Do Golden Retrievers Need Snow Boots? The When, Why, and How


My golden retrievers absolutely love playing in the snow, so taking them for a walk with snow outside is always fun. Most goldens are like that, they absolutely love playing in the snow.

However, this may not always be to their benefit. Snow can be bad for them. and they may need protection.

So, Do Golden Retrievers Need Snow Boots? Yes, Golden Retrievers need snow boots if their paws have cuts or scrapes which snow can make worse, to protect their paws from de-icers that might burn them, and to prevent the snow or melting salt from building up between your dog’s paw pads causing cuts and sores.

So, in short, if you are not sure what is in the snow or just want to play it safe – which is how I do it – you should probably put snow boots on their paws before heading outside.

To learn when exactly they need snow boots, how to choose the best snow boots for them and more, just keep on reading…

When Do Golden Retrievers Need Snow Boots? 

Golden retriever playing in the snow to illustrate why do golden retrievers need snow boots

Golden Retrievers often thrive in the cold, and they absolutely love diving in the snow and running on it.

Unless they’re little puppies or old dogs with a weaker immune system or arthritis, Golden Retrievers may not need a coat or sweater for playing in the snow due to its thicker double coats.

You can learn when golden retrievers actually do need sweaters or coats here.

However, things are a little different when it comes to snow boots, as they don’t only protect them from the weather, they protect your dogs’ paws from getting hurt or from any injuries getting worse.

Your dog may feel uncomfortable in the boots and may try to take them off to be able to have fun outdoors unconfined. So, be prepared for some arguing, because sometimes it’s not a luxury even if they don’t feel like keeping them on.

Here are some situations when your Golden Retriever needs snow boots. If:

  • Your dog has an injury. It’s crucial to keep their paws dry.
  • They love long walks, allowing snow, salt, and debris to build up in paw pads causing cuts.
  • The area is too slippery.
  • Your community uses chemical de-icers causing paw burns.

Chemical de-icers used to melt snow and ice can be the most crucial situation where your Golden Retriever needs to have snow boots on.

They cause burns to pets’ paws and can be dangerous if consumed. However, not all de-icers are dangerous or injury-causing, so make sure to communicate to people in charge of your area and ask what type they use.

Just keep in mind that even if they are not using de-icers that are dangerous on dogs right now, they are also probably not going to notify you when they change their choices in the future. So, just play it safe.

If you skipped the de-icers situation you may still need snow boots for your Golden Retriever if they have cuts or scrapes here or there, it’s best to keep it clean and dry not to develop into something serious, and snow boots do that job perfectly.

Another thing you’ll need snow boots for is if your Golden Retriever will face a challenge keeping steady feet on snow, some areas can be too slippery especially slopes when covered in ice.

You can’t risk your dog slipping away and getting injured, so it’s best to keep their snow boots on as they provide added traction to prevent slips.

Why Golden Retrievers Need Snow Boots in the Snow

Golden Retrievers need snow boots in the snow to protect their paws from getting hurt or burnt by chemicals used to de-ice, or built-up salt and snow in their paw pads that cause sores and cuts. It also prevents them from slipping by providing added traction.

When people see Golden Retriever wearing snow boots they think it’s a cold-prevention method, which is not the case most of the time.

Golden Retriever paws can put up with cold conditions and can adjust to snow -at least for short periods, but wearing snow boots is a necessity for different protection reasons.

To make sure your Golden Retriever’s experience in the snow is joyful as hoped, you have to prevent them from getting irritated on many levels and snow boots can do a very good job with this.

Now, it’s true that most dogs don’t really like snow boots, and want to take them off as soon as they have them on because to them it’s just an unnecessary piece of accessory that prevents them from moving around freely as usual.

But they don’t know that walking on this powder-like substance can sometimes be harmful, and it’s your mission to keep an eye on them and make sure they have it on to prevent possible harm.

Pro Tip
The largest part of making your dog comfortable in the snow boots is choosing the right size for them, which is harder said than done, so make sure to do the work in this part.

