A dog in winter gear bounds through the snow.

Does My Puppy Need Snow Boots?

I am a delighted new ‘pawrent’ to Bari White, a male West Highland White Terrier. He is our family’s first pet, so we have been joyfully wading our way through many new adventures as dog owners. He is now 10 months old and on the East Coast where we live, winter is upon us. With the drop in temperature, along with the first flurries of snow, my Instagram feed has been filled with super cute dogs in snow booties. Seeing these snowshoes makes me wonder, does my puppy need snow boots too? Could his paws get cold or hurt from walking in the snow or on frozen ground?

What Does Your Puppy Do Outdoors?

As with any topic, there is no simple answer. I searched the web for advice and here is a simple breakdown of whether or not your puppy needs snow boots or is perfectly fine with bare paws:

Size and Height

Is your puppy low set (short) and small like a dachshund, corgi, or Chihuahua, or leggy like Labrador Retrievers and Dalmatians? Short legged dogs lose their body temperature more quickly than the taller breeds, since their body is closer to the cold ground. They could benefit from wearing snow boots to keep their paws warm, especially on concrete sidewalks and snow-covered trails.


Our Westie has a thick, coarse, double layer of coat, causing snow to get balled up on his legs and paws. In this case, we can protect his mitts with snow boots. However, if you have a short-haired puppy, you could probably skip the boots, unless there is ice melter or salt where they walk. These can hurt puppy’s food pads and lead to injuries, like cuts and painful splinters. We don’t want limping fur babies and unexpected vet visits, right? If you walk your pup without snow boots, it may be a good idea to wipe their paws with a warm paper towel or even soak them in warm water to get rid of the salt or ice melter and ensure clean and cut-free paws.

Activity Level

Above all, the need for snow boots depends on how much time your puppy spends outside during the winter season. If your puppy is outside for a quick potty and runs right inside, there’s no need for snow boots. However, on longer walks in frigid temperatures, whether through streets or country lanes, you should consider putting snow boots on your precious puppy. The boots will protect their paws and keep them warmer. Be sure to try them out at the pet store or home first to make sure the fit is right for your pet and comfortable enough for unobstructed walking.

After doing my research, I have decided to get snow boots for my puppy, since he is a shorty with furry paws that get snowy, and he absolutely loves playing outside.

I hope what I learned will be helpful to you. Wishing you and your puppy fun snowy days ahead!

10 Ways to Keep Your Pet Warm This Winter
Picking a Winter Coat to Keep Your Dog Warm
Dog Walking Tips from an Expert
Frostbite in Dogs