Summer is a great time to get out and about with your dog, but outdoor excursions in the heat have quite a few risks for pets and humans alike. There is a lot of buzz about educating pet owners about the dangers of leaving your pet in a hot car, but many guardians forget one important detail: hot pavement will burn a dog’s paws.
It can be tempting to bring your best friend with you everywhere you go, but it can cause serious harm to your dog if you’re not careful. It only takes a few moments on blazing hot asphalt for your dog’s paws to be injured, blistered, or cracked.
The 10 Second Rule:
Put the back of your hand on the pavement. If you cannot hold it there for 10 seconds it is too hot to walk. If the asphalt is so hot you could probably fry an egg on it, then it can burn your dog’s feet. Also keep in consideration that certain dog’s pads, especially puppies are not as adaptable to heat and may not be able to stand even temperatures you can.
Be mindful of hot surfaces – asphalt and metal (boat docks, car or truck surfaces) – and walk your dog in the shade or in the grass, early morning or later evening is best. Another tip is to lay down a wet towel for your dog to stand on when grassy areas are not available. It’s a good way to keep your pet’s feet cool while loading up the car.
Burned Pad First Aid
It’s important to keep the foot area cool and clean. As soon as you notice the problem, flush with cool water or a cool compress if available.
Get your dog to a grassy area, or carry him if possible. At first chance, have your vet examine your dog for signs of deeper burns, blisters, and possibility of infection. Your vet will determine if antibiotics or pain medication is needed.
Washing the feet with a gentle cleanser and keeping them clean is important in avoiding infection. Licking must be kept to a minimum. Some dogs will tolerate a sock to keep the area clean, but caution is advised for dogs that may chew or ingest the sock.
If you are walking your dog this summer, it can be helpful to condition his paw pads using Paw Balm. The Barkery best seller is 4-Legger Organic Healing Balm, which quickly sooths rough, irritated, or chapped paw pads. Although this paw pad conditioner helps to keep your dog’s feet moisturized, it is not made to withstand over 100 degree temperatures.
Bottom line – if the pavement is so hot you wouldn’t want to walk barefoot, your dog doesn’t want to either!