Your dog’s feet pads have thick, strong skin intended to protect them from injury. However, that doesn’t mean your dog’s feet are invulnerable.
Many outdoor surfaces can get hot enough to burn your dog’s feet. Asphalt, concrete, paving stones and sand can all get very hot during the summer. Metal grates and manhole covers can also heat up enough to burn your dog’s foot pads.
What’s worse, a dog’s paw pad injuries are hard to treat. Paw pad cuts, blisters and sores are prone to infection and healing is slow due to the constant pressure placed on the dog’s injured paw. When a dog paw pad injury occurs due to hot pavement or sand, healing can be complicated by the fact that in most cases, all of the dog’s pads are injured with burns and sores – it’s not a situation where the dog sustains a paw pad injury on just one foot (thereby enabling the dog to limp, which limits pressure to the paw, allowing the dog’s pad injury to heal).
Preventing Summer Paw Injuries
- Walk the dog in the early morning or evening to avoid paw pad burns. Avoid walking the dog in the heat of the day, when the sun beats down, heating the pavement and sand.
- Walk the dog on the grass. The grass remains cooler than the sidewalk, lessening a dog’s chance of paw pad injuries. This makes a trip to a shady park a good option for an afternoon walk in the summertime.
- Take frequent dog walks on the pavement during cool times of day. This will help toughen a dog’s paw pads by promoting the formation of callus. This makes the skin of the dog’s foot pads thicker and less prone to injuries like burns and cuts. Dogs that rarely walk on pavement will have more sensitive paw pads and they require more frequent nail clippings, as walking on pavement files the dog’s nails.
- Moisturize the dog’s paws on a daily basis. Keep a dog’s paws well moisturized with a special paw pad balm or cream. Moisturizing the dog’s paw pads will prevent cracking, peeling and minor pad cuts.
Cats can also get burns on their sensitive paws walking on hot surfaces. They can also easily get sunburn on their ears and noses particularly if these areas are white.
When it’s hot
KEEP THEM INSIDE!
Did you know?
Air temperature is NOT an accurate reflection of ground temperature.
When Air temp = Asphalt temp is
25 = 52
30 = 57
At 25 degrees Celsius Skin destruction can occur in 60 seconds
At 38 degrees Celsius Water boils
At 55 degrees Celsius An egg can fry in 3 mins