Beat the Heat: Paw Protection Tips for your Pooch
When it’s hot outside, the pavement heats up quickly and its temperature usually exceeds the air temperature, which can mean harsh conditions for your pet’s paw pads. Knowing when it’s too hot is crucial to prevent burns for your pet.
Air vs. Pavement Temperature
The American Kennel Club (AKC) published this helpful guide to illustrate the difference in temperatures between the air and pavement.
|Air Temperature vs. Pavement Temperature
|77 degrees F
|125 degrees F
|87 degrees F
|143 degrees F
As you can see, when the thermometer hits 85 degrees and stays elevated throughout the day, taking your dog everywhere you go or even for a short outing can lead to a serious injury.
“Pavement, like asphalt or artificial grass, can become incredibly hot and cause discomfort, blisters, and burn a dog’s paw pads,” says Jerry Klein, DVM, AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer and an expert in veterinary emergency and critical care.
Here are some simple tips to keep your dog happy and his paw pads healthy.
Time your walks
Choose early mornings or later evenings after the sun has set to walk your dog. The air temperature and ground surfaces will both be much cooler. Also, consider taking a grassy or shady path.
Check the pavement before your walk.
Place your hand or bare foot on the pavement for five seconds. If it’s too hot for your skin, then it’s most likely too hot for your pet.
Paw Protection Products
There are many products available on the market, like all-terrain boots for dogs, which offer protection from hot surfaces. But there is a learning curve and adjustment period for many dogs to get used to wearing them.
Many veterinarians also recommend moisturizing products which can be applied to your dog’s paw pads, which can help prevent cracking from the heat. When paw pads are dry, they’re more susceptible to burns from hot surfaces. Be sure to choose a pet-friendly and veterinarian-approved product.
Regular Paw Check
One good habit to get into is to regularly check your dog’s paws since they may not always let you know that there’s an issue. Routinely making sure paw pads and healthy can go a long way from preventing future injury.
In case of injury
In the event your dog does burn his paw pads, veterinarians recommend bringing your dog inside right away to a dry, cool place—carry him if necessary. Flush the foot with cold water or use a cool compress, and refrain from letting him lick the injured area. And of course, consult with your veterinarian.