You wouldn’t walk barefoot on the hot ground. Don’t make your dog suffer through it. Warm weather is the perfect time to get outside and walk your dog. But, wow, has this summer been HOT!
With temperatures rising over 100° F, outdoor surfaces such as asphalt, concrete, dirt, and sand soak up the summer sun for hours and hours each day. Ground temperatures can reach well over 145° F after exposure to a full day of direct sunlight.
Here are a few tips to keep your dog’s paws safe during the summer heat:
Walk your dog early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is setting and the ground has had some time to cool down.
Test to see if the pavement or other surface you’re walking on is too hot by placing a bare hand or foot on the ground for 15 seconds. If you are unable to hold your hand there for the full time, then it is too hot to walk your dog.
Take your walk at a park or somewhere where you can remain on grass a majority of the time.
If your dog has been in the water, her paws may be more sensitive to hot surfaces after swimming.
What do to if your dog is acting strange
If you see your dog struggling to walk, limping, or dragging his feet, stop and get him into shade and off of the hot surface.
Check his paws to see if the pads are red or pink in color, if they are blistered, or if they’re missing pieces. If you see any of this, it is crucial that you take your dog to the vet immediately.
It’s possible that all four of your dog’s feet may be burned, which can cause additional discomfort when walking around, standing to eat, or while “taking care of business.”
Better for your dog, better for you
Unlike humans, who wear shoes every time we leave the house, dogs only have calloused pads on the bottom of their paws, which are not as tough as you may think.
And let’s be honest – dogs strutting around in those little booties look ridiculous, not to mention extremely uncomfortable. Imagine standing and walking on a surface that is above boiling temperature in cloth slippers. It could burn your skin right off.
If your dog burns her paws on your daily walk, you may need to take time out of your busy schedule to provide specialty care while she is healing. Vet bills can add up quickly: treatments for burnt paws include antibiotics, pain medications, and bandages.
Hopefully you will heed our advice and avoid putting your pet through the pain – and save yourself the time and money spent on vet care. If you wouldn’t walk outside barefoot yourself, don’t make your dog suffer through it.