By: | | Dogs, Dog Walking

Imagine walking across sizzling concrete sidewalk with bare feet – ouch! You wouldn’t be able to walk a few steps without putting yourself at risk for serious burns. Though dogs have thick skin on their paw pads, they’re still at risk for getting burnt on summer walks every time they walk over concrete, pavement, or asphalt. Use these tips to keep your dog’s paws safe this summer.

When the Concrete Is at Its Hottest

Pavement retains heat, even more so if it’s dark in color. So, whenever it is hot outside, the ground is going to be even hotter. On an 85-degree day, asphalt can be as hot as 140 degrees. The risk for burns begins as the sun really starts to beat down, by 10:30 AM. The pavement may not cool off until at 8 PM.

The best way to find out if the pavement is too hot for your dog to walk on? Test it yourself. Rest the back of your hand on the ground for at least 10 seconds – but don’t burn yourself! If it’s hot to you, it’s going to be hot to your dog. Going for early morning and late afternoon walks is one way to keep your dog safe – but this might not work for your schedule, or your dog’s needs.

How to Protect Those Paw Pads

If you must take your dog for a walk when the pavement is hot, you can still keep their paws safe. A small dog can be carried over hot pavement until you find some cool grass. Larger dogs need paw protection to keep them safe, even if they don’t have to walk a long distance before they reach grass.

You can cool off the concrete in your backyard by running water over it from your garden hose. Just be sure to re-check the temperature before letting your dog out, and re-wet as necessary. Outdoor mats can be used to create a safe pathway to the grass.

Dog Boots, Shoes, and Socks

There’s a wide variety of shoes and socks that you could buy to protect your dog’s paws. However, you may have to experiment to see which your dog likes best.

Decent dog booties tend to be expensive, but they’ll also protect those paws from ice and road salt in the winter. Dog socks don’t provide as much protection, but they’re cheaper and more lightweight.

Some swear by Pawz from Top Paw, disposable rubber socks that look like balloons. You could also try Paw Savers disposable, stick-on paw pad protectors.

Most boots, shoes and socks are difficult for your dog to adjust to, at first. It’s easier for your dog to learn to wear them by walking around outside, as they could be too slippery to comfortably use inside the house.

Paw Wax – Invisible Doggy Boots

Many dog owners use a paw wax product like Musher’s Secret or Espree Paw Balm to work as a protective layer between the dog’s paws and the hot pavement. You’ll need to take your time to absorb the wax into the paw, then make sure a thick, protective layer covers each toe.

Safe Summer Walks Are a Priority at Ready Pet Go!

Need help making sure your dog gets plenty of walkies this summer? The professional dog walkers at Ready Pet Go are happy to lend a hand.  Get in touch with us to learn more about our services for pet parents in Silver Spring and Takoma Park, MD and Washington, DC.