Summer is still here, and we have a couple more months to go. If you live in the Southeast, the warm weather can stretch on even longer. During these summer months, the pavement can be a real danger for your four-legged family members. It’s important to take the time and understand what you can do to help protect your dog’s paws from damage and burns, or from overall roughness. Below are some of our top tips for paw safety in the summer.
Walk When it’s Cooler
The pavement gets hotter throughout the day as the sun bears down on it. Often, pavement can reach extreme temperatures, but we don’t necessarily realize it because we’re almost always wearing shoes. But for your dog, it can just be too hot. In fact, hot pavement can burn the pads of a dog’s foot and cause damage, discomfort, and pain. So, if you and your dog love your daily walks, make sure to take those during the cooler times of the day like early morning or late in the evening while the pavement is cooler.
Not sure if the pavement is cool enough? One way to check the heat level of the pavement is to simply place the back of your hand on it. If you must pull it away immediately because of the heat, then it is too hot. Once you can leave the back of your hand against the ground without needing to pull it away, it’s cool enough for your dog’s daily walk.
Stick to the Grass
If you must take your dog out for a potty break or walk in the middle of a hot day, try to keep him or her on the grass or dirt where it will be substantially cooler under their paws. Try to avoid sidewalks or other paved areas that have direct sun exposure.
Just like your skin, rough and cracked paws tend to be more susceptible to burns and peeling. To avoid this, consider moisturizing your dog’s paws to prevent injuries and burns.
If your dog can handle having something on their feet, consider some dog shoes. These are a great way to protect your dog’s paws from all kinds of surfaces including hot pavement. Just make sure they fit properly to avoid tripping.
This is a great way to protect the pads of your dog’s paws from the cold and the heat, as well as harsh chemicals or even road salts in northern locations.
Check Their Paws
This is probably one of the most important things you can do. When you get home from a walk in the summer, or anytime for that matter, check your dog’s paws closely. Keep an eye out for burns, and look for thorns, cuts, and even debris in between the pads. You’d be surprised what can hide in those crevices until your dog starts to show signs of discomfort.