Protect Your Pup’s Paws From Hot Pavement
You know when you step on hot asphalt with your bare feet and start hopping around to keep from burning your toes? Dogs can feel that pain, too, but they might not be able to tell you that their paws are getting burned until it’s too late.
When the weather heats up in the summer, dog guardians often don’t think about hot sidewalks, which can easily burn dogs’ paws.
On a 95-degree day, pavement can get as hot as 140 degrees—hot enough for dogs to incur severe burns! Limping or refusing to walk could mean that your dog’s paw pads have been burned. Check for blisters, redness, or any other signs of damage, and get your dog veterinary care right away if you think they’re in pain.
Here are some tips for protecting your pup’s paws during the dog days of summer:
- Check the asphalt.
Before you go for a walk, put your hand on the pavement to see how hot it is. If it’s hot enough to hurt your hand, it’s too hot to walk your dog on. It could cause pain and tissue damage, even after just a few minutes of contact.
- Find other places to walk.
Dog parks, grassy meadows, wooded paths, and wet beaches are all easier on dogs’ paws than burning-hot asphalt. (They’re probably more enjoyable, too!)
- Get your dog some footwear.
Dog boots can protect paws from hot pavement. There are many styles to choose from, including sandals. Make sure they fit well and don’t cause any discomfort. If your pup is resistant to wearing them at first, try offering treats in exchange for cooperation, but never force your dog to wear them. Soon your pup will be retrieving the boots or sandals to let you know it’s time for a walk.
- Walk early in the morning or late at night.
Don’t hit that snooze button! Wake up early to take your dog on a stroll before it gets too hot, or opt for a longer walk late at night when it’s cooler.
- Stay indoors.
When all else fails, just stay home. Sure, you might feel lazy, but trekking into the heat isn’t worth risking damage to your dog’s paws. Play games inside your cool house, or find another place where your dog can play indoors, such as doggie daycare. Or how about an indoor play date with a canine buddy?
Keep this summer fun by making sure your pup’s paws don’t get burned. And when you go for walks, don’t forget to carry water and take frequent breaks in shady spots. Also, never make dogs wear muzzles that restrict their breathing.
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