You don't often see us cats walking across a hot sidewalk in the summertime, but dogs can't help it. They're a bit more wound up than we are and need their exercise. Since it's up to you to keep their paws safe, go ahead an embarrass them and put on some dog booties. That's just one idea, so keep reading for everything you need to know about dogs and hot asphalt. Love, Carlos
Many dog owners don't realize just how hot asphalt can get or how uncomfortable it can be for their dog to walk on it. Although the paw pads are tough, your dog can sustain serious burns by walking or running on hot pavement or metal surfaces that can reach well over 100 degrees in the summertime. However, the damage to the paw pads isn't as obvious as injuries on other parts of your dog's body. You need to specifically look for the following symptoms:
• Chewing or licking at the feet
• Darker color on some or all of the paw pad
• Part of the paw pad is missing
• Refusing to walk
If you notice any of these problems, clean the foot area and cool it down with water. Be sure to schedule an appointment with us right away so we can check for indications of deeper burns.
How to Prevent Paw Pad Burns
Your dog needs exercise in all four seasons, summer included. You don't have to avoid going outside for fear of him walking on something too hot, but it is important to take precautions. Make sure that you're the one taking the lead in your walks and not your dog. This gives you the chance to scan the environment and stay clear of hot asphalt and metal surfaces. When you see something coming up that looks too hot for your dog to handle, cross the street to avoid it or find a grassy area to walk instead.
Putting pet-sized slippers on all four of your dog's paws before each walk allows you to walk wherever you want to. It may look a little funny and your dog may even protest it, but coming home with undamaged paws is well worth it. If your dog is lightweight, you can even carry her across hot surfaces.
Avoiding going outside when the sun is at its peak, which is normally between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., is one possible way to avoid burns. However, it's always best to check the pavement first by briefly touching it with your hand to determine if it's safe for your dog to walk on.
Other Hot Weather Tips
The opening of the Minnesota State Fair in a few short weeks may signal the end of summer, but there's still plenty of days of hot weather ahead. Be sure your dog stays hydrated and that he doesn't spend long hours in the direct sunlight. Lastly, never leave your dog in a hot car even for a minute. The risk of heat stroke or even death just isn't worth it.
Photo Credit : Makedadance / Getty Images