As well as heat exhaustion, this weather can also be dangerous to your pet’s paws. The pavement outside can get extremely hot in this summer heat. If you went outside without sandals or shoes, you would find that you wouldn’t be able to walk far before burning the bottoms of your feet. Although your dog’s feet are tougher than yours, they can burn on hot pavement, too.
Signs of footpad burns:
- Licking or chewing at feet
- Pads darker in some areas
- Blisters or redness on the pad
- Bleeding or oozing fluid from the pad
- Missing part of the pad
- Refusing to walk
Ways to prevent footpad burns:
- Walk on the grassy or shaded side of the street
- Have your dog wear socks or shoes to protect their feet
- Don’t go for a walk on hot pavement after long periods of swimming (footpads will be softened and become more susceptible to burns)
- Don’t stop and stand in once place for long on hot pavement
- Lay down a blanket for your dog to stand on while loading things into your vehicle on a hot summer day
- Apply protective footpad ointment before walks
- Go for walks early in the morning and later in the evening if possible
If your dog has burned their footpads, flush the paws with cool water immediately and gently dry the area with a soft towel. Your dog should see their veterinarian to determine if pain medication or antibiotics are needed. Use a bandage, sock or special shoe to keep the paws clean, dry and comfortable until the affected pad areas have healed.
If it is too hot for your bare feet out there, it is also too hot for your dog’s paws!