Summer is a time for extra care for your dog's paws. Many owners like taking their dogs on walks to enjoy the warm summer weather, but they often forget one critical aspect: hot pavement can and will burn a dog's paws. It is tempting to take your dog everywhere you go, but it could cause serious injury if you are not careful. Make certain to watch out for this problem during the summer. If asphalt and cement are hot enough to cook an egg or if you can keep your hands on the ground for at least 10 seconds without feeling hot, your dog's paw pads will be burnt. This is especially true for puppies with tender young paws. Here are some tips to keep your dog from getting burned.
How can you protect your dog’s paws from the heat?
- Dog booties
Protect your dog's paws from hot surfaces with dog booties. They are designed to create a barrier between your dog's paw pad and the pavement below it, creating a protective barrier. While they might not like them at first, if you slowly introduce them, your dog might get used to them over time.
- Avoid walks in the midday heat
Taking your dog for daily walks is a great idea, but you must be careful about the time and place you walk him. The best time to walk your dog is in the morning or at night when the pavement is cooler. Avoid walking your dog in the middle of the day heat, when the sun is the highest and the pavement is too hot.
- Try using paw wax
Paw wax can be used before walks to create a protective layer to protect your dog against heat during hot summer months and harmful chemicals, like road salts, in cold winter months. Although you should still be careful if the asphalt temperature is too hot because it can still burn your dog’s paws.
- Moisturize Your Dog’s Paws
You should moisturize your dog's paws daily to prevent injuries such as cuts, cracking, or peeling. If your dog suffers from these minor injuries his paws may be more susceptible to burns and other serious problems.
- Walk on the grass
If you are used to walking your dog during the day, walk on the grass. Even on a hot day, the grass is usually a safe place for dogs to explore with their leash and harness because it is not as hot as concrete. So, taking your dog to a shady park can be a great idea on a hot afternoon.
- Check paws regularly
After being outside, check your dog's paws for foreign objects like pebbles, weeds, thorns, and glass shards. You can use tweezers to remove these types of objects or you take him to the vet.
Trimming your dog's paws is important to keep your dog's paws healthy and avoid injuries. When your dog's paws are on a flat, surface, the nails should not touch the ground.
How do you know if your dog has burned paws?
Your dog’s paws can handle anything a walk or stroll in nature can throw at them. However, a lot of human-made surfaces, including concrete, metal, pavement, sidewalks, and asphalt, can burn your dog’s paws. Dogs with these signs may have burned paws:
- Limping or avoiding walking
- Licking or chewing their feet
- Paw pads are darker in color than usual
- Pads are visibly damaged
- Blisters or redness