Most dogs love going for walks all year round. With warm weather finally here and summertime approaching, many people like taking their dogs for walks to enjoy the nice weather. As nice as the weather may feel to us, hot pavement will burn a dog's paws. It may be tempting to want to take your dog everywhere you go, but it can cause serious harm to your dog if you aren't careful. Burned paw pads can also lead to infections if not treated properly. Your dog might need antibiotics or pain medication depending on the severity of the burn. Asphalt, cement, and metal can get hot enough to cook an egg, so just imagine what it will do to your dog's paws. If you can't comfortably leave your hand on the pavement for 5 seconds, then the pavement is too hot. Here are some tips for protecting your dog's paws in the summer:
Signs of Burned Pads:
- Walk your dog early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the temperatures are lower and the pavement has cooled down (test it with your hands first)
- Stay on the grass or shady areas when you walk your pet to avoid burning.
- Moisturize your dog's paws - dry paws are more susceptible to cracking, peeling, and cuts. Dry signs in your dog's paws can make them more likely to get burned as well. Paw Nectar is a good tool to use regularly on your dog's paws and can also be used on dry or cracking noses.
- Use paw wax - spread the wax on your dog's paw pads prior to walking to protect them. The wax is designed to protect your dog's feet from potentially harmful surfaces and chemicals.
- Try dog shoes/boots - if your dog tolerates them, dog shoes are a good way to protect your dog's paws from harmful surfaces and potential injuries. Make sure that the shoes fit your dog properly and that the shoes have rubber or neoprene soles. Not all dogs can get used to shoes, and some might have a hard time walking in them
- If they aren't a fan of shoes/boots, you can always try dog socks (ensure that the socks have rubber or neoprene soles, otherwise their feet will still get burned)
- Check and clean your dog's paw pads frequently - Be sure to check daily for any signs of damage and check between paw pads for any stones or other debris.
** Keep in mind that if your dog goes for a swim, his paw pads will be softened so he will be more susceptible to burns immediately after a swim or bath
Signs of Burned Pads:
- Limping or refusing to walk
- Licking or chewing at the feet
- Pads darker in color
- Missing part of pd
- Blisters or redness