Hiking Boots for Dogs?

My trusty trail partner, Coco, likes her backpacking gear as much as the next well dressed doggy. This is her wearing her Kelty Chuckwagon backpack that she is very well accustomed to. So much so that she gets excited at the slightest sight of it in my gear closet. It's a great doggy pack with dual expandable saddlebags that can hold a lot of her "stuff" and at the same time stay balanced and comfortable - I base the last part on tail wagging alone!

Coco on the Trail

I've noticed a lot of other dogs out and about on the trails that been wearing doggy hiking boots to protect their feet. When I've approached the owners to inquire as to the reasons why they felt them necessary and the benefits and I usually get very similar answers. Many owners say that their dogs feet get badly cut up or scraped on longer hikes and it can be painful for them, especially if they are mostly indoor dogs during the week.

Even though my chocolate lab, Coco, likes to be outdoors almost as much as I do, my day job means that throughout the week she is inside with me in my home office. According to the other dog owners I have crossed paths with, this can cause her paws to become slightly 'delicate' and susceptible to injury on longer backpacking trips.

Coco on the Trail

So, as weird as they look, I'm considering getting her royal dogness some boots for on the trail. I'm currently doing research on hiking boots for dogs in order to determine what style and brand to test on Coco first. As with regular (human) hiking shoes, there are a lot of options and styles to consider.  If you have any experience using hiking shoes/boots with your dog, I'd definitely appreciate any recommendations, considerations, or feedback you have to offer. Please leave a comment below.

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