The summer heat can take a toll on humans and pets alike. For pet parents, in addition to being concerned about the sun overhead, you also have to protect your dog’s paws from hot ground surfaces. Your dog’s paws are some of the most sensitive parts of their body and may get burnt if they walk on extremely hot surfaces. Some materials like asphalt, wood, metal, sand, pavement, or even car surfaces get hot quickly under the sun and can stay hot for a very long time after the sun has gone down.
Here are tips to help protect your dog’s paws from the hot pavement this summer.
Tips to Help Protect Your Dog’s Paws From Hot Pavement
Use the 5-Second Test
Ensure that pavement isn’t too hot for your pup’s paws by using the 5-Second test. If you can’t step on the pavement barefoot or place the back of your hand on the pavement for 5 seconds, then it is too hot for your dog’s paws.
Avoid Pavement When the Sun is Hottest
If you can, avoid going on walks with your dog when the sun is blazing in all its glory. If you must go on a walk on hot days, try to stick to the shade. You can also have your dog walk on grassy areas. Grass doesn’t absorb or store heat, so it won’t hurt your dog’s paws.
Moisturize Your Dog’s Paws
Applying moisturizer daily to your dog’s paws will help prevent burns from hot pavement. You can purchase moisturizing paw rub from your local pet store. Paw rub should be applied to your dog’s paws a few minutes before going out for your walk, and you can massage their paws with it for better results. You can also use paw wax for similar effects.
Get Some Dog Shoes
A pair of dog shoes will help keep the heat from the ground from damaging your dog’s paws, plus they’ll look cute and fashionable too. In addition to protecting your dog’s paws from the hot pavement, dog shoes can also protect against injuries. Dog shoes with rubber soles offer the best protection. While we don’t recommend forcing your dog to wear dog shoes if they absolutely hate them, remember that it usually takes a few tries for any dog to become comfortable in their shoes.
Signs of Paw Burn and What to Do About It
Always pay extra attention to your dog’s paws during the hot summer months, especially right after swimming when paws become more sensitive to hot surfaces. While the tips above can help you protect your dog’s paws, it’s also helpful to keep a lookout for these signs of paw burn, so you can take action to help your dog heal right away:
- Reddening of the paw pads
- Paw licking
- Signs of discomfort
If you notice any of these signs, you should call or visit the vet right away. Some common treatments your vet will offer for paw burns from hot pavement include:
- Pain medications to offset the pain
- Bandaging the paws, and keeping them off the ground
- Administering antibiotics in case of infection
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