you have an active or stubborn dog like I do. The company gives directions for measuring on their site, which I recommend you follow.
Here is a link to the Muttluks measurement instructions and size chart
How to measure your dog’s paws for boots:
Have your dog stand normally with a paw on a piece of paper. Draw a dot at the tip of the longest nail and at the back of your dog’s paw. Then measure the distance between the two dots.
Make sure to measure a front and a back paw because they might be different sizes. I measured a few times to make sure I got it right.
If your dog is between sizes or right on the edge, go with the smaller size because the boots need to fit tight!
My 63-pound Weimaraner is right on the line between medium and large (3.75”), and I’m so glad I went with the medium. Even those seem a little big. The large would’ve been way too big!
Should dogs wear boots in the snow?
Most of the time, your dog shouldn’t need boots in the winter unless it’s very cold and you want to try to get him out for some exercise. (Your dog shouldn’t need boots for quick potty breaks, no matter how cold.)
Your dog might also need boots to prevent snow and ice clinging to the fur between his toes or around the nails. That can get really uncomfortable and tends to happen the longer you’re out. This is a more common problem for longer-haired dogs, however my short-haired dog gets balls of ice stuck around his nails for some reason.
Boots can also protect your dog’s paws from de-icing chemicals.
See my post: Winter running with dogs
Do dogs like wearing boots or shoes?
Of course not! Haha. Most dogs will not like wearing boots and most will not understand that the boots help to keep them warm. Still, a lot depends on your dog’s personality and tolerance.
The reaction most dogs have to wearing boots for the first time is to either stand complete still like they’re standing in concrete. Or, they race around frantically like they’re trying to run right out of the boots!
For these reasons, I recommend you train get your dog used to just wearing one boot at a time. Less traumatic for everyone! Here are some tips …
How to get your dog used to wearing boots
So much depends on your particular dog, but what I did with Remy was I slid just one boot on a front paw in the house and gave him small treats as I was putting it on. “Wow, what a good boy you are. Such a good boy.”
He tried to mouth and bite at me (normal behavior for him when his feet are touched), and I just stayed calm and said “no.” I praise him for not fussing and gave a treat. Then I encouraged him to walk with one boot on. (I think it helps if you don’t laugh at your dog! Instead, praise him. Haha!)
After about 30 seconds I took the boot off and praised him some more.
Train your dog to wear boots very slowly over a few days
I put one and then two boots on my dog’s paws a few times over a couple of days. Eventually I put three boots on him. Then all four. We walked around the house for a bit and I always praised him and gave him treats as I put them on and took them off and while he walked around.
Here’s an Instagram video of Remy during our training!:
Next, maybe the fifth time he had his boots on, we actually went out for a walk on a very cold day.
After a few training sessions your dog will likely get used to the boots and you’ll get better at putting them on. They are tricky at first but not so bad once you’ve practiced a few times.
If your dog is stubborn about the boots
My dog is pretty “feisty” and stubborn so I still use treats every time I put his boots on him. I think that’s an OK compromise. Sometimes I even give him a treat when I take the boots off to encourage him to sit calmly. But it’s much easier to pull the boots off than to put them on.
My dog still really dislikes wearing his boots, even though he tolerates them. He would rather be a bit cold than wear them, so we only use them on extra cold days. I’d say, when it’s below 10 degrees or so if we plan to be out for more than 20 minutes. And sometimes I just choose to head out for a run without him if it’s just not worth dealing with his boots.
Some dogs can tolerate colder weather than that and some can’t. All depends on the dog, their coat type, how tough their paws are, etc.
Best dog boots for hot pavement
Muttluks makes several versions of its boots. I have the “original fleece lined Muttluks” but they also make “all-weather dog boots.” These might be your best option for protection against hot pavement or hot sand.
I haven’t tested out the all-weather boots, but the nylon exterior fabric is designed for paw protection on hot or cold surfaces such as hot sand or hot pavement in addition to ice and snow. View them here.
