With the arrival of summer comes a host of different activities, keeping you and your pet outside and active! Swimming, camping, road trips, and visits to the parks are endless—and great for thepup that needs more activity. No matter what your outdoor plans are, it's important to remember how hot surfaces can get - especially when our pups are tagging along.
Dog paws are meant to walk on outdoor surfaces and can usually handle a stroll through nature on different terrains, but human-made surfaces like concrete, metal, sidewalks, and asphalt can harm our pups when they get hot. Most of us know that hot pavement can burn our pet's paws, but it's always a good idea to know how to protect our pups from extra hot surfaces.
When the outside temperature is high, the pavement can be nearly 25 degrees hotter than normal. If it's 87 degrees outside and sunny, pavement without shade can reach up to 143 degrees! During peak temperatures, it’s crucial to test the surface. Place your hand on the pavement for 7-10 seconds; if it's too hot for you, it's not safe for your dog.
On days when it's extra hot outside, it's generally a good idea to walk your dog in the early morning or late evening and to stick to grassy or shaded areas. But if that isn’t an option for you, or you simply want to enjoy the summer day, there are a few ways to protect your pup's paws:
Dog Shoes: Dog shoes are one of the best ways to protect a dog's feet from heat and other outdoor elements. Although they may not be a viable solution for all dogs, if your pet will wear them, purchase shoes with a rubber sole for the best protection! Disposable dog booties are also a great option if you want to try a different type of coverage or need a more temporary solution.
Socks: If you need a last-minute solution, or your pup refuses dog shoes, small socks (with grip) could do the trick! Since socks have a more natural feel than shoes, these could be a better solution for your dog, especially if they are older or have mobility issues. Socks might need more washing than regular dog shoes, but they are still a safe option to protect against hot pavement.
Paw Wax: Always check the label, but most paw wax is made from non-toxic natural ingredients that will not harm your pet, and some are even entirely edible! Paw wax can be easily rubbed onto your dog’s paws to protect them from a hot surface. Paw wax can also soothe and protect cracked paws to make your dog more comfortable.
What To Do If Your Pet Touches Hot Pavement?
It happens; you get to the park with an excited pup and they run right onto a hot surface. If they don’t run off the pavement immediately, get them off as quickly as possible so you can check if the temperature is safe. If it was a hot surface, know the warning signs that your dog might have burned their paws:
- Avoiding walking or limping
- Blisters or redness
- Visible damage to paws
- Licking or chewing feet
- Paw pads are darker in color than usual
If you suspect your dog has burned their paws, take them to the vet as soon as possible. In the meantime, you should carry them, if necessary, flush their feet with cold water or use a cold compress, and try to stop them from licking the injured pad. Depending on the severity of the burn, a vet will determine the best course of action.
Remember, hot temperatures can be dangerous for humans and pets, so stay hydrated and cool during your outdoor activities! We know that summer is a busy time for people and their families, so if you need additional assistance walking your dog or require an overnight pet sitter, the team at Woofies of Ashburn is here. Our trained and carefully selected professionals can help with pet care needs, including pet sitting, dog walking, and mobile grooming!
Our Mobile Pet Spa also offers a specialty Paw Pad Treatment to soothe and condition dry, cracked paws, restoring and protecting this very delicate skin.
To learn more or contact the Woofies team, click here!