During the peak summer months the pavement can be a real danger for our four-legged family members. It is important to take the time and do a little research on what you can do to help protect their paws from damage such as burns and overall roughness. Read on for some of our top tips for paw safety in the summer.
Take Walks When It’s Cool
Throughout the day the pavement gets a good beat down from the sun heating it up to extreme temperatures. We often don’t realize it because we are almost always wearing shoes, but for our pups it can be far too hot!
In fact, hot pavement can burn the pads of paws and cause damage and pain to your pooch. So, if your dog loves his or her daily walk make sure to take those during the cooler times of day like the morning before the sun reaches its zenith or later in the evening once the sun has started to set and the pavement has had some time to cool off.
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 have to pull it away immediately because of the heat then it is too hot for Fido. Once you are able to 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.
Stay on the Grass
Of you do have to take your dog out for a walk or potty break in the middle of a hot day try to keep him or her on grass or dirt where it will be cooler under their paws.
Stay away from sidewalks and other paved areas to avoid burning. A shady park is a great place to take your dog on a warm afternoon.
Moisturize Their Paws
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. A favorite of ours is Watson’s Pawesome Paw Balm.
Made by hand in small batches and with natural and organic ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamin E oil it helps soften and treat dry and cracked paws.
Try Dog Shoes
If your dog doesn’t have an aversion to having something on his or her feet try some dog shoes. They are a great way to protect your dog’s paws from all kinds of surfaces including hot pavement.
Make sure they fit your dog properly to avoid potential dangers such as tripping or falling over. There will inevitably be an adjustment period for your pup and just make sure that he or she is always monitored when wearing the shoes.
Use Paw Wax
Paw Wax is a great way to protect the pads of your dog’s paws from the cold and the heat as well has harsh chemicals and road salts.
Check your local pet store or Amazon for a good selection of brands.
Check Their Paws
When you get home from your walk or outing this summer check your dog’s paws thoroughly. Check for burns, but also make sure to look for bugs, thorns or debris between the paw pads.
Lots of harmful things can hide in those crevices for a long time before your dog starts to show discomfort. If you notice anything out of the ordinary call your vet.
Paw Burn First Aid
During the paw check or if you suspect your dog has burned his or her paws then you’ll need to tend to it immediately. Here are 4 easy steps for treating burned paws:
- Bring your dog inside right away and/ or carry him or her if necessary.
- Flush the paws with cold water or use a cold compress.
- Don’t let your dog lick his or her injured paws.
- Take your dog to the vet as soon as possible because burned paws means that new skin is exposed leaving your dog susceptible to infections. Additionally, he or she may need antibiotics or pain medication depending on how bad the burns are.