We all love our dogs. We love spending time with them and having them with us on walks throughout the year. It’s great bonding time for you and your pet.
But the recent high temperatures nationwide have actually made it somewhat dangerous to walk your dog at certain times of the day. Hot concrete sidewalks, asphalt and even artificial grass and turf can really harm their feet.
What many dog owners may not understand is that dog’s paw pads may seem more rugged and rough, but they are quite sensitive just like our human feet. Our dog’s paw pads are designed to withstand significant pressure, but NOT extreme temperatures.
Unfortunately many don’t realize the danger until it’s too late. Veterinarians say this happens more often than it should and they see burned paw pads almost every summer. Their advice to pet owners on summertime walking,.. “A good rule of thumb is if the pavement is too hot for your hand or bare feet, it’s too hot for your dogs’ pads.”
Below is a case reported by Screamtimes.com, where this recently happened to a dog and its owner in Washington:
Sorry for the graphic photos but this is very important - please read this article about walking your dog in hot weather. The pads can literally be scorched off by the pavement https://t.co/aPoGYJOYif pic.twitter.com/QtxYxEFvcc— White Cross Vets (@WhiteCrossVets) July 16, 2019
In 2017, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) advised pet owners about how pavements can get dangerous during summer heat:
“On a hot day, pavements 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.”
Keep in mind that even on a mild day with a temperature of 75 degrees that sidewalks and surfaces heat up faster and hotter and may still burn.
So it’s a good idea to ALWAYS keep an eye for signs of discomfort when walking your dog. Look for signals such as limping, the dog holding up its feet, panting heavily during walks, as well as the pet chewing or licking feet after a walk. Also be aware that some dogs are tougher than others, and may trudge through the pain before you notice the damage that’s happening to them. It’s up to you to protect them.
Banfield.com has some tips for you on how to protect your dog’s paws in the Dog Days of summer:
- Check the pavement for heat before taking your dog on a walk. Place your hand or a bare foot on the surface for 7 seconds. If it is too hot for you to keep your hand or foot on it, then it is too hot for your pet.
- Stay on natural grassy surfaces and avoid bare ground when outside in the summer heat.
- Avoid the hottest parts of the day. Walk early in the morning or late in the evening after the pavement has cooled down.
- Invest in a good pair of booties to help keep the heat from burning your dog’s paws.
This is all important information. Let’s work to protect our fur babies, they are part of the family too.