Dog paw pads are essential to a dog’s ability to walk, run, and play. Unfortunately, these sensitive body parts are also vulnerable to burns when they come into contact with hot surfaces, such as pavement and tarmac. In many parts of the US, this can be a significant problem during the summer months when the sun and heat can cause the ground to become scorching hot. It’s crucial for dog owners to understand how to protect their furry friends’ paws and prevent unnecessary pain and injury.
If you’re unsure whether it’s safe to walk your dog on pavement during hot weather, you can do a simple test. Place the back of your hand on the surface of the ground for seven seconds. If it feels too hot for you to hold down, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Here are ten tips to help you prevent paw burns and keep your furry friend happy and healthy during the summertime.
1. Stay on the grass
The easiest way to avoid paw burns is to stay on the grass. Most dog parks have more grass than asphalt and are excellent places to let your dog run around. You could also drive to a nearby park or other grassy areas instead of walking on the pavement.
2. Moisturize your dog’s paws
Minor injuries, such as cuts, cracks, and peeling, can make your dog’s paw more vulnerable to burns. Moisturizing the paws with balm or coconut oil can prevent these injuries and also soothe mild burns.
3. Invest in a pair of dog shoes
Dog shoes are the most effective way to protect your dog’s paws from the hot pavement. If your dog doesn’t like wearing shoes, you may need to go through several pairs until you find a brand they prefer. It’s crucial to buy shoes with rubber soles for optimum heat protection.
4. Walk them when it’s cool
The most obvious tip is to walk your dog only when the pavements are cool. Summer mornings and late evenings are the perfect time for a walk as it’s much cooler during these periods. Avoid walking your dog in the afternoon and early evenings since the pavement remains hot during this period.
5. Use paw wax
A balm or moisturizer for dogs that soothes and hydrates your furry friend’s paw pads by sealing in moisture, paw wax, can be found at your local pet store. Applying paw wax will protect their feet from getting severe burns during summer.
6. Toughen your dog’s paws
Your dog’s paws become more vulnerable to burns if they are too soft. To toughen your dog’s paws, let them walk on the pavement or tarmac when it’s cool outside. It will toughen their paws without harming them and will help prevent potential burns and injuries.
7. Use a stroller
Consider investing in a quality dog stroller if you need to go outside when the temperatures are high. This way, you can go out with your dog without them getting paw burns until you find a cool place where they can walk.
8. Use socks
Dog socks are less restrictive than shoes and may be more comfortable for your dog to wear. Ensure the socks have rubber soles to prevent your dog’s paws from burning.
9. Check your dog’s feet frequently
Small cuts can make your dog’s feet more susceptible to burns. Checking their feet often enables you to treat them and prevent existing burns from worsening.
10. Find alternative forms of exercise
Instead of walking your dog on hot summer days, consider finding alternative forms of exercise to keep them active. You can play in the yard, swim, or engage in indoor games such as tug of war and hide and seek. This way, your dog can get the exercise they need without the risk of burns.
How to tell if your dog’s paws are burnt?
Despite taking all the necessary preventive measures, your dog’s paws may still get burnt. Watch out for visible blisters on the paw pads, extreme redness, limping, excessive licking of their feet, peeling skin, discolored pads, refusing to walk, whining when walking, and holding a paw up.
In conclusion, protecting your dog’s paws from hot pavement should be a priority for every dog owner. Even with the best preventive measures, paw burns can still happen. If you notice any signs of burns, such as limping, redness, or blisters, contact your vet immediately. By taking the necessary precautions, your furry friend can continue to enjoy all the outdoor activities they love without the risk of injury or pain.