As regular readers of this blog you will know how important it is to keep your Frenchie warm when the cold winter weather kicks in. It’s not just the cold snow and ice you should be worried about though; the salt or de-icing chemicals on paths can also burn paws and be toxic.
So, what are the best winter boots for a French Bulldog? Which are the most suitable paw protectors on the market to help with cold and snow? Here’s what I recommend.
My Busy Dog winter boots
This is my top recommendation. Whilst they aren’t the most stylish winter boots for a Frenchie, the functionality and quality are the best of the bunch. They have rugged non-slip soles and are easy to pull on and then fasten with Velcro. They are also completely water resistant, making them ideal for winter ice and snow.
If you do decide to buy these shoes, the most likely size you should choose will be size 2 or 3. But don’t guess; they have a sizing chart image which shows you how to measure your Frenchie’s paws before ordering.
The reviews on Amazon are consistently excellent, and you can see the latest prices before you order.
Winsoon Winter Warm skid-proof shoes
If you want something that offers more of a fashion statement and are warmer than the previous selection, then these Ugg boot style ones are just the ticket. Again, they make use of Velcro fasteners, have a gripped rubber sole, but are lined with insulating materials to guard against the cold.
Of all my recommended best winter boots for French Bulldogs these are probably the easiest to put on (see below for tips on how to train your Frenchie to wear shoes). The back of the boot comes apart to let you get the paws in easily.
Like my last recommendation, these are also very well regarded and consistently get top marks from independent websites that review shoes for dogs. You can see the Amazon reviews to find out what other people say.
Bark Brite breathable winter boots
My final recommendation comes from Bark Brite. These winter boots aren’t as warm as the previous too but are made from neoprene and will adapt to the paw of your Frenchie. They are water resistant and have a tough sole to protect against the elements.
Admittedly they aren’t much to look at, so if you rate substance higher than style, they can make for a great choice in the winter months. Buy these if you want an effective shoe that will expand to fit your Frenchie.
As with all my recommendations, these also have great customer feedback. You can read reviews on Amazon and see how much they cost.
What about a winter coat?
Once you have the boots ordered you should also consider a winter jacket. See which Frenchie winter coats I recommend.
Do French Bulldogs need winter boots?
This is open to debate as most of the time, your Frenchie will be able to regulate his temperature himself.
However, it’s not just about how cold things get, it’s also about protecting your Frenchie’s paws from other aspects too; here are my top reasons to opt for winter paw protection.
Reasons to buy winter boots for your Frenchie
- Can protect Frenchies with sensitive paws.
- Can help protect against frostbite.
- Can help protect against toxic de-icing agents.
- Can help prevent salt getting into their paws which they could lick off.
- Can help your Frenchie grip snow and ice better.
What to look for in winter boots and paw protectors
Not all French Bulldog winter boots are the same. Some come with zippers, some with laces. The most important aspect is to ensure they are a good and proper fit.
If there is too much of a gap, they will come off easily. If they are too tight, they will rub and cause a skin complaint.
Some manufacturers will list sizes online, other won’t and instead will recommend the size of boot you need dependent on the breed of your dog. To be on the safe side, you need to take some paw measurements.
Here’s how you do it.
- Place your Frenchie’s paw on a blank sheet of paper.
- Use a pencil to mark where his heel is at the rear and where the front longest nail point is positioned. This will give you his overall paw and nails length.
- Next do the same marking on the paper to measure the width of the paw at the widest point.
I would recommend that you buy a couple of different brands, as they can all be different and sometimes you are shooting in the dark in respect to sizing.
Once you have your winter boots in hand and placed on the paws, check that they fit properly. They should be tight enough so that they don’t rub when you pull at them.
Comfort should always be prioritized over style.
That why I recommend slip-on winter boots which are lightweight and easier to put on. Velcro can also be a bonus, as it helps stop your Frenchie from pulling the boots off.
Handy Hint: If you notice any swelling or redness which doesn’t recede over 12 hours please consult with your vet immediately.
Tips for winter paw protection
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your Frenchie is going to love wearing his winter boots. Most dogs will take a little while to get used to them.
Imagine you’re a dog and you’ve been used to walking around on your paws all your life. To suddenly have a pair of boots put on you is going to be very weird.
Don’t be surprised to see them walking very funny at first! But, most Frenchies can be trained to wear winter boots with a little bit of encouragement and perseverance.
Here’s how you put train a French Bulldog to wear shoes or winter boots… it will take a few days of training.
Day 1: Introduce him to the boot and try just one at first
Your Frenchie is going to wonder what this new thing is; take one of the winter boots and place it down so he can have a good sniff and get used to it first. Once he’s given the winter boot a good inspection, reward him with a treat.
Next, rub the boot or shoe gently on one of his paws. If he’s ok with this, he gets another treat.
Once you’ve past this hurdle, it’s time to try and put a winter boot on one of your French Bulldog’s paws. Just like you do with your own shoes, loosen the boot first making it wider, then slip it over his paw.
As soon as you’ve done this, give him a treat again and act very excited with plenty of praise. This should reinforce to your Frenchie that he’s done a good thing letting you put a shoe on his paw / foot.
You should also treat him when you take the winter boot off so that he gets used to you putting them on and taking them off with no problems.
Repeat the process, using positive reinforcement and treats each time. Don’t overdo it though; both you and him will get bored otherwise.
Day 2: Repeat the first day with sniffing, boot on, and treating
You want to keep going so that your Frenchie becomes completely at ease with the winter boots.
To do so simply repeat the first day’s training with the showing of the shoe, the sniffing, putting on, treat, taking off, treat process.
Day 3: Use two shoes and keep them on to see what response you get
On the third day you’re taking things to the next level to see how your Frenchie responds to wearing his winter boots.
Using the same method as before, this time use two shoes on the front paws, but leave them on to see what response you get when your Frenchie starts walking.
I recommend leaving them on for no more than 45 seconds and offering him a lot of praise when you then take them off (with the treat of course).
Day 4: Repeat the two-shoe process on the front paws
As with day 3, do exactly the same process again with his front paws. This day is all about repetition and getting your Frenchie accustomed to having the boots on.
If you can, see if you extend the amount of time he wears the winter boots out to a couple of minutes.
Day 5: Put all 4 winter boots on him
This is the big day.
Lay all 4 boots on the floor and let your French Bulldog sniff around them. Once he’s sniffed them, put them on the front paws and then move to the rear.
With every boot you put on, go big on the positive reinforcement and treats each time.
The key to this training is to only treat when you get the response you want from your Frenchie. If he refuses to have a shoe put on, he gets no treat.
If your dog does get scared, don’t react badly. This will only exacerbate the fear and will set you back.
If the training has worked, walk him around the house. Try to encourage him to follow you by treating him until you get to the point where it’s no longer an issue.
And do the same once you get outside and he walks in winter boots in a real-world environment.
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Skip on over to my blog for more advice on how to protect your Frenchie from cold weather and snow. Here are some suggested products and informational guides.