Pavement, asphalt, wood, metal, sand and car or truck surfaces can become very hot during the summer months. These materials absorb heat from the sun and can stay hot for hours even after the sun has gone down. Temperatures on these surfaces can exceed 145° F!
Tips to Protect Your Pet’s Paws in the Dog Days of Summer
- Check the pavement for heat before taking your dog on a walk. Place your hand or a bare foot on the surface for 10 seconds. If it is too hot for you to keep your hand or foot on it, then it is too hot for your pet.
- Stay on grassy surfaces and avoid bare ground when outside in the summer heat.
- Avoid the hottest parts of the day. Walk early in the morning or late in the evening after the pavement has cooled down.
- Invest in a pair of booties to help keep the heat from burning your dog’s paws.
Keep in mind that your dog’s paws may be more susceptible to hot materials after swimming. If you see any signs in your dog such as limping, not wanting to walk, a red or pink color change in the paw pads, licking or chewing at the feet, missing pieces of the pads or blisters, take your dog to see your veterinarian immediately.
Treating Summer Burns
There are potential complications as a result of summer burns to your dog’s paws. For example, all four feet can be potentially affected, making it hard for your dog to walk. Treatment may include
- antibiotics, in case of infection
- pain medications
- bandaging of the feet