If you love the great outdoors and heading out with your best friend, your dog, then you may have been considering buying him dog boots. But do you need them?

This, of course all depends on your dog. If you are outdoors a lot in the depth of winter, and you are bundled up for a long walk, you may notice when you get back that your dog is spending hours trying to pick ice out of his pads on his feet. At the same time he may be chewing on the pads as he gets this ice out, therefore irritating his feet.

Or maybe he is reacting to all that salt on the roads and sidewalks, if you walk on the sidewalks in the city.

Maybe it would be a good time to consider dog boots this winter. But where do you get them and how do they fit?

Well there are a few brand names that are popular with the dog boot crowd and they are Pawz and Epiks and Granite Gear. These are all well made and popular brands of dog boots, plus they also carry dog shoes, as some dogs have problems with hot pavements, pesticides and more, they even have a dog boot that is disposable and can be used for swimming. This is suppose to prevent liner tears in the pool. This way your dog can have fun in the pool as well and not scratch up the liner.

Pawz Dog Boots - These are a natural rubber dog boot, that are inexpensive and can be disposable or reused. These are great for wet days and anywhere there is a danger of chemicals on the road, as these are tough to chemicals.dog boots (26603)

Epiks Dog Boots - These boots have a thermal rubber sole, with memory foam inside for great comfort for your dog. You have to remember which foot they are from and continue to use them on those feet, you can mark them. They also sell a fleece lined rubber boot to keep the snow and ice off your dogs feet.

Granite Dog Boots - These are endurance 4 season boots, with a tough grip sole and cordura sidewalls, and soft fleece lining. These are great for jagged rocks and ice and your dog can keep their footing.dog boots (26604)

Dog Boots - Homemade

There are many free patterns for dog boots and dog shoes on the internet, but you can also try making them this way. I don't have a diagram, but hopefully I can describe this idea to you. Head to the reuse center or thrift shop and see if they have any children's ski jackets that are not good enough to sell anymore (broken zippers, torn etc) and get them, then cut the sleeves off and use the elastic wrist band as the top of the dog boot. Then sew the opening shut and put on a grip style rubber elbow pad on the bottom for grip. You can then use Velcro tabs at the top to tighten the boots.

These work well for those really cold months, as they are insulated and warm. You will have to adjust the height you want for your breed of dog. But you could slip the sleeve on your dogs foot and measure that way. You will have to try and find matching sleeves and some wild colors! You dog boots can be a fashion statement in the dead of winter!

But kidding aside, many dogs don't get out much in the winter, because of the cold, or the snow on their feet. Maybe you might want to consider getting a good pair of dog boots this winter.

Most of the dog boots are sold online, and they come with good detailed measuring charts for you to order from. You can either get brand name ones or try your hand at making your own, either with free patterns online or with the idea above.

Dog boots are handy for the dog that has an injury and needs to still get exercise or even just for walking on grass that may have been treated.. Some dogs have very sensitive pads and feet. So, if you are concerned about whether your dog will wear dog boots, try a pair and get them to walk around in the house for a while before heading outside. Enjoy the great outdoors with your best friend, your dog.