What’s the Deal with Galoshes for Dogs?


The last 50 years has seen a transition from dogs as man’s best friend to canines treated as ‘fur babies’, fully deserving of all the same love, care, and respect you would give a human baby. That is all well and good. People are free to love their dogs as much as they choose. But seriously. Galoshes for dogs? What’s that all about?

You can go on the GC Tech website and purchase a brand-new pair of galoshes for men. These are also known as men’s shoe covers and men’s overshoes. What you will not find are galoshes for your dog. But no worries. There are plenty of online sellers who carry canine galoshes along with hundreds of other dog-related items.

The question is this: do dog galoshes have a legitimate purpose, or are they just another in a long line of products cynically designed to separate dog owners from their hard-earned cash? According to a third-year veterinary resident interviewed by Slate in 2018, they are legit.

Protecting Sensitive Feet

The whole point of buying doggie galoshes is to protect sensitive feet during foul winter weather. Note that galoshes are not necessarily the same thing as booties. In the pet world, booties tend to be made from light fabrics. They are not necessarily tough enough to stand up to winter weather. Doggie galoshes are.

At any rate, dog owners may choose to buy these products if they routinely take their pets on walks along city streets. They do so to protect sensitive feet from the ravages of road salt and other ice melt products. But galoshes are not absolutely necessary for this purpose. The previously mentioned veterinary resident said dog owners can simply wash their pets’ feet after each walk.

There is a case to be made for using doggie galoshes during exceptionally cold weather. Apparently, Iditarod racers are required to carry doggie booties on their sleds, just in case. When temperatures drop to critically cold levels, booties go a long way toward preventing frostbite.

Despite the fact that your pooch is probably not going to be pulling an Iditarod sled anytime soon, it still might get cold enough in your area to be problematic. If so, galoshes could be a good choice for your dog.

Things to Think About

If you are considering picking up a pair of galoshes for your dog, there are some things to think about. First and foremost, dog’s feet don’t accept footwear very easily. Most booties and galoshes for dogs are fastened by straps that wrap around the animal’s leg.

The thing you have to be careful of is not pulling the straps too tight. They need to be tight enough to hold the footwear in place but not so tight as to risk harming the animal. Unfortunately, some dogs are very adept at removing footwear they find annoying.

The other thing to consider is that dogs have sweat glands in their feet. In fact, this is the only location for their sweat glands. A pair of galoshes could make it more difficult for a dog’s body to stay cool. Therefore, our favorite veterinarian resident recommends removing galoshes every few hours to give your dog a chance to cool down.

Yes, galoshes for dogs are every bit as real as men’s waterproof overshoes. They serve the same purpose, too. But don’t beat yourself up if you are a dog owner who has never purchased a pair. They are by no means critical to a dog’s long-term health or safety. They can be harmful to your wallet if you’re not careful.

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