Are There Sandals for Dogs? (Do Dogs Need Shoes?)

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Whether you love them or can’t stand them, there are products and services for dogs of every size and shape you can imagine. Thanks to technological advances, clothing for dogs is a growth industry. Are there sandals for dogs? Is it ok if my dog wears boots? Do dogs need shoes for the heat?

The truth is that, while your dog’s footpads are tougher than your own, they still need care and attention. But that doesn’t mean they have to wear shoes or sandals.

While dog boots are often referred to as “dog boots,” you might be better served referring to them as “dog paw protectors” or “dog paw covers.”

For most dogs, the answer is no, they do not need shoes or booties to keep their feet safe and comfortable.

Are There Sandals for Dogs?

Believe it or not, dog sandals do exist. You can find cute, fashionable sandals for your pup from online websites such as All Dog Boots, Amazon, and Chewy. Some brick and mortar pet stores such as Petco and Petsmart may also carry dog sandals.

 

SUNFURA Dog Shoes Pet Boots, Breathable Soft Mesh Dog Sandals with Rugged Anti-Slip Sole, Adjustable Paw Protector Self-Adhesive Sticker for Summer(Blue,S)

 

Dog sandals not only look adorable, but they can also protect your pup’s sensitive paw pads from burning on hot sand or blacktop in the summer or on super sunny days.

Most dog sandals you will find are for small toy breeds but there are also big dog sandals on the market.

Do Dogs Need Shoes for the Heat?

Dog shoes are recommended if you live in an area with hot temperatures. Sidewalks, streets, and even sand can get extremely hot in the summer. Shoes can protect your dog’s paws from the heat and prevent burns.

A durable sole combined with a mesh upper will keep your dog’s paws safe while still allowing airflow.

If you are able to walk your dog in shady areas, in the grass, or in the cool dirt, dog shoes are not necessarily needed. If in doubt, test the temperature of the surface your dog will be walking on with the back of your hand.

Do Dogs Feet Burn?

Dogs have sensitive feet that could burn in extremely hot temperatures. When their paw pads touch hot surfaces like asphalt or pavement, dogs are likely to get burns in addition to blisters and heat strokes.

Since a dog’s paws are vulnerable to burns, it’s important to take precautions while walking your furry friend in the heat. Some possible safety measures include putting dog shoes on their feet and walking your dog when temperatures are coolest during the day.

Some signs that your dog is suffering from burns on their paws are:

  1. Your dog is limping or licking their feet.
  2. Your dog refuses to continue on the walk.
  3. Your dog’s paw pads change into a darker red hue.
  4. Your dog’s paw pads have blisters.

Do Dogs Need Shoes for Pavement?

Dogs should wear shoes if they will be walking on hot or very cold pavement. In the summer, the temperature of the pavement can be 50 degrees hotter than the air temperature. Shoes will protect your dog’s paws from being burned.

Dogs will also benefit from wearing shoes while walking on the pavement in the winter. The shoes will protect their paws from cold temperatures.

 

QUMY Dog Boots Waterproof Shoes for Large Dogs with Reflective Straps Rugged Anti-Slip Sole Black 4PCS (Size 6: 2.6''x3.0''(W*L) for 52-65 lbs, Red)

 

In addition, wearing shoes will keep ice and snow from cutting their paws. Boots will also provide a barrier against the salt, sand, and chemicals used on pavement since these can be dangerous to your dog.

Are Dog Boots Necessary?

Dog boots are recommended to protect your dog’s paws from injury and infection.

  • In the winter, snow and ice can cause small cuts in the pads of your dog’s paws.
  • The salt or chemicals used to melt snow can irritate your dog’s paws and cause illness if your dog licks it off.
  • Boots can help protect against the cold temperatures, helping to keep your dog’s paws warm in the winter.
  • Dog boots can also protect against hot surfaces in the summer.
  • Pavement and sand can get extremely hot and burn your dog’s paws if they are not protected with boots.

Do Dogs Need Booties for the Beach?

Dog booties can help protect your dog’s paws from the heat while they are at the beach.

  1. The sand can reach temperatures of over 130 degrees Fahrenheit–hot enough to cause burns.
  2. Booties will also keep your dog safe from any sharp debris that may be littered on the beach.
  3. If your dog enjoys playing in the water at the beach, booties can also protect their paws from rocky shores.

The ideal pair of dog booties will have tops made from breathable mesh to let air flow through them. The booties should also have soles made from durable rubber for support.

Is It Cruel to Put Shoes on a Dog?

No. Though some dogs dislike wearing shoes, it isn’t cruel to put footwear on your dog. In fact, dogs can benefit from foot coverings for several reasons.

Benefits of Dog Shoes:

  • Boots and shoes can offer outdoor protection to dogs in both hot and cold climates.
  • Salt and sand on icy sidewalks can abrade your dog’s paws; in addition to this, boots with textured soles give them extra grip to prevent slipping.
  • In the warmest months, concrete can become unbearably hot and burn your dog’s paws, and shoes can protect their sensitive feet.
  • Dogs with foot wounds also benefit from foot coverings that keep bandaged paws clean and dry.

Why Do Dogs Walk Funny with Boots On?

Traction is one of the main functions of dog boots. While dog boot traction can vary, it’s important to make sure that you get your dog used to wearing dog boots before you take them outside in them.

An easy way to do this is to put the boots on your dog when he or she isn’t looking and then give them a treat. Your pup will quickly realize that there’s something nice about having the booties on and will be more likely to tolerate wearing them in the future (and outside).

Dogs walk funny with boots on due to unfamiliarity, impaired paw grip, and impaired balance.

  1. Unfamiliarity of Wearing Shoes: Dogs don’t often wear shoes, so they aren’t used to them. Thus, they’ll lift their legs higher or overcompensate. This also makes them want to get rid of the boots by shaking them off.
  2. Impaired Paw Grip: Dogs get used to their paws doing the gripping. So, when the boots prevent them from feeling the ground, they stiffen up.
  3. Impaired Balance: Finally, the clumsy behavior dogs have in boots makes them lose their balance. This makes their walking even odder.

Dogs who wear booties may be less likely to run off because they can’t move as quickly, giving their human companions more control over them. Some dogs have learned that wearing booties means they get more attention from their owners. And boots can also protect a dog’s paws from rough surfaces or even hot pavement.


In summary, some dogs who may have sensitive paws and other issues may need to wear dog boots, although this is rarer. But most often dog boots are used for fashion statements. Too often I see dogs dressed in homemade DIY dog costumes that could potentially hurt them as well as other things they jump onto.

It all depends on what kind of pet owner you are. Some people naturally believe anything goes when it comes to dressing their pets, while others respect that pets should act like animals in public spaces for others’ comfort.

You may also be interested in… Are Timberlands Good For Ice? (How Do They Handle Winter?) and Why Do My Feet Sweat So Much in Sandals?