What are the best winter dog boots?
Here are some of the highest-quality dog boots, based on their reviews.
1. Muttluks original fleece lined dog boots – winter dog boots
My favorite dog boots are original fleeced lined dog boots featured throughout this post. They are lightweight, durable and they stay on well.
Feel free to leave your own recommendations in the comments section. If Remy and I test out additional dog boot brands, we will update this post and mention them here. Here are some other good-quality options:
2. Muttluks snow mushers
Muttluks makes boots called “snow mushers” specifically designed for winter. I have not tested these but they are more rugged with rubber traction treads. They have an extra-large opening so they look easier to put on and have a double-wrap fastening system. I assume this also helps to keep some of the snow out.
These sounds like great boots but I wanted to go with the lighter original Muttluks for my dog. I didn’t think my dog would appreciate the more rugged boot, even though they would give him more traction. Note that the snow mushers come in 2 boots per package, not four. View them here.
3. Ruffwear dog boots – Grip Trex
When I researched dog boots, I believed Muttluks were the best option for my dog. They looked durable but lightweight.
We also considered Ruffwear dog boots (view here) but have not given them a try. The looked a little heavier to me and they cost more, so we went with the Muttluks. View them here. *Make sure to read whether you’re ordering a set of 2 boots or 4 boots as there are both options.
4. Waterproof dog boots – Mutt Trackers
The original fleece lined Muttluks featured throughout this post are not waterproof. They are water resistant and work great in the cold (when snow is not melting or slushy).
We simply do not need waterproof boots, but if you are looking for a waterproof boot, the Muttluks Mutt Trackers (below) are made with waterproof fabric. View them here.
These boots are best for year-round hiking and running protection. I do not feel my dog needs boots in the summer but if your dog needs waterproof protection for hiking, this would be a good option.
*Note that the Mutt Trackers come in packages of 2 boots instead of four. View them here.
5. Ultra Paws durable dog boots
Another brand that has good reviews is called Ultra Paws. I like the fact that these are also lightweight, similar to the Muttluks I have for Remy. They have an extra Velcro strap on each boot to keep them on easier.
Which dog boots stay on the best?
I really like our original fleece lined Muttluks because they have a longer, flexible sleeve that goes up the leg. Then, you can Velcro the boots on very tight without hurting your dog. And if you don’t need the extra sleeve, you can just fold it down. The boots stay on really well as long as you get the right size and put them on tight.
Some of the other boots I’ve mentioned in this article do not sit as high on the leg (less of a “sleeve”) so they fall off easier.
Musher’s Secret paw wax – alternative to dog boots
Another option is to simply put a natural wax on your dog’s paws called Musher’s Secret.
The wax is designed to protect your dog’s paws from the extreme elements and prevent ice and snow from building up between the toes. It can also help prevent or sooth dry, cracked paws. It was originally designed for sled dogs, so it is the real deal!
If your dog does not tolerate boots, the Musher’s Secret could be an easier option for you. The product will not harm your dog if he ends up licking at his paws. The product can be used to protect a dog’s paws from hot pavement or jagged rocks on trails. Also works for other animals such as horses or cats. Learn more here.
Pawz boots to prevent a dog from licking paws
If you simply need a light pair of boots to prevent your dog from licking his paws, I recommend the very lightweight boots called Pawz. These are made of thin, natural rubber and are designed to be thrown out after a few uses. They come in sets of multiple pairs.
Pawz boots are easy to put on. They kind of just slip on like a balloon. But they are tight enough that dogs can’t easily pull them off. So, if your dog needs some really light coverage, these are a great option. Check them out here.
Has your dog tried a pair of dog boots?
Let me know in the comments!
Please share this post with a dog lover who might be interested. That’s how I get new readers!
Lindsay Stordahl is the founder of That Mutt. She writes about dog training, dog exercise and feeding a healthy raw diet.
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