Dog paws are tough. For generations, our canine friends have traveled over rocky terrain, snow and tall grass without the help of socks or hiking boots, but they’re not made to withstand extremely hot pavement, concrete, and gravel. On hot days, paw pads can burn within 30 seconds of contact.
Before you walk your dog this summer, use these precautions to keep them safe and comfortable.
Test Surfaces Before Walking Your Dog
You know how much it hurts to walk barefoot from your lounge chair to the pool on a hot day.
Dogs are no different. By resting the back of your hand on the sidewalk for at least 10 seconds, you can get a good idea of how your dog’s paws will feel the heat.
Remember, surfaces can be much hotter than the air temperature.
When the air temperature is 95 degrees Fahrenheit, cement can heat up to 125 degrees, red brick, 135 degrees, and blacktop, a sweltering 140 degrees.
Surfaces over 110 degrees will be painful for your dog to walk on. At 120 degrees, your dog could get second, even third degree paw burns.
Every time the weather forecast reports highs of over 85 degrees, play it safe and assume that you will need to protect your dog.
Walk Early, Stroll Late
Sidewalks and driveways are hottest after noon, and until about 6 PM. Take your dog out early in the morning, then again after the sun sets.
In the middle of the day, only walk your dog in shaded, grassy areas. In some cases, dog paws can get burned on very hot soil, so it’s best to check all surfaces before you let your dog out to play.
Use Protective Gear
If you must walk your dog on hot pavement, try protective booties or socks. Dogs only sweat through their nose and paw pads, so you may want to consider sandal-style shoes that let your dog’s paws breathe.
Paw wax forms a protective coating on your dog’s paw pads, but it’s not the most effective form of protection. Use paw wax for very brief outings.
Toughen Up Those Paw Pads
As an added layer of protection, you can help your dog’s paw pads become tougher and thicker. Walk your dog on pavement or concrete when it’s cool – NOT when the surfaces are hot. This is an easy way to help form calluses on your dog’s paw pads without causing burns.
You can also use Vaseline or paw wax to moisturize your dog’s paws, preventing cracks and dryness.
Talk to Your Professional Dog Walker
No matter how hot it is, your dog will appreciate short, safe walks during the day.
Your professional dog walker from Ready Pet Go is educated in canine first aid, and always carries a first aid kit. We always consider paw safety on hot days, and we’ll work with you to find the best ways to keep your dog safe and happy.
Contact us today for more information at 240-221-5335 or through our easy online contact form.