Major harmful factors can be de-icer that people put on their sidewalks to melt ice.

The chemical substances in these are irritating and damaging to uncovered pet paws and cause burns to them. 

You also may look out for slips and falls that can turn your Golden Retriever snow experience into something unpleasant, snow boots have appendages that help stabilize the dog paws on slippery areas to prevent them from slipping or falling.

This is critical with older goldens that can really be hurt from even small falls due to the issues that arise with their hips with age.

The snow boots are also a necessity even if you’re taking your Golden Retriever out in your safe backyard where there are no harmful de-icers or slippery slopes if your dog has an injury.

It’s important to keep injuries clean and dry, and snow messes that up. 

Aside from that, being exposed to snow for long periods will allow ice, salt, or rocks to build-up in the dog paw pads, causing irritation and discomfort and sometimes cuts and scrapes that are best to be avoided.  

Best Snow Boots for Golden Retrievers 

There are varieties of snow boots you can choose from for your Golden Retriever.

I Love the QUMY snow boots on Amazon and in my experience, my dogs have all loved them too.

They come in different sizes that fit all and they are the ones my dogs have always been the most comfortable with. For alternatives, you can choose from Kurgo or Ultra Paws Durable on Amazon for the best quality and protection.

Here’s why I chose these particular options that offer you great value for money and guarantee both safety and comfort for your Golden Retriever.

The QUMY snow boots provide good protection to your dog’s paws, are made from high-quality materials, and are also breathable and comfortable. Also;

  • They’re made from waterproof and wind-resistant material, keeping water and chill out of the boots
  • They come in different sizes that fit all dogs. 5 sizes and 2 different colors.
  • The bottom is made with real leather which helps to keep the heat.
  • The sole of the boot is made with thick rubber that increases the grip on snow.
  •  They have an extendable fitting to make it easier to put on and take off.

Kurgo offers great comfort for your Golden Retriever as well, the fabric is soft and lightweight, in addition to other features:

  • It’s suitable for all weather conditions.
  • They’re easy to put on.
  • They have LED lights insoles to increase visibility.

Cons: In my experience, the LED lights can stop working g after a short while.

Ultra Paws Durable is no different. They are a good choice for your Golden Retriever snow boots, their key points are;

  • They’re comfortable and easy to use.
  • They support free movement.
  • They protect paws and ankles

Cons: In my experience, they can fill up with snow due to their short sides.

What to Do After Your Golden Walks in The Snow 

After a good day out playing in the snow with your dog or simply going out on a walk, there are a few things to consider doing when you get home.

After your Golden walks in the snow, make sure to use an old towel to brush off any snow, ice, melting salt, or dirt that might be still clinging to your dog’s coat before they lick it off. Don’t forget to wipe and clean paws to ensure that nothing is built up in paw pads.

I also find the Mudbuster (check on Amazon here) to be really useful in quickly cleaning their paws if we go out without the boots.

Sometimes, though, you will need to give them a quick bath after their time in the snow. You can check here how to give a quick bath to your golden retriever, and here for 11 really fast ways to dry your golden retriever after a bath as well.

Make sure to provide extra high-quality food after you go home, the cold weather makes dogs burn more calories. Drinking plenty of water would be a good idea too, to avoid dehydration associated with colder weather.

If you found what you read helpful, share it with other Golden Retrievers and pin it to your Pinterest!

Related Questions 

Can Golden Retrievers be in the Snow? 

Yes, Golden Retrievers can be in the snow. They’re one of the cold-tolerant dog breeds and snow poses no threat to them. However, it’s safer to keep an eye on your Golden Retriever when they’re out in the snow to sense if they’re too cold and need to go inside.

Do dogs need to wear boots in the snow?

It’s better for dogs to wear boots in the snow to protect their paws from cuts, scrapes, chemical de-icer, and salt. They also provide a better experience in the snow as they keep their paws warm and stable and avoid slips.

Helpful Resources 

How Cold is Too Cold for Your Dog?

Boots and Coats for Dogs in Cold Weather

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