You know when you step on hot asphalt in your bare feet and start hopping around to avoid burning your toes? Well, that happens to dogs, too, but they might not tell you that it’s burning their feet until it’s too late.
When the weather heats up in the summer, one thing that dog guardians often don’t think about is the hot sidewalk, which can actually burn dogs’ paws.
On a hot day, pavement can heat up to between 130 and 180 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 veterinary care right away if you think your dog is in pain.
Here are some tips for keeping your pup’s paws safe 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. If the temperature is in the 80s, asphalt can reach 140 degrees! This can cause pain and tissue damage, even after just a few minutes of contact.
Find other places to walk.
Dog parks, grassy meadows, wooded paths, wet beaches—these are all easier on dogs’ paws than burning-hot asphalt. Probably more enjoyable, too!
Get your dog some footwear.
Doggie boots can protect paws from the 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. Soon your pup will be retrieving the sandals to let you know it’s time for a walk!
When all else fails, take a day off from the great outdoors and just stay home. Sure, you might feel lazy, but keeping to a rigid walking schedule isn’t worth risking damage to your dog’s paws. Play games inside your cool house, or find some other place where your dog can play indoors, such as a doggie day-care center. Or how about an indoor play date with a canine buddy?
Make sure summer stays fun by making sure your pup’s paws don’t get burned.