The ruffwear griptrex boots come quite highly recommended online when it comes to dog boots.
Ever looked at something when you’re walking and gone “Yikes I’d hate to step on that.”?
Well, whilst our dogs paws are certainly tougher than human feet, they’re also not impervious to pain.
Sometimes it can be a great idea to get a well fitted pair of doggy boots to help overcome that. So, to help you guys know what to look at, or look for, I’ve tested out the Ruffwear Grip trex.
Why does my dog need boots?
Sometimes the world isn’t paw friendly. As humans population grows, and dog population follows, we’re taking our dogs into more and more situations across the world – and it’s not always comfortable for a paw. That includes taking less weather-appropriate dogs into weather that they may not be bred for. Sometimes that means that we have to include something like boots in order to help them be comfortable in a habitat they might not be otherwise.
When should I use boots for my dog?
Some great ideas of when to introduce boots are:
- Cold weather
- Hot weather
- Rough terrain
- Slippy surfaces
- Salty surfaces
These are all instances where we may be asking our dogs to do things where they would benefit from a little extra grip, or an extra protective surface between their paws and whatever it is we’re walking on together.
Personally, Indie and I tend to use this when we’re on mountain trails. Indie (my German shepherd) does like to clamber over rocks, and given we’re new to the US, there’s a few rocks here that he’s never really understood, we don’t get a whole lot of volcanic rock in the UK, so the Appalachians are a seriously new environment for us to be exploring.
How to help your dog love their boots
It’s really important with boots in particular that you make a positive introduction, and as much as possible, this should be an experience that is relaxed and not stressful (because let’s face it, if it’s a war, you know who’s going to win and come back without their new shoes when you’re out on a hike.)
I know it’s so tempting to just pop them on and look at your dog in boots and watch them be silly? But that’s not necessarily going to reach your goals for boot wearing.
I’m starting this with the assumption that your dog doesn’t mind their paws being touched, but if they do, then do make sure to desensitise this first.
Step 1 – Visual introduction
First! when you get rid of the packaging, sit on the floor with your dog, show them the boots, and praise reward, hiding the boots swiftly afterwards.
You’ll quickly notice that the appearance of the boots becomes a predictor for a reward – and this is absolutely what you’re looking for.
Step 2 – Interaction
You can pop those suckers on the floor, and put treats around and under them. This should encourage your dog to interact with them. This will create trust, normalise their presence and push away uncertainty.
Call that session to a halt wherever you need to and then.
Step 3 – Start with one.
When you’re chilling on the sofa, take one boot, and test it out. You may not want to fasten it at this stage, but if your dog is readily accepting this? Then pop it on! Reward your dog, and remove the boot.
It’s really important that if you see signs of stress or discomfort, then try and back up, take it back a step and do it gently.
Step 4 – Move it forward
Then, when this is a relaxed process, secure the boot, and if your dog isn’t too worried, see if they’ll go for a little wander around your home, yard and driveway! This will allow you to test the fit and size.
Initially you can expect that your dog is gonna do that silly walk, but they should adjust quickly.
Then more boots at one time until you get all of them on together and it looks like adventuring time for you both!
Remember to monitor!
Monitoring the fit on these is really important. When you’re out, compare their gait to how they normally walk. After every hike or excursion, check your dogs paws and make sure there are no sores or rubbing points.
Introducing the Ruffwear Grip Trex Boots
The ruffwear grip trex boots come in neutral colors and in a lot of sizes. Fitting them is really easy, and I'm delighted with how well they stay on Indie's paws.
- Really Grippy
- Easy to fit
- Quick dry
- Easy to adjust
- Lots of sizes
Why I love the Ruffwear Grip trex
They appear to be pretty comfortable! Indie took to them pretty easily, minimal kicking to try and get them off (almost like I know what I’m doing). And they seem to work as they are meant to, we’ve taken a number of walks, no chafing has been experienced, they definitely give Indie more grip. He’s catching corners, and pushing more on jumps than he would normally, which means that suddenly? We’re both getting more brave with our hikes!
Front & Back Pairs
I love that you actually buy them as separate pairs of boots – so you buy the larger pair (usually the front) and the smaller pair (usually the back) – and if you’re wondering, Indie ended up being a 2.5 inch on the back and a 3 inch on the front! It’s apparently very normal for larger breeds to have different sizes, with front paws usually being larger.
The tightening straps are cute and super functional! The most common ‘gripe’ I hear about boots is that they fall off – and initially – yeah, these did too. But I tinkered with the fit via this little strap, and presto, no longer flying off as Indie whips around a corner.
Soles Full Of Soul
Lastly, the soles. They’re made by Vibram, masters of shoe soles, and it shows. Dog feet move in a much more dexterous way than human feet, and consequently, the sole had unique needs that Vibram have truly met.
Possible problems with the Ruffwear Grip trex Dog Boots.
Measuring paws is a funny one. I was actually concerned about the fact that dog paws spread when they’re running, so I contacted the ruffwear chat and we worked it through as to what sizing needed to be done in order to facilitate each individual dog – and if you’re still not sure, then Ruffwear made a video.
So they are breathable, the fabric is created light and Indie has been absolutely fine when in water, or even running around, but hot days? He struggles.
It’s good to note that this is the one the place that your dog sweats, and whilst they are definitely breathable, I have found that Indie does heat up quicker when wearing them. It’s not something that has worried me just yet, but it’s something I’m conscious of for summer.
Requires properly trimmed claws
As a warning, proper claw care is paramount regardless of whether you plan on using boots or not – but boots will absolutely accentuate any pain or discomfort caused by long claws. So, if your dog is showing a dislike to their boots, or is limping after wearing them, check their claw length.
If you’re not sure, or not confident doing this yourself (it is definitely more difficult with black claws), then just make sure to take regular groomers visits!
Be Careful Of Harefoot Dogs
So, certain breeds (particularly sighthounds) are ‘harefooted’ this means that their paws are longer, but narrower than the average dog, consequently, these sorts of boots may not work for those dog breeds.
If you’re not sure if your dog is harefooted? You can always have a chat with your breed experts, or return the boots if they don’t work so well.
The Grip Trex do exactly that, Grip on treks.
The Ruffwear Grip Trex are a wonderful little pair of boots. Whilst these dog boots can’t fix a dogs lack of balance (yeah, sometimes Indie is still a little clumsy), it can certainly help them to achieve a little more than they could naturally.
We’ve upped our hikes, Indie’s exploring new areas that he can’t normally reach, and even better, as the weather turns hotter, these will help protect paws on our regular walks too, and I’m really looking forward to that.
If you want more help and guidance with hiking gear, check out the Best Hiking Gear For Dogs!
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Author, Ali Smith
Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.
Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ best pet blog!