Walking barefoot on the warm ground is a wonderful sensation, but if the ground is too hot, you will find yourself hopping, skipping, and jumping to get on to cooler terrain. The hot ground feels even more unpleasant for dogs as their paws are sensitive. In some cases, it can lead to your dog getting burns on their paws. Therefore, it is important to avoid walking your dog over ground that is too hot and to take steps to prevent them burning their paws in the summer heat. Here is some advice to help you keep your dog’s paws safe and healthy during the summer heat. In the summer months, you may want to get out and about with your dog as much as possible to take advantage of the warmer weather and fresh air. The following tips will help you to protect your dog’s paws at this time of the year.
1. Avoid the Hottest Times of the Day
In the midday heat, hard floor surfaces, such as concrete and asphalt, will gradually become hotter. You should avoid walking your dog during the hottest times of the day as this is when they are at the greatest risk of burning their paws. Instead, choose a cooler time of the day to walk your dogs, such as the early morning or evening.
2. Choose Cooler Terrain
Pets Lady says you can avoid burns by walking your dog on cooler terrain. Concrete and asphalt are the worst surfaces on which to walk your dog as they get hot very quickly. However, if you live in an urban area and these are the only surfaces, walk on the shaded side of the street. If possible, walk your dog on grassy areas as these stay cool even in the most extreme summer heat.
3. Walk on Sidewalks in Cool Weather
You should not avoid walking on the sidewalks at all times of the year. During the cooler months, it is important to walk your dog on rough surfaces. Doing so will toughen up their feet by thickening the skin into callouses. It will equip your dog better for walking over varied terrain in a variety of conditions throughout the year.
4. Moisturize Your Dog’s Paws
Taking good care of your dog’s paws throughout the year can reduce the risk of them suffering burns. My Busy Dog recommends moisturizing your dog’s paws to avoid them becoming too dry. When they become dry, a dog’s paws are prone to cracking. In turn, they are then susceptible to burns while out walking. Cracks in their feet also put them at risk of infection.
5. Apply Wax to the Pads
Paw wax is a product that you can apply to your dog’s feet that offers an extra layer of protection. If you apply it before going out for a walk, it can reduce the risk of burns. It can also help them to cope with walking over varied terrains, such as gravel, sand, ice, snow, rocks, and hot surfaces. Furthermore, the application of paw can protect them from harmful substances, such as road salts and chemicals.
6. Buy Some Dog Shoes
A fantastic way to protect your dog’s paws from the summer heat or when walking over varied terrain is to buy them dog shoes. These come in various forms and are available in a range of sizes for different dog breeds. Some dogs take to dog shoes straight away, while others find it challenging to wear them. Make sure you buy the right size so that your dog is comfortable wearing them and allow your dog to practice wearing them at home before taking them outdoors. Do not allow your dog to wear them for too long, as dogs perspire through their paws. If your dog is wearing dog shoes for too long, they may have difficulty regulating their body heat.
Symptoms of Burned Paws
If your dog does experience burns to their paws, then it is essential you can identify the symptoms. Some of these include the following:
- Limping or an inability to walk
- Paw pads that are darker than usual
- Licking their paws or chewing their feet
- Visible damage to the paws
- Redness or blisters
First Aid for Burned Paws
In the unfortunate event of your dog suffering burns to their paws, there are some steps you should take to treat them. According to Pet Smart, these include:
- Take your dog inside as soon as possible
- If necessary, carry your dog
- Pour cold water over your dog’s paws
- Put a cold compress on their paws
Discourage the dog from licking their paws
In some cases, you may need to take your dog to the vet, especially if the burns are severe, as they may need pain medication or antibiotics to prevent the burns from becoming infected. Some of the symptoms of burned paws are also associated with some other health problems, such as allergies. A trip to the vet will allow the vet to assess whether your dog has burned paws or if another health problem is causing the symptoms. They can then treat your dog accordingly.
How to Protect Your Dog’s Paws in Summer Heat – The Final Verdict
The summer months are a great time to get out and about, but there is an increased risk of your dog suffering burned paws. Not only is this painful for your dog, but it can also increase their risk of infection. Therefore, you need to take steps to prevent this from happening. Avoiding the midday heat and walking on cooler surfaces, such as grass, are two of the most important steps. You should also take good care of your dog’s paws throughout the year by walking over varied terrain to toughen their feet, applying moisturizer to their paws, and using paw wax before going on walks. Finally, consider investing in some dog shoes to protect your dog’s paws from the summer heat.