Many kinds of dogs have been bred especially for the purpose of pulling sleds and working in snow and freezing temperatures.
As a result, their feet were able to adapt well to the intense cold.
Therefore, their paw pads are not affected by ice or by running on frozen snow trails on a daily basis.
German Shepherds have been bred and used for herding and for guarding sheep.
They had to deal with the elements very frequently, and even sometimes worked in extreme weather conditions.
So did this cause German Shepherd feet to become resistant to snow and ice?
Or, in very low temperatures or freezing snows, do German Shepherds need snow boots?
Do German Shepherds Need Snow Boots?
German Shepherds have many things to their disposition which assists in protecting them from the cold and minus temperatures.
Their thick and dense double coat protects them from the cold and helps in keeping them warm.
Their size and bulk also helps to keep them insulated from within.
As well as that, their origins often involved working with sheep even in very cold or extreme winters of Germany.
This made them able to withstand and adapt to freezing temperatures.
They are also physically active dogs, and will likely keep on the move in the cold to make sure they stay warmth.
However, German Shepherd’s feet were not meant to walk and run in the freezing snow and ice for many hours at a time.
They do well for the most part in the snow, but not for extended periods of time.
Also, in some temperatures, their paws may be predisposed to frostbite.
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As a result, German Shepherds need snow boots.
If your German Shepherd is just going for a short walk on a winter day it will not do his feet any harm.
Yet, a few hours walking through freezing snow in very cold temperatures can be very dangerous.
In this case, you will need to provide your German Shepherd with snow boots .
Why Do German Shepherds Need Snow Boots?
German Shepherds need snow boots because it can be painful for them to walk on snow or on freezing terrain for long periods of time.
This is due to the fact that their paw pads are sensitive to the cold.
Wearing snow boots will protect these dogs’ feet from any damage they could receive from being predisposed to extreme temperatures.
The snow boots will keep your German Shepherd’s feet safe from any discomfort, abrasions, scrapes, bleeding, and ice burns.
Against Ice Burns
Ice burns could happen if your German Shepherd’s paw pads are in contact with a freezing cold temperature for an extended time.
Against Ice Balls
Ice balls could also form between the toes and cling to longer fur on the bottom of the paws.
This could lead to pain and potential ice burns for your German Shepherd as well.
Moreover, German Shepherds could get frostbite from lack of blood flow when they walk in the snow for too long.
Frostbite can especially be painful when their feet begin to thaw out and warm up, allowing the blood flow to return.
Against De-icing Salt
As well as that, your German Shepherd could walk into a patch of toxic de-icing chemicals or road salt. This can be very irritating and abrasive to his feet.
In some cases, the salt could be so big that it could pierce the skin between your German Shepherd’s paws pads.
Additionally, if your German Shepherd ends up with irritated or inured feet from road salt, he will naturally want to lick his feet.
The road salt may cause your dog to feel nauseous and extremely thirsty, and it may drastically raise his sodium levels.
Proving your German Shepherd with snow boots will prevent all of these dangers he could be predisposed to from the snow.
What Temperature Do Dogs Need Boots?
Some dogs have more resistant paw pads than others, especially breeds that were used for sledding.
Some dogs love the snow and the coldness from it may not seem to bother them at all.
However, temperatures below 30 Degrees Fahrenheit may require your dog to wear boots to protect their feet.
This is especially true for small dogs, or dogs that are not adapted to walking on freezing cold snow.
German Shepherds may be big, bulky, strong, and with a thick coat, but their paw pads are sensitive to the cold.
This is why it may be the best for them to wear snow boots at that temperature.
Do German Shepherds Tolerate Snow Boots?
A lot of German Shepherds will tolerate snow boots because they are obedient dogs and will want to listen to their owner.
After they had become adjusted to them, they will not mind having them on their feet when out walking.
However, some individuals are just not able to handle them. They may try to take them off or chew on them in an attempt to remove them.
It is important to get your German Shepherd used to wearing snow boots gradually.
How To Get Your German Shepherd Used To Snow Boots
First, allow him to sniff and inspect the boots.
By putting them near to his food, he may associate them with a pleasant thing and be less wary of them.
Put the snow boots on your German Shepherd so that he can adjust to wearing them. If your dog acts calm when wearing them, reward him.
Only make him wear the boots for short periods at a time, increasing the length of time gradually each day.
Reward your German Shepherd when he acts calm and peaceful in them and walks around with the boots on his feet.
After a while, your German Shepherd should be happy to go for walks in the snow wearing his snow boots.
Always be sure to double check that your dog’s boots are comfortable for him, not too tight, and do not rub off his skin.
Otherwise, they could be irritating and cause just as much harm as walking on cold snow.
Dog Snow Boots Alternatives
Some owners may find that even after training their German Shepherd, he still simply does not tolerate wearing snow boots.
He could not enjoy walking in them or refuses to adjust to them, as German Shepherds can sometimes be stubborn.
What do I do in this case?
If you find your German Shepherd not liking the experience of snow boots, there are many alternatives to try out.
These things can be just as effective as boots in protecting your dog’s feet from snow and ice.
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There are many dog paw balms that you can use to apply on your German Shepherd’s feet before going out in the snow.
These balms form a protective film over your dog’s paw to safeguard them from snow, ice, and road salt.
They are also very moisturizing and help keep your dog’s paws healthy.
The paw balm will prevent dry and cracked paw pads from the harsh, cold, damaging snow.
They moreover help repair, soothe, and heal faster any irritations caused from walking in the snow.
Trimming The Hair Between Your Dog’s Toes
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German Shepherds have long fur between their toes which could result in ice getting trapped and building up in between.
The long hair can even lead to wet snow clinging to it and freezing over.
To reduce this, and therefore the risk of ice burns and frost bite, trim the hair between your dog’s toes.
Clean Your Dog’s Feet Off When You Get Home
After a walk in the snow, make sure you clean your German Shepherd’s paws with water when you get home.
You can also thoroughly wipe them with a washcloth or towel dipped in warm water.
This will remove any ice or snow clinging to your dog’s paws and remove any chemicals or road salt.
Dry your German Shepherd’s feet well afterward.
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A German Shepherd with nails that are too long can walk in a way that will put more pressure on his paw pads.
As a result, icy cold snow or frozen over ground can wear your dog’s paw pads down.
In conclusion, why do German Shepherds need snow boots?
Due to their feet being sensitive to extreme cold temperatures.
Therefore, going for long walks or running for extended time periods in snow and ice can harm their paws.
They may end up irritating the skin of their paw pads and it could result in bleeding.
They can also be prone to ice forming between their toes, ice burns, frostbite, and damage to the skin and paw pads.
Additionally, road salt can not only be harsh on the paws, but also hazardous to health.
Snow boots are great in guarding your German Shepherd’s feet against these factors.
They will protect your dog’s feet on long walks in the snow, and when the temperature drops to 30 Fahrenheit or lower.
Alternatively, there are also a few other things, like proper grooming, washing of the paws, and paw balms, which too work effectively against snow.