Should My Husky Wear Winter Boots? 4 Reasons Not To!


Cold weather is a fact of life in many parts of the world, especially in northern regions. So what do you do to keep your husky healthy and comfortable in the winter? One question people always ask is ‘should my husky wear boots in the winter?

When caring for your husky in the colder months, keep their feet warm and dry and protected from rock salt and chemical de-icers. It’s good to have a pair of winter boots on hand if they need them, just know that they are not essential for every day. 

Read on to learn more about the answer to this question!

4 Reasons Why Your Husky Doesn’t Need to Wear Winter Boots

So, should your Husky wear winter boots? This question has two answers: yes and no. Yes, there are certain instances when they should wear dog boots, but they do not need to wear them just because it’s cold.

Huskies already have several defences against the cold – they are a winter breed after all! This means that winter boots are not a necessity in cold weather. Below are the four key reasons that winter boots are not typically needed.

1. Huskies Have Two Layers of Fur

Huskies have two layers of fur: an undercoat that keeps them warm and a top coat that protects them from the elements. They shed their undercoat twice a year, which is when they look like they have just been through an explosion at the hairdresser. The top coat is made up of long, thick guard hairs that protect the skin from rain, snow, and sunburn.

2. Husky Paws Are Covered in Fur Too

The paws of huskies are covered in fur too! This keeps their feet warm in winter and helps cool them in summer. The pads of their feet are also protected by a tough callus-like layer of skin that acts as an extra layer of protection against cold weather.

The Husky was originally bred to be a sled dog, so they’re built for cold weather. They have thick coats and strong limbs, so they can handle the snow and ice that comes with winter. This doesn’t mean you should leave them out in the elements all day long, but it does mean that they can withstand the cold for longer than most dog breeds.

3. They’ve Adapted to the Cold

Before you invest in winter boots for your husky, it’s important to understand that these dogs have evolved to live in extreme climates. They can adapt and thrive in just about any weather condition, from below-zero temperatures to the heat of summer.

The pads on a husky’s paws are much thicker than those on other breeds of dogs. They’re also covered by a layer of fat which helps insulate them from extreme temperatures and prevents frostbite in winter months.

4. Winter Boots Can Hurt Paws

Winter boots can be uncomfortable for dogs. Some dogs may not walk well with them on, which can cause damage to their feet. Other dogs may try to chew off the boots because they don’t like the restriction.

And if you don’t use them correctly, it may take longer for your husky’s paws to warm up when they come out of the boots compared to if they are barefoot.

Not only that, but huskies have a reputation for being quite stubborn and dramatic. If your husky has never worn winter boots before they might not like the sudden addition! This can lead to an infamous husky tantrum occurring filled with lots of shouting and bad behaviour.

When Might Huskies Need to Wear Winter Boots?

A husky’s feet are designed by nature to stay warmer than other dog breeds. The only time you should put winter boots on them is if they walk on roads that have been salted or had a chemical de-icer used on them.

Huskies lick their paws so any toxic salts and chemicals they’ve walked over will inevitably be ingested, potentially causing health issues. These chemicals can also irritate their skin as the salt is abrasive and pulls moisture out of the skin, drying it out and exposing it to cracking and infection.

If a part of your walking route is on roads or sidewalks that have de-icer you should cover their feet to avoid them getting the chemicals on the pads of their feet. This can also be solved by thoroughly washing your husky’s feet after completing your walk.

Winter boots might also be needed if their paw pads are cracked and sore from walking on rough, rocky terrain. Wearing boots until their feet recover is a good idea to prevent infection and further damage. If your husky is uncomfortable or shows signs of pain when walking due to sore paws then it could be worth a try.

What Should You Do To Protect Your Husky’s Feet in Winter?

The most important thing you can do for your husky is to keep his feet warm and dry. Wet or cold feet can be painful, so it’s important to take precautions.

Sled dogs tuck their feet under them when they lay down to warm them in cold temperatures. It’s important that your husky’s feet stay warm and dry in the winter. Dry their feet with a towel after walks and make sure they have a warm bed to sleep in.

You should also inspect your dog’s paw pads frequently and moisturize them with coconut oil or Vaseline as a barrier against cracking. Apply it just before going outside for a walk. It keeps the snow from getting in between your dog’s toes and hydrates the skin.

Trim hair from between the paw pads so that your pet can walk comfortably. You should also keep your husky’s toenails trimmed. If they’re too long, they can cause pain and injury. It’s important to have a professional do this for you if you are not experienced at it.

For more detailed advice on how to care for your husky’s paws, read our article here!

FAQs About Husky Winter Care

Do Huskies Need to Wear Sweaters?

Huskies were bred for centuries to work as sled dogs traveling hundreds of miles over frozen terrain, so they are well adapted to cold weather conditions. They are not only used for sledding but also as guard dogs, assistance dogs, search and rescue animals, and more.

The coats of Huskies can vary from short to medium in length with undercoats that provide warmth and insulation against harsh winter weather conditions. Their outer coats shed profusely during warmer months and grow thicker during colder months when they shed less fur. The undercoat will keep your husky warm even when it’s snowing outside!

Sweaters are not typically required for a husky to wear – unless they have an issue with their coat and need extra support during the cold.

Do Huskies Get Frostbite on Their Paws?

Cold-weather breeds are less prone to frostbite because they have more blood vessels in their feet that are closer to the surface of the skin. It is less likely that a husky will get frostbite, but not impossible. It depends on the length of time of exposure to the cold.

Should I Trim the Hair on my Husky’s Paws?

Routine grooming is necessary, even in winter. Inspect your dog’s feet for long hairs and trim them even with the rest of the foot. If the hair is too long it can get matted after a while and make walking painful. Make sure to keep their toenails trimmed as well!

Can I Leave my Husky Outside in the Cold?

No dog should be left outside in the cold 24/7 without shelter. But there are times when you need to let your dog out in the backyard while you’re at work or running errands if they can’t behave themselves inside while you’re gone.

Siberian huskies have thick coats that help keep them warm during winter months. So unless temperatures dip below -20° F (-29° C), your husky should do fine outside for short periods of time.

They should have some kind of outdoor shelter like a dog house with enough room to curl up in to get warm. As long as they are acclimated to the cold and are well-fed and hydrated, they will be fine. Making sure your husky gets enough food and water helps them regulate their body temperature keeping them warm when it’s cold out.

Final Thoughts

So, in summary, huskies do not need to wear winter boots in cold weather. There are some cases where boots might be helpful though. These include when walking over chemically-treated pavement or if your husky has injured paws and would benefit from extra protection.

Header image by badamczak80 from Pixabay.

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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